Brady's 3 Touchdown Passes Lead Patriots Past Saints 36-20

Malcolm Butler is making $3.91 million this year – a far cry from what he could have made if he had been traded to the Saints

Malcolm Butler is making $3.91 million this year – a far cry from what he could have made if he had been traded to the Saints

Both proved no obstacle for Bill Belichick and the Patriots as they rolled to a 36-20 win to improve to 1-1 on the year.

While both Brady and Brees moved onto the National Football League, they were both in the Big Ten (the division that both Purdue and MI played in at the time).

Overall, this type of road victory should not come to anyone's surprise.

One game into the New England Patriots' season, quarterback Tom Brady was questioning his team's attitude and competitiveness.

The Saints thought they had changed their fortunes when Williams intercepted a floater by Brady and returned it inside the New England 20 on the Patriots' opening possession of the second half. Perhaps then, they can finally be in a position to finish the job. "There were a lot of tight plays and we made them". Picking up the Patriots' only sack of the game as well as five of their seven QB hits as he ripped his way around Andrus Peat and played the run inside pretty well too. The defense likely relaxed a little as it was clear this game was out of reach early for the Saints. Drew Brees threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns, though it was far from a flawless performance (see next item).

No. 12 should get plenty consideration for Player of the Week after finishing 30-of-39 for 447 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against the Saints. He committed no turnovers - at least not any that counted.

In two games, the numbers they have surrendered are mind-boggling.

The injury appeared to take place on his 21-yard catch with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter. He threw for three scores in the first quarter for the first time in his career and passed for 300 yards before halftime for only the second time. His defense could not have been carved up more by Brady in the passing game.

But in this matchup, Brees couldn't keep up.

The defense was decent Sunday but nevertheless allowed Brees to throw for 356 yards.

Gostkowski missed his first PAT attempt of the game but connected each of his next six kicks (three PATs, three field goals).

"We were probably more man coverage than we were a week ago", New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. Among his top targets were Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan. Brees did connect with receiver Brandon Coleman on a 5-yard scoring pass in the second quarter. As it was, Brady headed into the contest with only three wide receivers - Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and Philip Dorsett - after Danny Amendola was a no-go with a concussion and a knee injury. In their last three 7-9 seasons, in which they failed to make the playoffs, they started 0-2, 0-3 and 0-3.

"We only have one way to go, that's up", Drew Brees said after the game. "We're trying to win".

On defense, corner Eric Rowe was also treated for a groin injury.

One of Saints PR man Doug Miller's post-game responsibilities is to hand the stats sheet to Payton as he leaves the field.

Dorsett wasn't immune to the injury bug, either; like Gronkowski, he was seen riding a stationary bike on the sideline in the fourth quarter. DE Mitch Loewen needed help off the field after injuring his left leg in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots are back home a week from today with the Houston Texans (1-1) in town.

Saints: open NFC South divisional play at Carolina.

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