New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4 suspended stars

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

4. Tom Brady

No surprise here. The biggest story of the NFL offseason has been Deflategate, and to justify letting the non-issue balloon into a full-blown “Gate”, the NFL has docked Tom Brady with a four-game suspension because of his supposed lack of cooperation in the investigation and role in a mastermind cover-up.

Brady’s appeal via the NFLPA yielded no results, so he’s since taken Goodell to court. As Patriots fans and rational NFL fans have been saying all along, Goodell’s fumbling won’t hold water in front of a judge.

As likely as it is that Brady will see his suspension reduced or wiped out entirely, we have to assume it won’t. Thinking that way, we must proceed forward under the reality that Jimmy Garoppolo will pilot the Patriots in Week 1.

It would be too bad if Brady missed this game. In his career against the Steelers, Brady has completed 68.31 percent of his passes for 2,316 yards, 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Brady has defeated the Steelers in five of the seven regular season games he’s faced them.

An interesting layer of Brady’s suspension is the fact that some teams want him sidelined while other want to play him. For example, the Colts and Ravens would prefer that Brady stay suspended, but the Steelers and Bills would rather beat the Patriots with Brady as the quarterback. Respect lost for Indy and Baltimore, respect gained for Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Next: 3. Le’Veon Bell