NEW ENGLAND: Brown's status in question after strong debut with Pats
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Antoniohad a stellar debut with the New England Patriots.
Whether he will have an opportunity for a repeat performance this week will be up to the NFL.
Brown led the Patriots with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown during New England's 43-0 win over of the Miami Dolphins on Sunday .
Now as the Patriots prepare to host the New York Jets this week, Brown and the team must again wait and see if looming sexual assault and rape allegations against him will make him subject to discipline under the NFL's personal conduct policy.
On Monday, the NFL declined to comment on when it was meeting with Britney Taylor, a former trainer of Brown who filed a civil lawsuit in Florida last week alleging he sexually assaulted her on three occasions between 2017 and 2018. But the league told the Patriots last week that it planned to open an investigation into the matter.
Brown has denied the allegations made in the lawsuit. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue.
Sports Illustrated also published a story Monday afternoon in which a second woman, an unnamed artist, alleged that Brown exposed himself to her while she was working on a mural for him at his Pittsburgh. Brown also denied those allegations through his attorney.
Brown has yet to address reporters and was not made available following the Patriots' win over the Miami.
Two sources told The Associated Press that Brown was able to play last week because no criminal charges have been filed against him and because the league hadn't fully developed its investigation.
That could change this week if the league has a chance to speak with one or both of his accusers.
Asked during his Monday morning conference call if he expected to hear from the league about Brown's availability this week, coach Bill Belichick said, "I'll just answer any questions about the game, and I'm not getting into anything else outside of that right now."
What is clear is that Brown's presence on the field adds a new dimension to the Patriots' offense.
Several times during its blowout of Miami, the Patriots used four-wide receiver formations with Brown and Josh Gordon lined up outside and Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett on the inside. The foursome combined to catch 13 of Tom Brady's 28 completions.
Brown's teammates maintain that the off-field issues that have engulfed Brown haven't been a distraction to him on the field.
"I don't think any of us had any doubts about A.B.'s skillset," Gordon said. "I think it was just good for everybody to see it in an actual game. He continues to be who we expect him to be, and that's a great wide receiver and a good football player."
The offense. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has done a masterful job thus far is mixing up personnel groups and his play calling to take the pressure off his 42-year-old quarterback. The presence of Gordon and now Brown has also helped mask the absence of retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Through two games the offense is averaging 6.4 yards per play and has one turnover.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The one caveat to the Patriots' offensive dominance over the first two games is on the offensive line, which continues to fight through injuries. Right tackle Marcus Cannon was active but did not play as recovers from a shoulder injury. Marshall Newsome, who was signed last week, started in Cannon's place.
The line suffered another injury in the first quarter. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who was sidelined last season with an Achilles tendon issue, left the game with a foot injury and did not return. He was replaced by Korey Cunningham, acquired in a trade with Arizona late last month.
Sony Michel. The second-year running back isn't showing any drop-off from his rookie season. He had the game's first touchdown and carried 21 times for 85 yards to lead all rushers.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski had a rough day against the Dolphins, missing a pair of extra points and a 48-yard field goal. It marked only the third time in his career he has missed an extra-point and field goal in the same game.
Wynn was expected to undergo further testing on his foot on Monday.
76 — The Patriots have outscored their opponents 76-3 in their first two games. The 76 points are tied for the most in team history along with the 2007 team. That team finished the season with 589 points, the second most in the Super Bowl era.
The Patriots continue their AFC East schedule with a visit from the Jets. They will get their first look at running back Le'Veon Bell with his new team.
-- By Kyle Hightower, AP
BUFFALO: Allen credited for not forcing throws in Bills' latest win
ORCHARD PARK — Bills coach Sean McDermott pointed to an incompletion, of all things, as a sign of quarterback Josh Allen's continuing development entering his second season.
Rather than force a pass into coverage and risk a turnover with the Bills already in field-goal position, Allen earned McDermott's praise for throwing the ball away on third-and-goal from the 3 halfway through the fourth quarter Sunday.
An even bigger payoff came when Buffalo got the ball back after Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was flagged for unnecessary roughness against long-snapper Reid Ferguson during the field-goal attempt. One play later, Frank Gore scored from the 1 to seal a 28-14 win.
"He's understanding the game a little better within the game, and what he can and can't do," McDermott said Monday, a day after the Bills improved to 2-0. "I think that in and of itself is a step."
Or as offensive coordinator Brian Daboll put it: "An incompletion rarely loses you games."
It didn't in this case for Allen, who is showing he's capable of learning from past mistakes.
Allen went 19 of 30 for 253 yards with a touchdown passing and another rushing in producing just his fifth turnover-free outing in 13 starts. And it came on the heels of Allen turning the ball over four times (two interceptions and two lost fumbles) in the first half of a 17-16 win over the New York Jets in the very same stadium.
"He's such a competitor that sometimes he doesn't want the play to end," Daboll said.
"We're still working on that because he is strong, he is competitive and you'd have to ask him this, but there's probably a play that he doesn't feel he can't make with his athletic ability," he added. "I think that's an encouraging sign of him just playing the game the right way for us to help our team."
