FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The
New England Patriotsmade the most of their opportunity Thursday night to remind the nation they’re the NFL’s most successful franchise of the past 15 years. They weren’t bad once the game began either.
One banner was unfurled on the field for each of the club’s four titles, owner
Robert Kraft showed off the latest Lombardi Trophy and Tom Brady emerged from Deflategate with four touchdown passes in the Patriots’ 28-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener.
The Steelers cut the deficit in half with an 11-yard touchdown pass from
Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown with 2 seconds to go. But time ran out on the ensuing onside kick.
Chants of “BRA-DY! BRA-DY!” erupted multiple times for the Patriots’ star quarterback, who at one point completed a franchise-record 19 consecutive passes and finished 25-of-32 for 288 yards, a week after a federal judge vacated his four-game suspension.
A chant of “WHERE IS ROGER?” also broke out as the Patriots put away the game in the fourth quarter – a mocking tribute to NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell, who declined to attend the game, saying he’d be at Sunday’s Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears game instead.
Among those who did attend:
NFL Players Association director DeMaurice Smith and Brady’s lead attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, who took a sort of victory lap around the field before the game.
It was a triumphant night in stark contrast to the controversy that has circled the Patriots – who also were fined $1 million and docked two draft picks by the NFL for an alleged scheme to deflate footballs – since their triumph over the
Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Dropkick Murphys performed and fireworks left a haze of smoke over the field before Kraft emerged from a tunnel and joined former Patriots Willie McGinest, Ty Law and Troy Brown, who held the other Lombardis on a small stage as the crowd roared.
Many fans wore ponchos to combat a downpour that hit Thursday afternoon and continued as Brady took the field for warm-ups, pumping his fist and playing to the crowd. But
Mother Nature wasn’t putting a damper on this party, and it didn’t slow the Patriots offense much either.
Three of Brady’s touchdown passes went to all-pro tight end
Rob Gronkowski, the last a 1-yard score with 9:20 to go set up by a 52-yard completion to Gronkowski after the Steelers had trimmed New England’s 18-point lead to seven.
The Steelers offense moved the football well despite the absence of suspended running back
Le’Veon Bell and center Maurkice Pouncey. But newly acquired kicker Josh Scobee missed two field goals, Darrius Heyward-Bey botched a sure touchdown by stepping out of bounds and a Pittsburgh defense debuting under new coordinator Keith Butler seemed lost at times.
Duron Harmon’s interception on a deep ball Roethlisberger intended for Heyward-Bey spoiled the Steelers’ last best chance with 7 minutes to go. One small step towards the Patriots’ fifth title and another party this time next year complete.
A California-based Marine was killed and 18 others injured Thursday afternoon in a vehicle rollover accident at
Camp Pendleton, according to the Marine Corps.
The Marine killed in the accident was assigned to
1st Marine Division, based out of Pendleton in Southern California. The Marine's identity is behind held for 24 hours after next of kin have been notified.
It's not immediately clear whether the 18 injured in the mishap belong to the same unit or what the Marines were doing at the time. Marine officials declined to provide any additional details on the accident, including the type of vehicle that was involved.
“The command’s priorities are to take care of the Marines, sailors and families of the unit,” 1st Lt. Colleen McFadden, public affairs officer with 1st Marine Division, said in a release. “We want to ensure the Marines and their family members are being provided for during this difficult time.”
(NEWSER) – When scientists first tried in 1997 to date the famous Shigir Idol wooden sculpture —originally found in a Siberian peat bog in 1890—radiocarbon dating suggested the art was so old the findings were widely disputed. Now, armed with better tech, scientists turned to one of the world's most advanced accelerated mass spectrometry labs in Germany to put the issue to rest, and are announcing that Shigir Idol is indeed ancient—in fact, at 11,000 years of age it's actually 1,500 years older than first thought, reports the Siberian Times. Not only is it the oldest known wooden sculpture, but it's more than twice as old as the Great Pyramid of Giza, three times as old as the ancient city of Babylon, and five times as old as the ruins of Al Khazneh in the ancient city of Petra, reports the Huffington Post.
Microbes that eat away at organic matter don't like bogs, reports Atlas Obscura, which makes them particularly good at preservation. Thus the 9-foot Shigir Idol (which stood 17 feet tall before parts were pilfered during 20th century political turmoil) was preserved "as if in a time capsule" 11 millennia after it was cut from a 157-year-old larch tree. The resulting wooden figure is covered with "encrypted" shapes whose message remains "an utter mystery to modern man," one Russian academic has said. "We study the Idol with a feeling of awe. This is a masterpiece, carrying gigantic emotional value and force, a unique sculpture; there is nothing else in the world like this." He added that the creators "lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world."
Floodwaters flow from the burst Kinugawa river (top) into a residential area in Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture
A person inside a house waves to a helicopter as the house is surrounded by floodwaters from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. Heavy rain is pummeling Japan for a second straight day, overflowing rivers and causing landslides and localized flooding in the eastern part of the country.
A family watches TV news at an evacuation center after taking shelter in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.
An elderly man is carried by a firefighter after being rescued by a helicopter in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo
Residents wait for help while sitting on the roof of their house northeast of Tokyo. Heavy rain is pummeling Japan for a second consecutive day, overflowing rivers and causing landslides and localized flooding in the eastern part of the country.
People wait for help as the vehicles are submerged northeast of Tokyo.
A woman holds her grandchild as evacuees take refuge in a City Hall in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo on Sept.
A young boy pushes a bicycle north of Tokyo.