Tom Brady Led Yet Another Sensational Patriots Comeback
Tom Brady was facing a two-point deficit when he was handed the football with less than two minutes to work with, no timeouts remaining, and no Julian Edelman in the waning moments of Sunday’s contest against the New York Giants.
And he marched the Patriots right down the field for the game-winning field goal with just one second to spare.
With NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in attendance, Brady orchestrated yet another fourth quarter comeback in the Patriots’ improbable 27-26 win over the Giants Sunday at the Meadowlands. He went 10-for-17 for 192 yards and a touchdown pass in the decisive period, including five completions to advance the Patriots from their own 20-yard line into field goal range as the game was coming to a close. Brady has led 48 game-winning drives in his illustrious career, but given Goodell’s presence, this one may have been one of his sweetest.
Tom Brady just did it again. He is not only a great guy, he is, without question, the BEST quarterback!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2015
It wasn’t a perfect fourth quarter performance from Brady, who was visibly frustrated at the podium after the game. He was intercepted on the goal line as the Patriots were threatening to expand their lead to two possessions with 6:05 remaining in regulation, which allowed the Giants to drive 92 yards and kick what appeared to be the deciding field goal with 1:50 left. On the following Patriots play from scrimmage, Brady was nearly picked off again when he lobbed an errant pass down the middle of the field toward Aaron Dobson.
But Giants safety Landon Collins dropped the football on his way down, and Brady didn’t waste his second opportunity. He connected with Danny Amendola on a crucial 4th-and-10 before setting up Stephen Gostkowski with a chance to keep the Patriots’ undefeated season alive. The highest-paid kicker in football nailed the 54-yarder.
— NFL (@NFL) November 16, 2015
At certain points Sunday, it appeared as if all of the Patriots’ injuries were beginning to catch up with them. The patchwork offensive line, which was playing without four of its starters, including Nate Solder, allowed the previously anemic Giants pass-rush to sack Brady three times and strip him twice. Dion Lewis’ absence was felt, too, as Patriots running backs only caught three passes for 17 yards.
But the seemingly fatal blow came late in the first quarter when Edelman exited the game with a foot injury after catching a pass. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Edelman will undergo surgery on his broken left foot Monday.
At least briefly, Edelman’s departure slowed the Patriots’ offense to a halt. New England gained 139 yards on 23 plays when Edelman was in the game, and only 24 on the 13 plays after he had left. But then, suddenly, Brady rebounded.
He went 16-of-28 for 239 yards with Edelman out of action. Rob Gronkowski stepped up big time, securing five catches for 113 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown pass that put the Patriots up 24-23 early in the fourth quarter.
Can’t. Stop. Gronk. pic.twitter.com/0BuM1fUaCJ
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) November 16, 2015
But the player who elevated his performance the most in Edelman’s absence was Amendola, who was originally signed to be Wes Welker’s replacement three years ago. Amendola caught seven passes for 60 yards in the game’s final three quarters and almost certainly would’ve returned a punt for a touchdown if his own teammate Duron Harmon didn’t inadvertently trip him on his way to the end zone.
It remains to be seen if the Patriots’ offense will continue to operate at a high level with Edelman sidelined. But it did in the final quarter of Sunday’s win, largely thanks to Brady’s unflappable poise and resilience.