By: Ian Logue
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had quite a peformance against the Dolphins Monday night, finishing with a career high 517 yards during New England’s 38-24 win over Miami.
Brady had a record setting night against Miami Monday night. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Brady finished the night 32-of-48 for 517 and 4 touchdowns to help get the Patriots off to a 1-0 start to the 2011 campaign.
Overall the Patriots finished with 622 yards of total offense, with Aaron Hernandez (7 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown), Deion Branch (7 catches for 93 yards), Rob Gronkowski (6 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown), and Wes Welker (8 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns) carrying the load for the Patriots.
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco played a limited number of snaps during the Patriots season opener, and still appeared to struggle after lining up wrong in one formation – which caused a penalty for his team and nullified a would have been a 41 yard catch for Gronkowski. His only catch of the night came on a shoestring sideline grab for a 14-yard gain in the closing minutes of the 2nd quarter.
Overall Brady said after the game that he was pleased with their performance, although – as expected – he downplayed his big night.
“I’d say it was a tough game, I wouldn’t say it was easy at all,” said Brady. ” I just thought we made enough plays out there, some exceptional plays in the passing game by some of those receivers making catches. The offensive line did an incredible job, Cameron Wake, he’s one of the best past rushers in the league, Jason Taylor, he’s an incredible player. It’s a very good defensive line, an athletic group of linebackers, a good secondary. I thought they made some plays on us, we made a few more on them.”
In the game Welker tied an NFL record with a 99-yard reception on a play where Brady hit him up the seam, and he broke away and scampered off for the touchdown. It left Brady with a big smile on his face as he discussed it with the meda after the game.
“That was pretty awesome. When I saw him break away – I mean, it was awesome. You know coach never lets us run that route in practice, cause he’s like, ‘I’m sick of Welker running seam routes, I don’t want to see that.’ All training camp, that’s all we heard. So hopefully we won’t have to hear that again for a while.”
“It was man-to-man, Wes ran a great route, I threw it, he made a hell of a catch, and a hell of a run after the catch. I mean I only threw it 25 yards, it wasn’t like I threw it 99 yards. Wes did all the work, I just had to put it out there for him.”
Monday night’s game also marked the 9th consecutive regular season game where the Patriots have finished with 30+ points. Brady also set a franchise and Monday night football record with his 517-yard performance, and surpassed former Patriot Drew Bledsoe’s club record of 426 yards set back in 1994. It’s also only the 11th 500-yard game in NFL history.
The last 400 yard game for Brady came back on September 22nd, 2002 where he finished 39-of-54 for 410 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 INT (110.9 QB rating) in a 41-38 home win for New England over Kansas City.
Just to take you back a bit, the leading receivers in that game were Troy Brown (16 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown), David Patten (7 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown) and Deion Branch – 6 catches for 33 yards.