Date Posted: September 23, 2011
Print Edition: September 21, 2011
Tom Brady showed why he is quite possibly the best quarterback in the world last Monday night, completing 32 passes for 517 yards and four touchdowns, including a 99-yard touchdown strike to Wes Welker. Despite having superstar wide receiver Chad Ochocinco as a primary target to throw to, Brady relied on his two, second-year tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski along with the always reliable Wes Welker.
A couple records were broken in Monday night’s AFC East clash between the Patriots and Dolphins in Miami. Tom Brady set a new record for most passing yards in a Monday night game. Both Brady and Fin’s QB Chad Henne set a new record for most combined passing yards in a game as they threw for 933 yards. Finally, Wes Welker’s 99-yard touchdown catch-and-run tied the record for longest completed pass in the NFL.
Brady threw his first interception in over 350 pass attempts, although he didn’t really throw it. In the second quarter, a screen pass intended for Wes Welker was tipped by Dolphin’s CB Benny Sapp and caught by defensive linemen Jared Odrick. If not for that one fluke interception, Brady would have played a perfect game with a QB rating of 158.3, the highest any QB can achieve. It’s only been one game, but Brady is already the leading contender for the MVP award, which he won on a unanimous decision last season – the first time that has ever happened.
With Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning out for the season following multiple procedures done on his back during the off-season, the only other realistic competition for the award will come from last year’s Superbowl MVP, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Although both offences are more pass oriented, the Packers like to utilize both running backs Ryan Grant and James Stark to relieve pressure off of Rodgers. The Patriots on the other hand are comfortable with putting the game in the hands of Brady, and utilize their small running backs through the aerial attack instead of handing the ball off. A fact which gives Brady the upper hand in the MVP award; when the game is on the line, Brady is on the field throwing passes.
It’s hard to believe that the Patriots drafted Tom Brady out of Michigan with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Six quarterbacks were taken before Brady; five of those six are not in the NFL anymore and the only one remaining is Jets backup QB Chad Pennington. All 31 teams who passed on the two time Superbowl MVP must be kicking themselves as Tom Brady has gone on to win three Superbowls for the Patriots, broken various quarterback records and is a guaranteed a spot in the Hall of Fame once his illustrious career comes to an end. For now, in his 12th season, the Patriots once again look to be top contenders to win the Superbowl and Brady is poised to add yet another MVP award to his resume. With options such as Ochocinco, Welker, Hernandez, Gronkowski and Edelman, to name a few, Brady should easily surpass the 4000 passing yards mark and throw for over 35 touchdowns.
Look for Brady and company to continue their aerial attack versus the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills are coming off an emotional win in Oakland this past Sunday; a game in which both teams traded leads 5 times, and one which came down to the last two drives to determine the winner. However, Brady played a near perfect game VS. The Chargers on Sunday, throwing for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, and don’t expect him to slow down any time soon.