Fatherhood hasn’t slowed down Tom Brady and neither did a couple of cross country flights or a missed practice.
Two days after the birth of his son Brady, in a game many thought he wouldn’t even play in, was pretty damn good completing 17 of 21 passes for 167 yards. He threw two touchdown passes in New England’s 24-7 win over the Carolina Panthers in NFL preseason action at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC.
Given his best protection of the preseason by his offensive line Brady had plenty of time to pick his receivers as he threw TD passes to Heath Evans and Marcellus Rivers. He would have had a third but tight end Ben Watson dropped a pass in the end zone.
Brady played into the 3rd quarter before yielding to back-up Matt Cassel.
The game also featured the return of running back Lawrence Maroney after off-season shoulder surgery. Maroney carried the ball 15 times and gained 58 yards. Evans, in addition to his TD catch, ran for 58 yards including a two-yard TD run.
Brady spread the ball around to a lot of different receivers, none of them named Randy Moss, throwing passes to eight different targets and connecting with newly acquired Donte` Stallworth on a 37 yard pass to open the second half.
Moss, who has been out since August 1st with a hamstring injury, missed his third preseason game.
The Panthers who struggled on both sides of the ball had few bright spots.
Keary Colbert staked a claim to the Panthers’ No. 2 receiver role with a nifty 48-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the first half. Drew Carter also contending to replace the released Keyshawn Johnson in the starting lineup, had three catches for 52 yards.
Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme was 11 of 18 for 162 yards with 1 TD pass.
The Pats special teams had a good defensive play as Jarvis Green blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt by John Kasay in the 3rd quarter.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed two of three field goal attempts.
The Patriots take on the Giants next Thursday at Gillette Stadium in the final preseason game.