The punishment is set to be enforced at the beginning of the 2016 NFL season. This means that Brady would miss games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills.
The Ravens are slated to play the Patriots on Monday, December 12th. At this point, the affect of the suspension could have the Patriots with an 8-4 record at best--this is in the case of going 0-4 through the non-Brady games. This also would mean beating Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, beating the Bengals and the Seahawks at home. This scenario is nowhere near a home run and things could be much worse for the Patriots at that time.
From a legal standpoint, this decision is considered final, although there are marginal ways that it could be revisited. The court did not send the case back to the trial court, which would be one way; an en banc review, which is when a larger group of U.S. appellate court judges look over the case, is also not considered merited in this caliber of a case. Finally, Brady's attorneys could ask for a writ of certiorari, that is, for the Supreme Court to review it, but they could very well be laughed back to Foxborough is that happens. The Supreme Court typically denies cases that are not of a landmark nature and this one is not.
The appellate judges rendered a 2-1 decision, but had strong language for Brady's side of the case. Judge Barrington D. Parker said, "With all due respect, Mr. Brady's explanation of [the destruction of the cellphone] made no sense whatsoever."
He added that the cellphone destruction raised the stakes "from air in a football to compromising the integrity of a proceeding that the commissioner had convened...So why couldn't the commissioner suspend Mr. Brady for that conduct alone?"
In the Baltimore-New England rivalry, clearly this decision will send tidal waves throughout the fan bases.
Literally impossible to argue that Goodell doesn't have a personal vendetta against Tom Brady and the Patriots