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Tom Brady: Defense, special teams huge

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  November 23, 2012 12:54 AM

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J – It was a typical, masterfully efficient Tom Brady performance in last night’s 49-19 annihilation of the Jets, (18 of 28, 323 yards, three TDs and no interceptions) and as usual the Patriots’ quarterback was quick to dish the credit.

“The scoring plays on defense and special teams were huge,’’ Brady said, lauding the two fumble returns for touchdowns in a span of nine seconds by Steve Gregory (32 yards) and Julian Edelman (22 yards off Joe McKnight’s fumble on the ensuing kickoff. “Anytime you get one of those…we got two of them, three last week [in the rout of the the Colts]. It’s a great job on a short week against a team that knows us well. We played four good quarters.’’

Just 43 seconds before Gregory’s pick-six, Brady had hooked up with Shane Vereen for an 83-yard score that lifted New England to a 14-0 lead.

“He had a wheel route,’’ Brady said. “They carried Wes [Welker] and Brandon [Lloyd] on the outside, they just carried them up the field, and there was a lot of space, and once I threw it to him, he’s so fast, he can outrun those guys. He took it up the sideline and it was nice to see the back of his jersey.’’

Brady ended his two-minute drill with the media with a salute to coach Bill Belichick, who recorded his 200th career win (200-107-0).

“There’s no coach I’d ever want to play for than him,’’ said Brady, who has heard the coach echo a similar refrain about his quarterback. “He’s so consistent, as players, I think we really appreciate him. Even though he’s tough and he’s disciplined, that’s what we need. That’s how our program’s run. He expects us to play at a high level every week. He has high expectations in practice every day, and that’s what you look for in a coach -- someone who gets the best out of the guys he coaches, and he certainly does that.’’

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

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