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NHL Brady returns as New England Patriots seek bounce back

In Brady's absence, the Patriots have compiled a respectable 3-1 record to move clear of their rivals in the AFC East

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Tom Brady missed the opening four games of the season after losing his legal battle against suspension for the 2015 "Deflategate" saga play

Tom Brady missed the opening four games of the season after losing his legal battle against suspension for the 2015 "Deflategate" saga

(Getty/AFP/File)

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Tom Brady makes his long-awaited return from suspension on Sunday as the New England Patriots aim to get back to winning ways against the hapless Cleveland Browns.

The superstar quarterback missed the opening four games of the season after ultimately losing his legal battle against suspension for the 2015 "Deflategate" saga.

In Brady's absence, the Patriots have compiled a respectable 3-1 record to move clear of their rivals in the AFC East.

The Patriots were stung by their first loss of the season last weekend however, suffering their first shutout in a decade and their first ever at home in a 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

The timing of the 39-year-old Brady's return therefore could not have been better as the Patriots travel to Cleveland (0-4), the only team in the league yet to win a game.

"It is a lot of fun to be back," Brady said this week after training with his teammates for the first time this season on Monday.

"I haven't had the chance to be out there for four weeks. I've been watching my teammates go out and try to play at their very best, and they performed very well. I'm excited to go out there and join them."

The Patriots were stung by their first loss of the season last weekend in a 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills play

The Patriots were stung by their first loss of the season last weekend in a 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills

(Getty/AFP/File)

Patriots tight end and team captain Rob Gronkowski is relieved to finally have Brady back in the huddle.

"He's the leader of our offense. He's a great player, and it's exciting to get TB back, man," Gronkowski said.

"We've got to prepare every single week to the max, so it's just like any other week, except Tom's back at quarterback baby!"

Falcons to soar at Mile High?

Three teams remain unbeaten heading into week five of the season -- reigning Super Bowl champions the Denver Broncos, the Minnesota Vikings and the surprise package Philadelphia Eagles.

The Broncos face a home game against the Atlanta Falcons (3-1) in an intriguing duel which pits the formidable Denver defense against the in-form visiting offense.

The Falcons arrive at Mile High brimming with confidence, quarterback Matt Ryan throwing for 503 yards and four touchdowns in a shellacking of the Carolina Panthers last weekend.

The Falcons are averaging 354.2 passing yards per game and with 152 points is leading the league with an average 38 points per game.

The Broncos defense meanwhile has only given up an average of 169.5 passing yards per game each season, with cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. only conceding six passes of 20-plus yards.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw four touchdowns in a shellacking of the Carolina Panthers last weekend play

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw four touchdowns in a shellacking of the Carolina Panthers last weekend

(Getty/AFP/File)

Minnesota meanwhile face the Houston Texans after their Monday night win over the New York Giants.

Philadelphia returns from a bye week for what should be a straightforward assignment against the Detroit Lions, with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz boosted by the return of tight end Zarch Ertz, one of his top receiving weapons.

The Eagles' NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys will meanwhile seek to extend their bright start to the season when they host the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cowboys (3-1) have impressed to date with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott confidently filling the starter's jersey in the absence of the injured Tony Romo.

Prescott's accurate throwing has left him closing in on Tom Brady's record of 162 pass attempts without an interception to start a career.

In four games this season, Prescott has 132 pass attempts with no picks. That unblemished record will be tested on Sunday however with the Bengals (2-2) owning the ninth-best defense in the league.

The Cowboys offense has also been boosted by the form of another rookie, running back Ezekiel Elliott, who leads the league with 412 rushing yards to date.

Elliott has played down the significance of his stellar form, which includes back-to-back 100-yard games in his most recent starts.

"It means a lot but it's really not that important," Elliott said.

"We really only just finished Week four. So many more football games to be played. Just to be kind of off to a good start, to finally get it rolling and getting everything, the ball moving downhill."

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