Patriots Notebook: Brady Firing on all Cylinders
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Brady continues his MVP caliber season
Tom Brady is clearly the front-runner for this year’s MVP. Brady has thrown for 3,146 yards, 22 touchdowns, and just two interceptions through 10 games. His 8.3 yards per pass attempt average is equal to his MVP season in 2007 and better than his MVP season in 2010 (7.9).
Brady is ranked first in yards-per-game, second in touchdowns, and has thrown fewer interceptions than any other quarterback who has attempted more than 150 passes. He hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 6 when he was picked off by Buster Skrine.
Brady is first in passer rating, fourth in completion percentage and thrown close to 400 yards more than the front-runner in total passing yards. The most impressive part about Brady’s statistical dominance this campaign is that under pressure, Brady holds a passer rating of 110.8. There isn’t a quarterback in the league who has more control over his team’s offense, and there isn’t a player in the league who is as integral to his team’s success than Tom Brady. In other words, Give the man the MVP already.
Cooks want to retire a Patriot
At just 24-years-old, Brandin Cooks has already established himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL. If he has his way, he would remain A Patriot until he hangs the cleats. Cooks was quoted by Cody Benjamin of CBSS sports that he wants to spend his career in New England.
“The goal is to play the rest of my career here, that’s God willing. I don’t know what the future holds, but this is a special place.”
Cooks is fitting in just fine in his first season with the Patriots and Tom Brady’s offense. Cooks has caught 45 passes for 786 yards and four touchdowns, putting him on a pace to set a career high in receiving yards. Considering Cooks has two seasons with more than 1,100 receiving yards on his resume is not such a bad thing at a young age. The Patriots did send a first-round draft pick to New Orleans in order to acquire Cooks, who is under contract through the 2018 season. Cooks talked to Tracy Wolfson of CBS about his chemistry with Brady.
“To be able to come into the NFL like that, words can’t explain how blessed I am. Just growing every day, growing every game, every practice, and it shows,” Cooks said. “We’ve got a lot of room to grow together, but I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Gostkowski hitting all the high notes
Stephen Gostkowski had the best game of his career and one of the best games as a kicker in Patriots history. The 33-year-old made four kicks, including a franchise record 62-yarder in Sunday’s 33-8 win. Although he doesn’t normally kick from that range, but felt he could achieve it in Mexico.
“I don’t usually go past 60 in warm-ups,” Gostkowski said. “I hit one and I made it by a good bit so I knew that coming up, that if I hit it good, warm weather, altitude, the ball’s going to fly. I was just really concentrating making sure I got a good foot on it, making sure it stayed straight enough. [I] got the opportunity, took advantage of it and it was exciting for the whole team.”
The 62-yard kick happened with time expiring in the first half. Following a fumble recovery by Patrick Chung, at the 7-yard line, Dion Lewis took the first handoff 20 yards. Tom Brady then completed two passes for 28 yards, with the last being a 10-yard to Rob Gronkowski to set up the kick.
“That was cool to get the opportunity,” Gostkowski said. “The offense did a great job of getting me enough room. I think every time I’ve kicked a long kick, Gronk’s made the catch right beforehand so it’s a nice Polish connection.”
Previously, Gostkowski’s career high, and also a Patriots record, was a 58-yard field goal in Week 4 against Carolina.
“It was cool. You could wait your whole career and never get a shot like that and you have to be very patient”, Gostkowski said. “It’s a very opportunistic job. You’re only as good as the opportunities you get. I got a good opportunity and I’m glad I took advantage of it.”
Gostkowski capped off a perfect day after the record. He hit a 51 and a 40-yarder in the third quarter. He ended his day with a 29-yard field goal in the fourth.
Defensive end released by Patriots
Defensive end Cassius Marsh was released Tuesday. Marsh played just nine games as a situational pass rusher and on special teams. The Patriots who traded a 2018 fifth-round and seventh-round pick to the Seahawks for Marsh in September failed to make any significant impact on the defense. His highlight with New England came when he blocked a field goal against the Falcons in Week 7