FOXBOROUGH (AP) -- Tom Brady arrived at the podium for his usual
Wednesday news conference unaware that he had just been named AFC
Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight game.
"I didn't know that," he said.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise, considering the New England Patriots' quarterback has passed for nearly 1,000 yards through just
eight quarters this season.
The next test to his hot start comes from an unlikely source, the
Buffalo Bills. The perennial AFC East basement dwellers have dropped 15
straight games to the Patriots, but have looked impressive in getting
off to their own 2-0 start.
"We've had a lot of good years here and ultimately it comes down to
winning games, and that's the best part about it is we're 2-0," said
Brady, showing the same deft touch in dodging questions about of his
torrid start. "I think this week is going to be a huge challenge for
us. We're going up against a team that's also 2-0, that's scored a ton
of points, that's been pretty tough on opposing offenses at their own
home stadium. We've got our work cut out for us, we really do."
The Buffalo defense does, too.
Brady is off to the best start of his career, which is saying a lot
considering the three-time Super Bowl champion has a trio of 4,000-yard
seasons and owns the NFL single-season record for touchdown passes with
50, set during New England's record-setting 2007 campaign.
Yet even that year's start pales in comparison to the season Brady has
scripted so far.
The reigning league MVP has completed 71.6 percent of his passes for an
eye-popping 940 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception
in leading the Patriots to their first 2-0 start since 2008, when Brady
suffered a season-ending knee injury during the first quarter of the
He followed his fabulous four-touchdown, 517-yard performance-- the
fifth best total in NFL history -- in a season-opening victory over
Miami with another 423 yards in a 35-21 win over San Diego on Sunday.
"It's Tom Brady," said running back Danny Woodhead, "and I think he
approaches every day the same."
Brady is now trying to guide New England to its first 3-0 record since
that historic 2007 season, when he threw for 576 yards, six touchdowns
and one interception through the first two games en route to the first
16-0 regular season in league history.
In fact, Brady has dwarfed his previous best two-game start of 594
yards, set in 2009.
As usual, he insists it was just another day at the office.
"There's different ways to win games. I think we've had opportunities
to be able to throw the ball. Last year against Buffalo we ran it
pretty good both games," he said. "When my number's called upon, I try
to execute. When a running back's number's called upon, they try to
execute. Your offensive line always has to execute.
"Offense is about everybody really being on the same page. That's where
we're trying to be."
Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey thinks New England may already be there.
"It looks like it doesn't matter who they plug in where, they do a
great job," Gailey said on a conference call. "Everybody's on the same
page. That's almost the highest compliment you can give to an offense
is when everybody's on the same page."
"And obviously it has a lot to do with Tom and the way he runs the
offense," he added. "He's a great quarterback, when you look at
physical talent, but he's even better when you see the way he manages
the game and controls the tempo and does all the little things to help
his team be successful."
Between veteran receivers Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco,
and second-year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez -- who is
sidelined one to two weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament
in his knee -- Brady boasts an arsenal of aerial targets who enable him
to attack the defense differently on every play.
"It's a collective effort," Brady said. "The better that Wes Welker
does, the better it is for Chad [Ochocinco] and Deion [Branch] and for
Rob [Gronkowski] and Aaron [Hernandez]. And the better that Rob does,
the better it is for all those other guys. The better the running game,
the better it is for play-action pass.
"Everything feeds off one another. It's not one guy doing it."
But through two weeks, it's been Brady who's been putting on the show.
"Tom's a professional every day he's out there," receiver Julian Edelman said. "Glad he's on our team."