Sunday, September 18, 2011
Brady, Romo rise to the top
One week after his historic 517-yard effort on Monday Night Football, Tom Brady put up another record-setting performance on Sunday afternoon, completing 31-of-40 passes for 423 yards in the New England Patriots 35-21 win over the San Diego Chargers.
Brady joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to throw for at least 400 yards in each of the first two games of a season, and his 940 passing yards this season are the most for any player in a team's first two games in NFL history.
Brady fell just five yards short of Phil Simms' NFL record for passing yards in consecutive games during any week of the season, as Simms had 945 yards for the New York Giants in Weeks 5 and 6 in 1985.
The Chargers took a unique approach against Brady, when they put eight men in pass coverage on just 12 of Brady’s 44 dropbacks in the game. With a three-man pass rush providing little pressure, Brady was patient and found holes in the zone to finish 10-of-11 for 120 yards and a touchdown in those situations.
Last year the Chargers’ secondary was one of the top pass defenses in the NFL against the deep ball, but Brady exploited them on Sunday by spreading the pigskin around to several receivers. Brady completed 10-of-12 passes that traveled over 10 yards for 203 yards and two touchdown, and five different Patriots caught those 10 passes.
Tony Romo didn’t re-write the record books with his performance on Sunday, but he did help the Dallas Cowboys rally for a 27-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers despite playing nearly the entire game with a fractured rib.
Romo, who sat out most of the third quarter, threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns in the game, which made him the only player in Cowboys history to throw a TD pass in 20 straight games.
Romo was 8-for-17 with 144 yards passing in the first half before leaving with the rib injury. He didn’t miss a beat after coming back on the field with 0:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter, completing 12-of-16 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.
In a dramatic reversal from the Week 1 loss when the Cowboys blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, Romo was excellent down the stretch in this game, as the Cowboys outscored the 49ers by 10 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the win.
Operating out of the shotgun, Romo completed 5-of-6 passes on the game-tying drive in the final five minutes of regulation. Then on the Cowboys’ first play of overtime, he found Jesse Holley, who had no NFL catches entering the game, for a 77-yard reception that set up the eventual game-winning field goal by Dan Bailey.