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Several times this season, a lackluster performance by the Patriots has made this article very difficult to write. This week, it’s difficult to write for the completely opposite reason.
Sunday was truly a coming out party for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, as they laid the smackdown on the hapless Tennessee Titans at a snowy — that’s right, snowy — Gillette Stadium, 59-0. The team records set in the game were numerous:
In addition, the Patriots set two NFL records – most touchdown passes in a quarter (Brady, 5 in second quarter) and largest halftime lead (45-0).
So instead of the situation I had last week, where really no one on the team deserved any recognition, this week there were top-notch performances up and down the roster. The defense, which for much of this year has been the strength of this team, continued their superior play, holding the Titans scoreless while forcing five turnovers. The problems had lied with the New England offense, but obviously the Titans were exactly what the offense needed to get the Pats going. So for this week’s PATS on the Back, I’ll highlight three members of the Pats’ offense who all made big time contributions to the huge Week 6 win.
Are there any Tom Brady doubters still out there NOW? 6 TDs and 380 yards later, the doubters have most definitely been silenced. Brady carved through the inexperienced Titans secondary, completing 29 of his 34 passes on the day, setting all sorts of records along the way. I could keep going, but really, you watched it unfold…need I say more?
It was a career day for #83, as his 2 TD catches, 10 receptions, and career-high 150 receiving yards, led all receivers and helped give the Pats the cushy 2nd quarter lead. Welker looks to have no ill effects from his injury earlier this season, and has completely re-established himself as Brady’s go-to guy. There should be big things from Welker the rest of the year; I can see it now.
With Fred Taylor already sidelined and Sammy Morris going down with a knee injury in the first quarter, the workload fell to Laurence Maroney, and he literally took the ball and ran with it. He put the Pats on the board in the first quarter with a 45-yard TD run, the longest running play of the year for New England. It was Maroney’s first end zone trip of the season. With just three healthy running backs left to turn to, Maroney shouldered most of the load, finishing the game with 123 yards on the ground on 16 carries. If Morris and Taylor are out long term, let’s hope the Laurence Maroney we saw Sunday makes a return performance each and every week.