FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady continues to make a name for himself in the NFL record books.
That tied Brady for the longest regular-season streak in NFL history with quarterback Brett Favre, who led the Packers to 25 straight regular-season wins at home from 1995-1998. The last time Brady suffered a home loss during the regular season was Nov. 12, 2006, though the Pats, of course, were clobbered by Baltimore at home last year in the playoffs.
But Brady wasn’t in the mood to celebrate his record-tying win. He was walking a fine line between balancing the good feeling of a victory over the rival Colts while also realizing he and the Patriots almost let the game again get away to Indianapolis, saved only by safety James Sanders’ leaping interception at the New England 6-yard line with 31 seconds remaining.
Brady was irritated by the Pats’ inability to convert a third down at the Colts’ 7-yard line, forcing New England to settle for a 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. And he was equally irritated with two drives that fizzled later in the quarter.
He actually was fortunate he didn’t throw a pick at his own 30 with 2:38 to go. It seemed Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler was so surprised the ball hit him in the numbers that he couldn’t catch it.
So even though Brady was 19-of-25 for 186 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions for a stellar quarterback rating of 123.1, he wasn’t totally satisfied.
“The win was great. It would have been a lot sweeter if we had done something in the fourth quarter to help our defense,” said Brady. “When we play these guys we know it’s going to come down to the end, as always. We started fast. I wish we would have executed a little better there in the second half. We just couldn’t convert a couple of third downs.
“In the fourth quarter we had an opportunity to go up three touchdowns on them and we had a couple of third downs that I wish we would have converted, but you’ve got to give them credit,” he said.
That led to some tense moments for Brady on the bench as the Colts drove late, bringing him a flashback to last year’s game when Indianapolis rallied from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit and claimed a victory.
“We put ourselves in that situation at the end,” said Brady. “I’m sitting on the sideline saying, ‘We did it to ourselves.’ But our defense came up with a big play. That was a great catch by James. It was unbelievable.
“Believe me, we’re happy we won. You beat the Colts, you’ve got to be happy you won,” said Brady. “But it also means we’ve got to do a better job there to close it out in the fourth quarter.”
So it wasn’t a total masterpiece in the eyes of the super-critical Brady, but it was his record-tying 25th win in a row at home during the regular season.
And after a Thanksgiving game in Detroit, Brady will get the opportunity to set the record in a huge game against the New York Jets on Monday night Dec. 6.