By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff
As sage PD commenter Timbuk3 noted “What a difference a week makes.”
Last week, Tom Brady was the recipient of the dreaded Patriots Daily “Take a Lap” post, and it was well-deserved following the maddening loss in Denver. This week it was a completely different #12 who took the field for the Patriots, and his decision-making, his timing, and his execution, all of which were terrible last week, were all completely on target this week. In fact, Brady flirted with the second perfect passer rating of his career yesterday, going 29 of 34 for 380 yards and six touchdowns. Five of those touchdowns came in a record-setting second quarter.
Brady showed the touch and accuracy which were missing all season to this point, hitting several big plays on the afternoon, all in the midst of an October nor’easter at Gillette. It was a reminder of the glory days of 2007, when the Brady-to-Randy Moss connection was unstoppable during the regular season. The TD to Moss where he rolled out and threw on the move across his body to the end zone while getting head-butted by Titans safety Chris Hope was a thing of beauty.
Brady was certainly not the only deserving candidate this week, in a 59-0 victory, there are bound to be strong performances across the board. Whether it was Laurence Maroney’s 123 yards on 16 carries and a 45 yard TD run, or Moss’ 8 catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns, or Wes Welker’s 10 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. How about the defense? Pitching the shutout? Completely shutting down Kerry Collins/Vince Young and the Tennessee passing game? Forcing turnovers, making jarring hits.
Critics will dismiss this performance because it came against the winless Titans, but as we’ve learned over the years, it’s hard to win in the NFL. These guys are all professionals, and the Titans were a 13-3 team last year. You just don’t see this type of performance in this league, no matter who you are.
Now the key will be for Brady and company to keep it going this Sunday in London.