Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Brady reflects on a record night
By Mike Reiss
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passed for a franchise-record 517 yards in the team’s 38-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, which marked the fifth-best single-game yardage total in NFL history.
“It was a good night. I thought we executed pretty well at times,” the understated Brady said after going 32 of 48 with four touchdowns and one interception. “It’s a team sport, man. Those guys were catching the ball and making some great plays.”
The exclamation point on Brady’s record night came with 5:44 remaining when he hooked up with receiver Wes Welker on a 99-yard touchdown catch-and-run up the left side. The 99-yard play tied the NFL record for longest offensive play, which has been accomplished 12 times.
“When I saw him break away it was awesome,” Brady said. “You never know when it’s going to go. It was man to man and Wes ran a great route. I only threw it 25 yards, it’s not like I threw it 99 yards. Wes did all the work, I just had to put it out there for him.”
The Patriots utilized a high-pressure offense in which they often went without a huddle.
“It’s a fine line between putting pressure on a defense and playing out of control,” Brady said. “I thought at times we did both and you never really want to play out of control on offense. It was a good pace at times but other times they adjusted to it.”
Asked how much he enjoys playing at that frenetic pace, Brady focused on the scoreboard.
“I enjoy scoring points so whatever we need to do to score points is what I enjoy doing,” he responded. “Sometimes we go fast and sometimes we go slow, it’s just a matter of what the point of the drive is and how we’re trying to execute. We’re ultimately trying to get the ball in the end zone.”
Brady credited the offensive line, which started rookie Nate Solder at right tackle and had veteran Brian Waters, who signed eight days ago, start and play most of the game at right guard. Brady, who was sacked just once, called it an “incredible job.”
Waters, the 12-year veteran in his first year with the Patriots, marveled at what his new quarterback accomplished.
“He’s a great one,” Waters said of Brady. “The fact that even at the end of the game that he [said] he could have been better, that’s phenomenal. It’s a challenge for the rest of us to really make sure we’re always trying to get better and stepping our job up.”
Ironically, Brady’s record performance came in the same game that saw him throw his first regular season interception in 358 attempts, an NFL record streak that went all the way back to Game 6 of last season.
Brady on Monday night also became the 15th player in NFL history to reach the 3,000-completion plateau.