MIAMI -- Tom Brady emerged from the locker room Sunday
wearing a suit and tie complemented by a pocket scarf, his stylish
look marred only by a few small drink stains on one side.
Tom Brady is threatening to shatter the NFL record book this season. In fact, no quarterback had had a better start to the season, in terms of tossing touchdown passes, than the New England QB in 2007.
TDs thru 7 games
Tom Brady, 2007*
Peyton Manning, 2004
Kurt Warner, 1999
Brett Favre, 1996
*At least 3 TD passes in all 7 games
So he's not perfect.
But he and the New England Patriots are awfully good.
Flawless at the start and off the bench, Brady threw a
team-record six touchdown passes to help the unbeaten Patriots rout
the winless Miami Dolphins 49-28.
With his team comfortably ahead, Brady came out early in the
fourth quarter, then re-entered and threw for New England's final
score. His TD total exceeded his career high of five, set last week
"He's looking awesome," Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas said.
"He has always been awesome. That's where it all starts for them.
But he has more talent to work with now."
The Patriots, who led 42-7 at halftime, improved to 7-0 for the
first time in their 48-year history.
"We've got a long way to go," Brady said. "Our goals are
bigger than winning seven games this year."
Brady completed his first 11 passes for 220 yards and four
scores, including throws of 35 and 50 yards to Randy Moss. His
other touchdown passes covered 14 and 16 yards to Wes Welker, 30 to
Donte Stallworth and 2 to Kyle Brady.
The Patriots offense has been downright scary this season. In fact, only two teams in NFL history scored more points in their first seven games.
"Those guys are making the plays," Brady said. "I'm just
throwing it. They're making my job awful easy."
Brady has 27 touchdown passes after seven games and is on pace
for 62. The NFL record is 49 set by Peyton Manning in 2004.
The drubbing was the biggest downer yet for the Dolphins, who
fell to 0-7 for the first time in their 41 seasons. They next play
the New York Giants in London.
"We can't win in America," defensive end Jason Taylor said.
"Maybe we can win overseas."
Miami also lost running back Ronnie Brown to a knee injury in
the third quarter. Brown, who came into the game leading the NFL in
yards from scrimmage, is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Monday.
The Patriots have won all seven of their games by at least 17
points, matching a league record to start a season. They showed
little letup until backup quarterback Matt Cassel entered the game
with 11 minutes left.
When Taylor intercepted Cassel's second pass and returned it 36
yards for a touchdown to make the score 42-21, Patriots coach Bill
Belichick sent Brady back in.
"I did it because of the score," Belichick said. "One more
turnover, and then it's a 14-point game in the middle of the fourth
"Coach Belichick looked back over at me and goes, 'Yep, you're
going back in,'" Brady said. "By that time I had taken all my
stuff off, so I suited back up."
Brady then drove New England 59 yards in four plays, the last a
touchdown pass to Welker.
The Patriots were that relentless all afternoon, dominating even
on special teams. Willie Andrews returned a kickoff 77 yards for a
touchdown. The first time the Patriots punted, Chris Hanson's kick
pinned the Dolphins at their 1.
Even when Miami forced New England into a third-and-18
situation, Brady hit Moss for a touchdown. Moss outfought defenders
in the end zone for both of his scores, making one of the catches
"If you want to know why we're 0-7, you look at plays like
that, and it says a lot," Miami cornerback Andre Goodman said.
But the entire NFL is struggling to stop Moss, who has 10
touchdown catches in his first season with the Patriots.
"You give him a chance, he usually comes down with it," Brady
said. "He's such a mismatch. He has a size and speed advantage on
every defender he plays against."
Brady finished 21-for-25 for 354 yards and no turnovers. For the
second game in a row, the Patriots scored their highest points
total in 23 years. Their 42 points by halftime were a franchise
record for a half.
S Renaldo Hill hurt his right knee on Moss' second
touchdown pass. S Courtney Bryan hurt his thigh, further depleting
Miami at a position plagued by injuries. ... Taylor's touchdown was
the eighth of his career, breaking the modern career NFL record for
a defensive lineman he shared with George Martin. ... Patriots RB
Laurence Maroney returned after missing three games with a groin
injury. He carried six times for 31 yards.
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