By: Ian Logue
After putting up 38 points against an Eagles defense that knocked him around early in the contest, you would have thought Tom Brady would have been a little more upbeat after the game.
New England matched their highest point total of the season on Sunday, scoring 38 points for the second time this season – with the last time they put up that many coming back during their Week One 38-24 Monday night win over the Dolphins. This time around they spotted the Eagles a 10-0 head start, but they kept their cool and outscored Philadelphia 38-10 from that point on, with Brady and the offense piling up 457 yards of total offense en-route to their eighth win of the season.
However, after it was over Brady was pretty low key about the victory, although he was pleased with the fact his team stayed mentally tough and did what they needed to do to win.
Despite their 38 point performance, Brady felt the offense was just O.K. on Sunday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
“I thought it was O.K.,” said Brady, who finished 24-of-34 for 361 yards and three touchdowns. “I thought our execution was a little better. But it’s good to come on the road and get a win. It’s a team that has obviously a lot of very good players and I thought getting down 10-0 and then rallying and coming back like we did showed a little bit of mental toughness which we’ve really shown consistently throughout the year.”
Brady saw his team make two big plays on Sunday, the first of which was a 63 yard pass to Deion Branch that helped set up New England’s second touchdown that gave them their first lead of the day at 14-10. The next was a 41-yard touchdown strike to Wes Welker for their third score of the afternoon.
The pass to Branch was also their third longest pass play of the season, but the thing that really made it so impressive was the way it transpired. On the completion Brady slid away from pressure, and Branch adjusted his route and made a great play to get them down to the one yard line.
“He had a comeback route and he ran it,” explained Brady. “I scrambled up, and then he kind of stepped up and then wheeled inside and the DB lost him, and I just tried to jam it in there to him, he caught it, and he did the rest.
“I thought he had a great cutback there on about the 15, 20 yard line to get us down to the one. But that was a huge play in the game I thought really to kind of stop the momentum that they had established. For us to make some plays like that really softens up the defense.”
One play later BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran it in from one yard out, and the Patriots took the lead at 14-10 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Two possessions later the Patriots found themselves with a favorable match-up that was spotted by Wes Welker, who after having one of the Eagles safeties bite on an earlier play Welker believed a quick in-cut and go would allow him to get behind the defense and give New England a shot at a big play.
Sure enough, that’s what happened, and Brady hit him for a 41-yard touchdown strike as he was wide open on the play.
“He said before the play, he said, ’you know, if I get this certain look then I’m going to fake like I’m running the in-cut and run the post’,” said Brady. “And he did it and he came to the sideline, he’s like, ‘I told you, I told you!’ That was pretty funny. It’s nice when they work out kind of how you talk about. Wes is so consistent and reliable and he’s a phenomenal player.”
That touchdown basically put the Eagles down at 21-10 and put the Patriots firmly in the drivers seat, and more importantly it allowed Brady the freedom to continue calling out the adjustments in a stadium that was eerily quiet. The only sounds that came from the stands were the boos as the game wore on, which were then followed by the chants to fire head coach Andy Reid.
It was an ugly scene to say the least, but it obviously worked out in their favor, and for now Brady says he’ll take it as they head home to prepare for the Colts next Sunday.
“All in all it’s a good win,” said Brady. “And as we always say this time of year, we’ve got to move on.”