Credit: Stephen Douglas
On Sunday the Patriots welcomed back their franchise quarterback as Tom Brady made his season debut against the Cleveland Browns. Brady looked like he hadn’t missed a beat as he completed 28 of 40 passes for 406 yards including three touchdowns. The future Hall of Famer completed 11 passes to Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, and Martellus Bennet all off season additions who Brady had never played with before. Brady also showed some love to longtime teammate Rob Gronkowski. Gronk looked like his old self as he caught 5 passes for 109 yards and did not look hampered by his hamstring injury. The Patriots needed a game like this after an embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills last week and Brady delivered.The Patriots offense looked much better and they were finally able to showcase their new double tight end threat.The offense was not the only part of the Patriots game that improved the defense did as well.
Even though the Patriots only gave up sixteen points last week against the Buffalo Bills the defensive unit was not happy with their performance. The tackling was not very good which allowed Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor to avoid sacks giving Bills receivers more time to get open. This also keep the Patriot’s offense off the field. On Sunday against the Browns the Patriots defense did something that no team had done this year. The Patriots defense held Isiah Crowell who is in the midst of a breakout season to 22 yards on 13 carries his lowest total all year.This forced the Browns to throw the football putting more pressure on Cody Kessler,their third string rookie quarterback who eventually left the game due to injury and journeyman Charlie Whitehurst who replaced him. The Pats defensive unit also intercepted a pass and forced a safety. If the Patriots are going to make a deep run this year then they will need their defense to keep having dominant performances like they did Sunday.
Recently Brady said he stills sees himself playing for a long time. At age thirty nine it is hard for any athlete to compete at a high level especially in a physical game such as football. On Sunday Brady showed that he still has a lot left, even though it was against the Browns one of the worst teams in the NFL, Brady ran the offense with calmness like he has done his whole career. It remains to be seen if Brady will play late into his forties but on Sunday he reminded people he has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon and he’s out to prove he’s still the best.