Tom Brady started off his eleventh NFL regular season in style Monday night against the Miami Dolphins. Brady had 517 passing yards in the Patriots 38-24 win, which ranks him fifth all time among NFL quarterbacks for passing yards in a single game.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots added to the 28-17 lead they brought into the quarter with a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The field goal capped a nine play, 62 yard drive that saw Brady connecting several times with Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez.
A fruitless drive by Chad Henne and the Dolphins was followed up by a similarly brief drive by the Patriots. Upon their next posession, the Dolphins went on a 77 yard drive that stymied itself at the New England one yard marker. Henne had passed the ball to Davonne Best, who thought he had crossed the red end zone marker, but the officials thought otherwise. Henne couldn’t convert after the play’s review, and the Dolphins walked away from the drive without points to show for it.
It was the play after the Dolphins resulting punt that would go down in the record books. Starting off on the Patriots’ one yard line, Brady sailed the ball to Wes Welker, who ran 99 yards for a touchdown. The play tied the NFL record for the longest play from scrimmage. Gostkowski kicked for the extra point, and the Patriots were finished scoring for the evening.
Reggie Bush would score his first touchdown as a member of the Dolphins on the next drive, giving the Dolphins 24 points on the night.
Brady’s yard total was a record for Monday Night Football. Welker finished the night leading the receiving for the Patriots, with 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. The running game was not used much by the Patriots, as BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a quiet evening and Danny Woodhead lead the team in rushing with 69 yards.
Not to be overlooked was Henne’s scrappy play on the evening. He was like a weeble – the Patriots defenders just kept beating him up, including a massive hit delivered by Vince Wilfork, but Henne just kept getting up and playing. He finished the night with a not-too-shabby 416 passing yards.