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Tom Brady praises offensive line for opening up running game

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  October 1, 2012 08:58 AM

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke about the Patriots "winning formula" that enabled them to dominate the second half in Buffalo Sunday during his weekly appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show on Monday. That formula included a running game that yielded an impressive 243 yards from the pair of Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden and three touchdowns on the ground, helping the Patriots put a 52-28 whooping on the Bills.

"If teams want to leave their nickel groupings on the field, then we've got to be able to ... we ran for what -- 250 yards or 240 yards -- something like that," Brady said regarding taking advantages of Buffalo's small defensive packages. "So it was a great effort by the offensive line, who played just great yesterday against a defensive front that really improved itself over the course of the offseason with Mario Williams and Mark Anderson and adding to [Marcell] Dareus and Kyle Williams and other guys they rotate in, they're all very, very good players."

Brady heaped praise on his running backs and also his offensive line for driving the ground game in Orchard Park.

"Our offensive line really met the challenge," Brady said. "I think you give those guys all the credit in the world to create holes for the running backs, who also did a great job running the ball, finding the holes, taking care of the football, running with good pad level, breaking tackles, yards after contact.

"We really got challenged by our coach, who really wanted us to run the ball better than we've been running the ball, and I thought those guys really answered the call."

The Bills had an upset in sight before the Patriots took complete control of the game in the second half.

"We took advantage of some opportunities we got in the second half that we didn't take advantage of in the first half," Brady said. "In the first half, we were very much up and down. We have yet to really play a 60-minute game. We played 30 minutes yesterday, 30 pretty good minutes -- offensively and defensively, special teams. We covered kicks. We ran the ball well. We were efficient in the passing game. We got a lot of turnovers on defense so that's a winning formula and that's what obviously has been lacking the last few weeks is our ability to take advantage when we get the opportunities from the opposing team and I thought we did a great job of that yesterday."

More from Brady's Q&A on WEEI:

On linebacker Brandon Spikes causing C.J. Spiller to fumble near the goal line: "I love being on the team with Brandon Spikes. What he does for our defense and creating fumbles and really the hard-hitting presence that he is in the middle of the field … I know when we play linebackers, and we've got some really good linebackers with Jerod [Mayo] who's obviously the leader of that group, and Brandon and Dont'a Hightower's a young player ... Brandon brings that physical element and to knock the ball off [C.J.] Spiller like he did was awesome. And that play he made against Arizona where he knocked the fumble off of, I don't remember the name of the back [Ryan Williams], but that was one of the best plays I've ever seen anyone make. He has a nose for the ball, he has a nose for knocking the ball out and that was a huge play in the game yesterday and for Vince to be on the top of it and to recover it, that was a huge play in the game."

On mixing the running and passing game in the second half: "That's part of the chess game. Look, they got little guys on the field, we gotta run it, run it, run it, and then play action. Boom and then you hit a big play. So that's part of good offensive football and being able to make the adjustments and say these are the runs we want to get to, these are the play-actions off the run, and that's how you compliment the entire passing game with the run game."

On Kyle Williams hitting his knee: "I've got a knee brace on. Kyle's a hell of a player. Certainly, that's part of the game, and that's why I wear a knee brace. I honestly don't think about it at all. I'm really removed from that experience. You just take the precaution, you try to use good technique back there in the pocket. I'm glad everything's OK."

On offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels: "I have 100 percent confidence in Josh and what he's calling and what's he wants me to do. We've been in a lot of games together and it doesn't always go well in the first half, sometimes you've got to make adjustments. I thought we did a great job of adjusting to what they were doing. Because it's still early in the year so you really haven't seen the entire playbook of the opposing defenses that we're faced with."

On Vince Wilfork's wife Bianca texting her husband during the game: "No [I don't check my phone at half time.] Maybe that works for Vince, obviously. What an incredible player he is. And Bianca does know football, so she always lets me know what we needed to do after the game, so I appreciate that, too."

On his missing helmet at the start of the second half: "I couldn't find it man, I was looking around and normally someone there, because they go to check the microphones in them before the game and before the start of the second half. So normally someone is there just to give it to me that it's been checked. No one was there. I looked on the bench and then I looked. I couldn't find it so I was freaking out a bit ... We eventually found it thank God. One of our equipment guys took it. It was on top of, behind the defensive bench."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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