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The Early Lead
Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 09/13/2011

Tom Brady, with a big assist from Wes Welker, turns Patriots offense into ‘video game’


Tom Brady (left) and Wes Welker after hooking up for a 99-yrd touchdown pass. (HANS DERYK / REUTERS)
If you enjoy the forward pass, chances are you enjoyed the first week of the NFL season.

It was filled with teams matriculating the ball down the field — 10 quarterbacks passed for over 300 yards, three for over 400 and then there was Tom Brady, who passed for a ridiculous 517.

The New England Patriots came out with a breath-taking version of their offense. How to best describe it? Madden game meets Oregon offense? “That’s some video game [stuff],” is how Chad Ochocinco described it.

It left the Miami Dolphins defense looking for the pause button, particularly when Brady and Wes Welker hooked up for a 99-yard touchdown pass. Huddle? They don’t need no stinkin’ huddle. Brady completed 32 of 48 passes to eight receivers and had four touchdown passes in the 38-24 victory.

“I enjoy scoring points,” Brady said, putting to rest for one week any thought about his advanced age of 34. “So whatever the hell we need to do to score points, that’s what I want to do. Sometimes we go fast and sometimes we go slow, it's just a matter of what the point of the drive is and how we're trying to execute. We're ultimately trying to get the ball in the end zone.”

Yes, Tom, points are good, even if your behavior is borderline hoarding. “It's a fast pace — getting to the line, everybody being on the same page and playing fast,” Welker told ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss. “It’s definitely an attacking style.”

Brady became the 11th quarterback to pass for at least 500 yards and was 37 yards shy of Norm Van Brocklin’s 1951 record. Besides Brady, only Van Brocklin and Y.A. Tittle have passed for four TDs and more than 500 yards in a game. Poor Chad Henne. He was one of those guys who passed for more of 400 yards (416) and no one is discussing him today.

“The pace is hard to keep up with for anybody,” offensive lineman Brian Waters said. “I think it was something that was effective, something the offensive coordinator [Bill O'Brien] believes in. It was phenomenal, and there are still things we'll get better at, and that's kind of scary.”

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By  |  01:08 PM ET, 09/13/2011

 
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