DETROIT | Tom Brady was perfect on the field and his exit was first class.
“We showed some resiliency, coming out in the second half and playing the way we did when the crowd was into it,” Brady said.
Following Brady’s brief news conference, the former Michigan star jogged out of Ford Field — limping slightly up a steep ramp — hugged Robert Kraft and got into an idling limo with the team owner behind a police escort.
“I don’t think we’re at where we need to be at,” Brady said. “But this is a tough group.”
No one in the red, white and blue is tougher than Brady.
After taking a ton of shots early in the game, the three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time MVP bounced back to complete 21 of 27 passes for 341 yards with no interceptions, giving him a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 for the second time in his career.
“He’s like a surgeon,” Detroit center Dominic Raiola said.
Brady threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Deion Branch early in the fourth quarter after connecting with him on a 79-yarder to tie it at 24. Wes Welker’s second TD reception sealed the victory with 6:42 left, putting the Patriots ahead by two TDs and making their double-digit deficit a distant memory.
“When you outscore a team 35-7 in the second half, a lot of things have to go right,” New England coach Bill Belichick said.
Detroit has lost a franchise-record seven straight games — by an average of nearly 23 points — in its annual showcase.
Brady became the first to have a perfect passer rating this season with a minimum of five attempts, according to STATS LLC. His first perfect game was Oct. 21, 2007, when he threw a career-high six TD passes in a victory over Miami.
“If we give him time, there’s nothing he can’t do,” guard Logan Mankins said. “He’s going to find the guy that’s open, and he’s going to get them the ball. The rest is up to us.”
Green-Ellis ran for two TDs, matching a career high. His second one capped the scoring with 3:14 left and led to several pushing and shoving matches with the frustrated Lions.
Maurice Morris ran for two TDs, matching his total in two seasons in Detroit. Morris’ first score put Detroit ahead 14-3 with 5:58 left in the first half.
Green-Ellis’ 15-yard TD pulled the Patriots within four with 45 seconds left in the second quarter, then they allowed Detroit to drive for a lead-padding field goal to end the first half.
Detroit recovered, going ahead midway through the third quarter, but the lead didn’t last long.
“I just want to apologize to my teammates because they played so hard,” Smith said. “I feel as if I was the catalyst for this loss. I also want to apologize to this organization and the fans.”
NOTES: Patriots RB Danny Woodhead has reportedly signed a contract extension, but he refused to confirm it. “I’m very happy to be here,” Woodhead said three times when asked about the deal. … Lions DT Ndamukong Suh had a sack, giving him eight to break the team rookie record set by Tracy Scroggins in 1992. … Belichick has 172 victories, moving past Joe Gibbs for 11th place on the NFL list. Belichick also joined Tom Landry as the only ones with at least 10 straight winning seasons with the same team since the 1970 merger. … The Lions were the last team in the league to give up a TD pass to Brady, who made his NFL debut against them in 2000 and won a start against them in 2006. … Brady has a career record of 120-36, including the playoffs, as a starter since 2001. The Lions are 35-120 since that season.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
News and reviews of notable museums, and exhibits, and art events.
Nobody likes to talk about dying quite as much as life insurance expert Liran Hirshkorn.
The stories of damaged Mac Books that had liquid spilled on them and how they were brought back to life by the Mac Experts at LiquidSpill.com
Viewing and reviewing the Los Angeles experimental and classic punk scene with a nod to Rodney's English Disco
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc