New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes against the Buffalo Bills on December 26.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes against the Buffalo Bills on December 26.

Brady's bunch secure AFC top seed and plaudits



ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK // The New England Patriots have been nearly unbeatable since Tom Brady stopped throwing interceptions more than two months ago.

Now they will be even tougher to stop when the play-offs begin after securing the AFC's top seed with the first-round play-offs bye and guaranteed home games that come with it.

Brady threw three touchdown passes, including two to the tight end Rob Gronkowski, as New England routed the Buffalo Bulls 34-3.

Brady extended his streak of attempts without an interception to 319, topping the NFL mark of 308 set by Bernie Kosar with Cleveland in the 1990/91 season.

"I guess I'm glad I'm not throwing interceptions," Brady said, shrugging off the record.

"I think our team has done a really good job this year of not turning the ball over in general.

"All the guys that have handled it this year are doing a great job of taking care of it. I'm very fortunate. Believe me, I've had plenty of plays that definitely could have gone for interceptions. It's a good trend for us to be on, and hopefully it continues."

He was more pleased with helping the Patriots (13-2) finish first in the AFC for the third time since 2003, clinching their eighth division title in 10 years.

"It never gets old," he said. "We never get tired of winning."

Brady completed 15 of 27 passes for 140 yards, and had his eighth consecutive game with two or more touchdown passes. Alge Crumpler had a four-yard touchdown catch, Danny Woodhead scored on a 29-yard run and Shayne Graham kicked two field goals.

The Patriots complete the regular season by hosting the Miami Dolphins next weekend and are marching to the play-offs riding a seven-game win streak, their longest since going 16-0 in 2007.

Brady is leading an offence that has scored 31 or more points in seven consecutive games. He has only four interceptions this season, and none in 10 games, since throwing two in a 23-20 win over Baltimore on October 17.

The Bills (4-11) have had a hard enough time beating their division rivals to begin with, having now lost 15 in a row and 20 of their past 21 against New England. And they made it even more difficult on themselves by committing seven turnovers.

The only thing that could slow the Patriots was Mother Nature. Bad weather in the northeast prevented the team from travelling home. The Patriots were forced to bus an hour east to spend the night in Rochester; most hotels in the Buffalo-area are booked due to the city hosting the World Junior Hockey Championships.

That's fine with Patriots players, even though they had already missed Christmas with their families after travelling to Buffalo on Saturday.

"We got a win, and that's our biggest present, being able to come into the locker room and being able to see that [championship] hat and T-shirt," the tackle Vince Wilfork said. "That's something to be proud of."

The game was over before half time as the Patriots scored 24 unanswered points after the Bills opened with a field goal.

They went ahead on Woodhead's touchdown, which came after the linebacker Gary Guyton forced Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Buffalo quarterback, to fumble.

The Bills' string of turnovers continued through the last time they touched the ball, giving it away with 1:51 left when CJ Spiller muffed a punt.

Brady broke Kosar's record with his 17th attempt early in the third quarter, when Gronkowski dropped a pass over the middle at the goal line. The two hooked up on the next play for an eight-yard touchdown. Brady has thrown for a touchdown in all 15 games this season, keeping alive his opportunity to become only the seventh NFL player to have thrown a TD pass in all 16 games.

Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, is so accustomed to Brady's efficiency that he did not know his quarterback had set a record.

"I didn't realise he broke that. That's great," Belichick said. "Tom does a great job of managing the game and taking care of the ball. I think he deserves that."

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 48V hybrid

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 325bhp

Torque: 450Nm

Price: Dh359,000

On sale: now

SPEC SHEET

Processor: Apple M2, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Silver, space grey, starlight, midnight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W or 35W dual-port power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable

Price: From Dh4,999

Ibrahim's play list

Completed an electrical diploma at the Adnoc Technical Institute

Works as a public relations officer with Adnoc

Apart from the piano, he plays the accordion, oud and guitar

His favourite composer is Johann Sebastian Bach

Also enjoys listening to Mozart

Likes all genres of music including Arabic music and jazz

Enjoys rock groups Scorpions and Metallica 

Other musicians he likes are Syrian-American pianist Malek Jandali and Lebanese oud player Rabih Abou Khalil

The specs

Engine: 8.0-litre, quad-turbo 16-cylinder

Transmission: 7-speed auto

0-100kmh 2.3 seconds

0-200kmh 5.5 seconds

0-300kmh 11.6 seconds

Power: 1500hp

Torque: 1600Nm

Price: Dh13,400,000

On sale: now

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000
Ways to control drones

Countries have been coming up with ways to restrict and monitor the use of non-commercial drones to keep them from trespassing on controlled areas such as airports.

"Drones vary in size and some can be as big as a small city car - so imagine the impact of one hitting an airplane. It's a huge risk, especially when commercial airliners are not designed to make or take sudden evasive manoeuvres like drones can" says Saj Ahmed, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research.

New measures have now been taken to monitor drone activity, Geo-fencing technology is one.

It's a method designed to prevent drones from drifting into banned areas. The technology uses GPS location signals to stop its machines flying close to airports and other restricted zones.

The European commission has recently announced a blueprint to make drone use in low-level airspace safe, secure and environmentally friendly. This process is called “U-Space” – it covers altitudes of up to 150 metres. It is also noteworthy that that UK Civil Aviation Authority recommends drones to be flown at no higher than 400ft. “U-Space” technology will be governed by a system similar to air traffic control management, which will be automated using tools like geo-fencing.

The UAE has drawn serious measures to ensure users register their devices under strict new laws. Authorities have urged that users must obtain approval in advance before flying the drones, non registered drone use in Dubai will result in a fine of up to twenty thousand dirhams under a new resolution approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Mr Ahmad suggest that "Hefty fines running into hundreds of thousands of dollars need to compensate for the cost of airport disruption and flight diversions to lengthy jail spells, confiscation of travel rights and use of drones for a lengthy period" must be enforced in order to reduce airport intrusion.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

The Kitchen

Director: Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares

Stars: Kane Robinson, Jedaiah Bannerman, Hope Ikpoku Jnr, Fiona Marr

Rating: 3/5 

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela
Edited by Sahm Venter
Published by Liveright

Tomb Raider I–III Remastered

Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Aspyr
Console: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 3/5

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

The biog

Fatima Al Darmaki is an Emirati widow with three children

She has received 46 certificates of appreciation and excellence throughout her career

She won the 'ideal mother' category at the Minister of Interior Awards for Excellence

Her favourite food is Harees, a slow-cooked porridge-like dish made from boiled wheat berries mixed with chicken

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Company profile

Name: Yabi by Souqalmal 

Started: May 2022, launched June 2023

Founder: Ambareen Musa

Based: Dubai 

Sector: FinTech 

Initial investment: undisclosed but soon to be announced 

Number of staff: 12 

Investment stage: seed  

Investors: Shuaa Capital

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

THE SWIMMERS

Director: Sally El-Hosaini

Stars: Nathalie Issa, Manal Issa, Ahmed Malek and Ali Suliman 

Rating: 4/5

Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat
The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo hybrid
Power: 680hp
Torque: 1,020Nm
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh530,000 (estimate)

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


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