Patriots' Brady has only 12 incompletions in first 2 games Print
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Wednesday, 19 September 2007 12:22
NFL Headline News

 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -Tom Brady dropped back to throw his fifth pass of the game and something strange happened.
It fell incomplete.
That pass last Sunday toward Donte' Stallworth was one of just six incompletions thrown by Brady in the Patriots 38-14 win over the San Diego Chargers. One week earlier, the results were the same - six incompletions and a 38-14 victory, that one against the New York Jets.
On Sunday, he faces Buffalo and only four teams have allowed more yards passing than the Bills.
``Hopefully, at this stage of my career, making a good throw is not much of a problem because that's what we work on,'' Brady said Wednesday. ``With the experience, hopefully, you make good decisions. There are not a whole lot of things that end up surprising me.''
With Randy Moss heading a new group of outstanding receivers, Brady leads the NFL with a 79.7 completion percentage after going 47-for-59 with six touchdowns and one interception. His 9.76 average gain is third in the NFL and he has thrown one touchdown for every 10 passes.
Of course, there are still 14 games left, but Brady is off to the best start of a career that includes three Super Bowl championships in six full seasons.
``Am I surprised?'' asked tight end Benjamin Watson, who has two touchdown catches in two games. ``No, not surprised. Everybody makes mistakes whether it's bad throws or drops or a bad route. It's never going to be perfect.''
Sometimes Brady seems pretty close.
On the first series against San Diego, he marched his team downfield while going 6-for-7 for 69 yards and a 7-yard touchdown to Watson. He finished 25-for-31 for 279 yards. He threw only three incompletions in the final 56 minutes.
``You always knew he was a really good quarterback,'' said Stallworth, who joined the Patriots this season. ``He made good reads and he was very accurate and can make any throw on the field.''
In addition to being accurate, this season Brady is throwing to what is agruably the deepest receiving corps in his career.
Moss is tied for the NFL lead with 17 catches and second with 288 yards receiving. He's also scored three touchdowns. Wes Welker, obtained in a trade with Miami, has 14 catches. Stallworth, with only three, knows he'll have his big game.
``It'll come,'' he said. ``Tom is going to find the open guy every play. So you just be patient.''
The group is so solid that last year's top receiver, Reche Caldwell, was released before the season.
``Those guys are doing a great job of getting open, and they're doing a great job of getting open in man-to-man coverage, and the offensive line has been protecting great,'' Brady said. ``Really, my job is to evaluate the field and pick the guy that I think is most open and make a good throw.''
In 2005, he could throw to Deion Branch and David Givens, who combined for 137 catches. But they were gone in 2006, and the Patriots added and cut receivers throughout that season. Still, they led the AFC championship game 21-3 before losing at Indianapolis 38-34.
Branch was outstanding but stood just 5-feet-9. Moss is 6-4.
``We always try to morph into what the guys on our team are good at,'' Brady said. ``Deion is entirely different than what Randy is and we're not doing the same things with Randy that Deion did. I just don't think it'd be fair to them.
``We've found ways over the years to be successful and I think this year that we're finding new ways as well.''
They're doing it even though Moss missed all four exhibition games with an upper leg injury and Stallworth was sidelined early in training camp.
``We're still learning on the fly,'' Brady said.
Sunday's opponent in Foxborough, Buffalo, has lost both its games - against quarterbacks Jay Cutler of Denver and Ben Roethslisberger of Pittsburgh. Brady will face a secondary missing two regulars on injured reserve, Ko Simpson and Jason Webster.
Kyle Brady, another Patriots newcomer, always knew the quarterback was outstanding but has learned more as his teammate.
``I wasn't aware of his work ethic, before getting here, and his intensity level,'' the tight end said. ``He works as hard and as long as anybody in here and just wants to win as badly as anyone I've ever played with. And you combine that with the talent and the precision and it's obviously a pretty deadly combination.''
 

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