Strictly speaking, the NFL is actually the most American of the four major sports leagues in the United States.

From Da Coach, Mike Ditka, to Da President, Donald Trump, fired-up critics of kneeling and fist-raising during the national anthem have suggested that protesting NFL players are un-American.

“That’s a total disrespect of our heritage,” Trump told a crowd in Alabama last month.

“If you don’t respect our country, you shouldn’t be in this country playing football,” Ditka said in a radio interview Monday.

In Miami, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams are nobody’s idea of proven commodities and the Dolphins offense is still bad, so it’s hard to be revved up about these new co-starters. Drake has more lateral quickness and explosiveness, but Williams is my favorite: a more reliable, fast and powerful player who can catch it.

Back to Foles, who made good use of Ajayi (18/73) through the air and spread the ball to seven targets. Jeffery (5/85), Smith (5/69) and Agholor (3/59) — a largely invisible trio since Wentz went down — all sprung to life, while Foles showed much-needed, saucy chemistry with tight end Zach Ertz, who beat Minnesota’s coverage for 93 yards off eight grabs.

Brady joked that it was not all going to end because of a handoff in practice, of all things, but these are the kinds of misfortunes that cause hiccups for other teams and which the Patriots seem to find a way around.

For all the angst over Brady’s well-being — blood, stiches, gloves — he completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. A few passes sailed, but even Brady couldn’t bring himself to say that the injury bothered him, worrying that it would sound arrogant to say he was impaired after he had such a good game.

It is an admirable mindset, and one that almost always serves the Steelers well. But this was a precious missed opportunity and they knew it. The Steelers will need all the breaks they can get going into the playoffs, with Brown’s status uncertain, and home field would be a very good one to secure. In the locker room, there was pin-drop silence. General manager Kevin Colbert stared straight ahead, stone faced. cowboys_063

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