Snap Judgments: Tom Brady engineers another comeback in 30-27 win over Saints
|10.13.13 at 7:43 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots pulled off a remarkable comeback Sunday, as quarterback Tom Brady engineered a fourth-quarter scoring drive that ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds left to lift New England to a shocking 30-27 win over the Saints.
After a 34-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Kenny Stills with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Patriots were on their way to a second straight defeat. But Brady led an eight-play, 70-yard drive with no timeouts left, a series that culminated with the game-winner to Thompkins.
Brady went 25-for-43 for 269 yards with one touchdown and one pick, while Brees was 17-for-36 for 236 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.
Here are a few quick notes on the game.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE PATRIOTS
• While Brady struggled throughout the third and into the fourth quarter, it was more late-game magic from the veteran quarterback, who put together his first comeback win of the year.
• Hard not to mention the work of Stevan Ridley, who consistently picked up tough yards between the tackles and kept the chains moving at several key moments on the afternoon. The LSU product, who was out last week because of a knee injury, finished with a season-high 96 yards (on 20 carries) and two touchdowns. A good, consistent effort.
• The New England defense again came up big several times on the afternoon, holding the Saints high-powered offense to 24 points. All around, there was a lot to like about the work of the defense, whether it was the fact that they held all-world tight end Jimmy Graham without a catch for the first time since midway through his rookie season. Then, there was the fact that they came away with another pick, this one in the fourth quarter on a Brees pass for Graham that was forced in there by the quarterback. Kyle Arrington came away with the takeaway, which led to a fourth-quarter field goal.
• The New England special teamers played well, whether it was the season-long 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, another sold performance from punter Ryan Allen, or the work of punt returner Jullian Edelman.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE PATRIOTS
• This was a bad game injury-wise for the Patriots. Offensive lineman Dan Connolly went out in the first half with a head injury, and the team announced early in the third quarter than he would not return. Meanwhile, cornerback Aqib Talib came to the sidelines early in the third quarter after a defensive stop with what appeared to be a hammy issue. He was back in the game on the next series, but left shortly after that — the team announced that it was a hip injury, and he didn’t return. Linebacker Jerod Mayo suffered a fourth-quarter shoulder injury. But the worst shot was a second-half head injury for Danny Amendola on a play where it appeared the receiver was knocked out for a brief moment in the wake of a collision on the sideline. He did not return to the game.
• A look at the scoresheet seems to indicate that rookie receiver Aaron Dobson had a good afternoon (five catches on nine targets for 57 yards), but there were several key drops, including one late in the fourth quarter.
• Brady was hit by a hard-charging Saints defense throughout the afternoon, taking a season-high five sacks on the day.
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