CLEVELAND — How long would it take Tom Brady to find a rhythm in the first game following his Deflategate suspension? About three seconds.
The New England Patriots quarterback looked like his old self from the get-go Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, marching his team team down the field in an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on New England’s first possession of the game.
Brady began the drive by finding wide receiver Julian Edelman for a 10-yard gain. On the next play, he hit Rob Gronkowski for 19 yards, more than doubling the big tight end’s season total for receiving yardage.
After a 13-yard run by LeGarrette Blount, a screen pass to Martellus Bennett, and a drop by James White, Brady found Gronkowski for another big gain.
With the Patriots facing a third-and-8 on the play, Gronk bullied his way through multiple Cleveland defenders, picking up 34 yards before finally being dragged down just shy of the goal line. Blount plowed his way into the end zone two plays later to give New England an early 7-0.
All told, Brady completed 4 of 5 passes for 65 yards during the drive, and his one incompletion was a drop. Yeah, we’d say he’s back.
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images