AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
For the second time in the first two weeks of the season, Brady has been named the AFC Player of the Week. Brady was selected this time for completing 31 of 40 passes without an interception for 423 yards and three touchdowns in last Sunday’s 35-21 win over the San Diego Chargers.
The previous week, Brady scorched the Miami Dolphins for a franchise-record 517 yards, including four touchdown strikes, in a 38-24 victory.
“I didn’t know that,” said Brady when told of this week’s honor as he met the media in the press room at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday morning.
“It’s always very flattering to be chosen. There are so many great players in the league,” said Brady. “But our offense is 11 guys. It’s not just the quarterback or the receivers. It’s everybody. It’s a collaborative effort. Everybody feeds off one another. It’s not one guy doing it. We’ve done a decent job the first two weeks, but it’s only going to get tougher from here. It always does.”
The challenges this week will be wearing Buffalo Bills jerseys. The Patriots visit the Bills’ Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.
New England has beaten Buffalo 15 games in a row, but, as you could expect, platitudes about the Bills were being tossed around by the Pats on Wednesday. And maybe the words carried more weight than they have in the past considering the Bills also are 2-0, having racked up 89 points in humbling Kansas City, 41-7, in their opener and shocking Oakland, 38-35, with a late touchdown in a comeback victory last Sunday.
“It’s a big challenge up there, another division game on the road,” said coach Bill Belichick.
"We’ve got our work cut out for us going against a team that is 2-0, scoring a lot of points and playing in their stadium,” said Brady.
This week Brady will be missing one of his weapons, tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is expected to be out for a few weeks because of a knee injury. But that’s an obstacle the Pats are prepared to overcome.
“Everybody here is expected to make plays when there are opportunities to make plays,” said Brady.
And one thing that expected by the Pats is that Brady won’t be sitting on his Player of the Week laurels.
“He’s a great player, he’s Tom Brady,” said running back Danny Woodhead. “He’s the same every day in practice. That’s how we approach things as a team, trying to be the best we can be every day.”
“He’s always going hard in practice,” added tight end Rob Gronkowski. “Everyone does. We practice hard.”
And they have been executing so well, particularly in the no-huddle, fast-tempo offense, that they noticed several Chargers on the turf, ostensibly injured, forcing stoppages of play, allowing San Diego a chance to regroup. Monday night the Giants did the same thing against the up-tempo St. Louis Rams, prompting charges of injuries being faked to slow down such offenses.
“It’s not something that’s bothersome,” said Brady of phantom injuries.
“The hard part is that someone may really be hurt. If a guy goes down, that’s serious. If that’s happening [faked injuries], I have no idea. Coach Belichick never coached us that way. You just have to play through it [as an offense] it with mental toughness,” said Brady.
So now it’s on to Buffalo. Brady didn’t talk Wednesday about any pregame libations, or even an order of Buffalo wings. His focus is clear.
“It’s all about winning games,” said Brady.
Not personal awards.