A new-look offense's ability to produce lengthy drives. All six of Buffalo's touchdown drives this season have covered 74 or more yards.
They included a seven-play, 98-yard drive capped by Isaiah McKenzie's 14-yard touchdown reception to put Buffalo up 21-7 over the Giants. The drive matched Buffalo's longest in 10 years, and the Bills actually gained 108 yards overcoming a holding penalty against center Mitch Morse.
Last season, the Bills didn't have six drives of 70-plus yards until their 10th game.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Inconsistencies in stopping the run. After limiting the Le'Veon Bell-led New York Jets to 68 yards rushing, Buffalo gave up 129 to the Saquon Barkley-led Giants. Barkley gained 55 yards on four carries on an opening drive he capped with a 27-yard TD run.
Backup defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, who was credited with a half-sack and three tackles in 28 snaps, one short of starter Star Lotulelei.
"He got a little bit more volume in his job and rushed the passer better than he's rushed before," McDermott said of Phillips.
Cornerback Tre'Davious White. He whiffed in driving to the line and attempting to stop Barkley on his 27-yard touchdown run. White was also beaten in coverage twice on the Giants' 12-play, 76-yard drive that ended with T.J. Jones 4-yard touchdown catch to cut Buffalo's lead to 21-14 with 12 minutes left.
Rookie running back Devin Singletary is still being evaluated after hurting his left leg during a 4-yard run with under five minutes left. The backup to veteran Frank Gore had 57 yards rushing and scored his first career touchdown. Buffalo's depth is already thin at the position, with Gore, T.J. Yeldon and fullback Patrick DiMarco the only running backs on the roster. ... McDermott would only say starting cornerback Taron Johnson (hamstring) and receiver/kickoff returner Andre Roberts (quadriceps) are progressing after both didn't play Sunday. ... McDermott is looking for tight end Tyler Kroft to build on a good week of practice before determining whether he can face Cincinnati, his former team, on Sunday. Signed in free agency, Kroft has been out since breaking his right foot in May.
9 — Bills have scored nine touchdowns on their past nine drives entering the red zone going back to last season's finale.
The Bills have a chance to open 3-0 for just the third time in 26 years in their home opener against the Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals were completely dominated in a 41-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Buffalo is 1-1 in home openers under McDermott.
-- By John Wawrow, AP
MIAMI: Dolphins' odds of winning Super Bowl now 20,000 to 1
MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins had forced a punt for once, and Jakeem Grant was about to field the kick when teammate Johnson Bademosi ran into him and sent him sprawling, so the ball was downed at the 8-yard line.
This team literally cannot get out of its own way.
The Dolphins are 0-2 and have been outscored 102-10; no team since 1961 had a worse point differential after two games. Miami's odds of winning the Super Bowl have soared to 20,000 to 1, or 20 times worse than any other team.
Here are things to know about the team that's winning the race to the bottom in 2019:
Miami's defense was better in Sunday's 43-0 loss to New England, if only because the bar was set so low in the season-opening 59-10 loss to Baltimore.
The Dolphins gave up 16 points on the Patriots' first nine drives before the defense collapsed from the toll of carrying Miami's punchless offense on a hot day.
"We played together, we communicated, we played hard," linebacker Jerome Baker said. "That's the little light that we had. Ultimately we didn't get the job done."
The defense lost a starter Monday night when the Dolphins traded disgruntled defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first-round draft pick in 2020.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Dolphins were shut out at home for the first time since 2010 and netted 38 yards in the first three quarters. An awful offensive line might make it impossible to quarterback the Dolphins, but rookie coach Brian Flores is weighing whether to switch from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Josh Rosen as the starter Sunday at Dallas.
"After a couple of weeks like that, we're evaluating all positions," Flores said. "We haven't made any final decisions yet. Right now, it's Fitz."
Fitzpatrick's passer rating after two games is 39.9. Rosen played in the fourth quarter Sunday and went 7 for 18 for 97 yards with an interception and two dropped throws.
Baker (12 tackles) and cornerback Xavien Howard were excellent, and tackle John Jenkins had the best push of the season on a sack of Tom Brady.
Fitzpatrick passed for only 89 yards and threw two pick-sixes in less than two minutes. The second one came on a pass that deflected off the hands of running back Kalen Ballage, who had another drop earlier. Aside from his embarrassing collision with Bademosi, Grant dropped a long pass, as did DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Left tackle Jesse Davis and cornerback Eric Rowe also struggled.
Meanwhile, Flores' head coaching career is off to a start like no other.
"We make the corrections and we move on," he said. "We don't point fingers. We don't make excuses. There's a room full of guys who aren't doing that. That's how you do it. We'll try to turn things around as quickly as possible."
Receiver Albert Wilson (hip/calf) and safety Reshad Jones (ankle) were inactive, and their status for the game against the Cowboys is uncertain.
As the Dolphins moved one week closer to the 2020 draft, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa threw for a career-best 444 yards in a 47-23 victory over South Carolina.
Flores must sort out a shaky secondary scrambled by the loss of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Meanwhile, the coach can count the days until the 2020 draft, when Miami now has three first-round picks.
-- By Steven Wine, AP