Brady Leads Wild, Last Minute Comeback As Pats Knock Off Texans
The New England Patriots were on the verge of being stunned at home by rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. That is until Tom Brady brought the offense back on the field with 2:24 remaining on the clock and led a scoring drive to win the game 36-33.
Here are some thoughts following the back and forth game:
Brady Does It Again- He faced a relentless pass rush all day long and was hit a number of times, but Tom Brady still found a way to put together a dominant performance and lead a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, Sunday. For the game, Brady completed 25 of 35 pass attempts for 378 yards and five touchdowns. He also was a wizard on the final drive of the game, leading the team 75 yards down the field on eight plays and into the endzone with just 23 seconds remaining on the clock. On the final drive, Brady completed five of six passes, including a 25-yarder to Brandin Cooks who incredibly enough caught the ball and got both feet in bounds prior to falling out of bounds. Brady and Cooks followed that impressive score up with a two-point conversion to give the team a 3-point lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
Starting To Cooks- After two weeks of somewhat anonymity in the Patriots offense, big-play receiver Brandin Cooks put together quite the game, Sunday. Along with catching the game-winning 25-yard touchdown and adding to the lead with a two-point conversion catch, the newly acquired Cooks hauled in five catches for a team-high 131 yards. All day long, he burned the Houston secondary, coming up with big play after big play. It was a true coming out party for the flashy wide out, in front of the home crowd.
Gronk Gets It Done- After leaving last week's win over New Orleans with a groin injury, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski played well Sunday. On 10 targets, Gronk caught eight passes for 89 yards, including a touchdown. He also caught a pass on third and 12 on the team's final drive, where he impressively barreled through two would-be tacklers to move the sticks and keep New England's hopes of a win alive. All in all, Gronkowski looked relatively healthy throughout and played a key role in the New England offense all day long.
Another Tough Day- While the offense obviously bailed them out and won the game, the Patriot defense had another tough day, Sunday. Coming into the game, the Texans had gained just 469 total yards of offense and scored a measly 20 points in its first two games. The New England defense allowed that same inept offense to total 416 yards of offense and 33 points, on the road. Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson might as well have been wiped down with oil before the game, because he slipped right past tacklers all day long and continually had the Pats defense on its heels. The pass rush was almost nonexistent and when there was a spark of pressure, the would-be tacklers seemed to forget that Watson was the man they should be taking down. Simply put, the Pats defense was and has been bad so far this season. Defensive leader Dont'a Hightower was inactive, as he works his way back from a knee injury suffered in Week 1, so that might have some of an effect on how the defense is running. Even with Hightower back in the future, this team still has a lot of things to figure out on the defensive side of the ball.
It didn't go how many had drawn it up in previews, but at the end of the day the Patriot offense was able to do enough to boost the team to 2-1 on the young season. While the defense seemed to struggle mightily yet again, they did have some decent stops late and were able to hold Houston out of the endzone late and give the offense the chance to win the game. There is still a long way to go for this team to get back to the high level they finished last season at, but, with plenty of time left in the season, they are still in a good spot.