Think Sunday’s game meant something to Tom Brady?
Here's a little nugget you might like: Tom Brady requested that he get to keep the jersey he wore in today's game @csnne
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 9, 2016
The man who has everything wanted a little souvenir. Hey, give him his helmet, too. Give Tom Brady anything he wants. It’s his world, anyway.
And we’re just happy to watch him rule it.
Brady gave us all a welcome back gift as he tore apart the Cleveland Browns in his return from his four-game Deflategate suspension. Brady completed 28 of 40 passes for 406 yards and 3 touchdown passes, all to tight end Martellus Bennett.
Seriously, 406 yards? Brady had one week of practice and it was his first time playing with Bennett, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. There was no rust, no lack of communication. All there was in the end was classic Brady execution.
Scouts I spoke to this week expected Brady to have some rust because the Patriots offense is so timing-based. But it was classic Brady from the jump.
Yet, it was a reminder that we were neglected of four weeks of this, but at least we get to see him carve up defenses every week for the rest of the season.
Here are 21 other observations from Sunday’s action:
Dak, you’re so good: The Dallas Cowboys have won four straight games and their rookie quarterback just keeps on keeping on. Dak Prescott connected on 18 of 24 passes for 227 yards and he was not intercepted. Prescott has thrown 155 passes without an interception to start his career.
Loss to Philadelphia seems like a long time ago for Pittsburgh Steelers: Scouts I spoke to after the Steelers were manhandled, 34-3, by the Eagles two weeks ago said they thought it was just a blip on the radar and the Steelers would quickly recover. That seems to be the case. The Steelers trounced Kansas City last week and had a nice and easy 31-13 win against the New York Jets on Sunday. The Steelers are 4-1 and are rolling.
Big Ben the MVP? Ben Roethlisberger should be in the MVP mix. He played like one Sunday. Roethlisberger threw for 380 yards, with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Like his team, Big Ben is rolling.
Man, are the Minnesota Vikings good: It’s time to stop marveling about how the Vikings are overcoming injuries and just enjoy how good this team is. It has the right formula going – a dominant defense and a timely offense. This train may be on the track for a long time.
Man, do the New York Jets stink: The Jets have lost three games in a row and just don’t have anything going on. This looks like an easy bet to be a double-digit loss outfit.
What to do with Osweiler? Brock Osweiler was awful again for the Houston Texans at Minnesota. He does not look like he is getting it in Houston and it doesn’t look he has the ability at the moment to be a plus quarterback. That’s a harsh reality at $18 million annually.
What to do with Tannehill? The Miami Dolphins have a similar problem with their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. He has been terrible this season and working with quarterback czar, new Miami coach Adam Gase, doesn’t seem to be helping. The Dolphins may have to make a tough quarterback decision after this season or next if the light doesn’t come on for Tannehill soon.
Brady is really going to like Martellus Bennett: The Patriots offense is at its best when it has the double-tight end alignment working. Brady had an instant connection with Bennett on Sunday and Rob Gronkowski showed some signs of working through a lingering hamstring injury. Once Gronkowski is fully healthy, the Bennett-Gronkowski combination is going to be nasty.
Broncos have to protect their quarterback: Denver rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch was sacked 6 times in a 7-point home loss to Atlanta. It was the Broncos’ first defeat. The offensive line has to tighten up and protect the quarterback – whether it is Trevor Siemian or Lynch.
Eagles will be fine: The Eagles are no longer unbeaten after a surprising 1-point loss to the Detroit Lions. But the Eagles are going to be OK. Losses happen. This team has a good thing going. They’ll bounce back.
So will Carson Wentz: Wentz threw his first NFL interception, but he played another strong overall game. The rookie is for real.
Nice bounce back for Indianapolis Colts: The Colts were the rare team to not ask for their bye week directly after a game in London. They lost in Europe to Jacksonville last week, but came home to beat the Bears by 6 points Sunday. It was a nice gut-check game for a team that has not achieved.
Bengals falling out of AFC North race: Cincinnati fell to 2-3 after getting blown out by the Dallas Cowboys. The Bengals look like the Texans and the Chiefs – they can’t beat good teams. Cincinnati is now two games behind the Steelers.
Terrelle Pryor is a reason to watch the Browns: The Browns are awful and they have terrible luck as well. But they have the multi-purpose Pryor. He is fun to watch and he deserves his success after failing with several NFL teams.
More Hoyer time coming: The Bears should just admit it. They are benching Jay Cutler in favor of Brian Hoyer. Why not? Hoyer is more spunky, his teammates seem to relate to him better than Cutler and he is less prone to mistakes.
Texans just don’t have it: Bill O’Brien is a fine coach, but his team can’t win against quality opponents. The good news is the rest of the AFC South stinks, so the Texans may trot into the playoffs. But like last year, they’ll probably be blown out in the first round.
Bosa looks the part: Joey Bosa finally made his NFL debut. The No. 3-overall draft pick had a long holdout and missed the first quarter of the season with a hamstring injury. But the San Diego Chargers defensive end was all over the field on Sunday and he had 2 sacks, showing the Chargers he was worth the wait.
Raiders and Chargers are the same, but so, so different: The Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers have both played tight games every game this season. There’s really not much different about these two teams. Yet, there is one glaring difference. The Raiders find a way to escape these close game with a victory. The Chargers? Well, they screw up at the end of the game like we’ve never seen before. The Raiders are 4-1 and the Chargers are 1-4. It was perfect and predictable when the Chargers bobbled the snap on a manageable field-goal attempt that would have tied the game with just more 2 two minutes to go on Sunday.
Life evening out for Ravens: The Baltimore Ravens are another team that has played in nothing but tight games. After starting 3-0, Baltimore has lost back-to-back games, to Oakland and Washington, that were decided in the final seconds. Scouts I’ve talked to don’t believe in Baltimore much and believe they are probably a 9-7 or 8-8 team.
Kudos for Jay Gruden: The Washington Redskins have righted their ship, winning three straight after dropping their first two games. They are back in the mix in the NFC East. Give credit to Gruden, their coach, for keeping his team believing after a tough start.
Same for Rex Ryan: The Bills were in bad shape at 0-2. People were calling for Rex Ryan’s head and snickering after he survived but offensive coordinator Greg Roman was fired after two games. Yet, the Bills have won three straight games and are very much in the mix for the playoffs right now.