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Tom Brady did not have to do much to earn his 100th career win. The Patriots’ veteran quarterback played mistake-free, and watched safety Patrick Chung and the special teams turn a one-point game at halftime into a 41-14 blowout.
Rookie wide out Brandon Tate, a special teams monster, returned the second half’s opening kickoff 103 yards, erasing a 7-6 deficit. Sammy Morris provided a crucial block before Tate cut up the right sideline, and the youngster’s speed took care of the rest.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about the whole time: second-half momentum. It’s hard to think of a better way to start a second half than get a touchdown,” Morris said.
With his team up 13-7, safety Patrick Chung decided to get in on the act. The second-year pro blocked a punt on Miami’s ensuing possession, setting up a 13-yard touchdown run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Chung’s blocked punt put the visitors ahead 20-7, but his night was far from over.
With Miami looking to cut the deficit to 10, Chung blocked Dan Carpenter’s 53-yard field goal attempt that teammate Kyle Arrington returned 35 yards for a touchdown.
“We practiced everything that happened — all of those blocks, and people doing their job allowed me to make a play,” Chung said.
Chung made yet another play to ice the game, returning an interception 51 yards for his first career touchdown.
“He just threw it to me,” he said. “I was shocked at first. You have to be in the right spot at the right time. The opportunity came and I took it.”
It was the game-of-a-lifetime for Chung, who continues to play a pivotal leadership role in a secondary with a combined five years of NFL experience.
Indeed, it was a special night for Chung, and a special night for the entire New England team. The 2010 Patriots became the first team in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown, a blocked field goal for a touchdown and return an interception for a touchdown in the same game.
In his first game with the Patriots, Woodhead ran three times for 42 yards against Buffalo, including a 22-yard touchdown scamper.
Monday, in front of a national audience on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Woodhead put together another solid performance, carrying the ball eight times for 36 yards. His biggest play of the night, however, was an 11-yard touchdown reception.
The Patriots’ new weapon appears to have cemented his role in the offense as Kevin Faulk’s replacement.