The New England Patriots are 4-1 after Tom Brady returned to pass for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns, and lead Bill Belichick’s team to a 33-13 victory against the Cleveland Browns. With the Minnesota Vikings standing as the lone remaining undefeated team in football, most around the Internet concurred New England and its potent offense as the second-best team, but several national outlets consider the AFC East darlings as the league’s top dog.
“In 2053, when we’ve mastered the arts of cloning and reanimation, I want us to put Brady and Don Coryell on the same sideline. Let ’em air it out. The future deserves this. With Brady in the lineup, anticipate both tight ends being threats (Gronk eclipsed 100 yards receiving Sunday, while Martellus Bennett snagged three touchdown passes), James White being more involved, and guys like Chris Hogan having the occasional 100-yard half.” – Elliot Harrison
“Coach Bill Belichick went 3-1 without Tom Brady this season, so now that the duo is reunited, the rest of the NFL should watch out. Belichick and Brady are 173-51 overall (.772) since joining forces, and 5-1 against the Bengals, their Week 6 opponent.”
“Tom Brady comes back. Tom Brady is same Tom Brady. Did we expect anything different?” – Pete Prisco
“Trading for Martellus Bennett a prototypical Patriots move. The Bears had tired of him, so they unloaded him and a sixth-round pick for the Patriots’ fourth-round pick. Everyone immediately knew the Patriots were going to use Bennett in creative ways and he’d form an unstoppable duo with Rob Gronkowski. And what do you know, in Brady’s first game back (and Gronkowski’s first game in which he looked healthy), Bennett was open all game and scored 3 times. And they got him for very little cost. And we wonder why the rest of the NFL has been chasing the Patriots for so long?” – Frank Schwab
USA Today: 1st
“Tom Brady walked into the lineup and produced the first 400-yard passing day in his last 16 starts. Just wait ’til he shakes the rust off …” – Ken Blaze
“The Patriots are looking for an eighth straight trip to the playoffs, as well as an eighth consecutive AFC East title – the latter an unprecedented feat. With Brady back in the fold and the defense playing solid football, it’s hard to imagine this team home when it comes to the postseason.”
Bleacher Report: 1st
“With No. 12 back, we’re finally seeing the rewards of their two-tight end sets. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels lined Gronk next to Bennett on more than a few snaps. Brady just distributed the ball between the two. Then he executed another staple of the Patriots offense—the early exit. This Patriots offense was good for four games. It’s back to being the very best now.” – Chris Simms
Fox Sports: 4th
“The Patriots don’t get resounding praise for beating the winless Browns, especially considering Tom Brady was on the field. Still, a win is a win, and the Patriots are 4-1 with Brady starting the next 11 games. They’re among the best in the AFC.” – Cameron DaSilva
The Patriots are a heavy home favorites against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.