Morning sports update: Tom Brady’s opening month at 40 rivals any season of his career

Tom Brady calling out signals against the Panthers.
Tom Brady calling out signals against the Panthers. –Jim Davis/Globe Staff

On the verge of a busy day in Boston sports, here’s a look at some of the top stories:

Tom Brady’s first four games in 2017 rival any opening month of his career: At 40, Tom Brady isn’t supposed to be achieving at such a high level. Yet his “opening quarter” of the 2017 season has seen the Patriots quarterback throw for 1399 yards and 10 touchdowns.

As ESPN’s Mike Reiss pointed out, this ranks up there with his 2007, 2015 and 2016 starts in statistical terms. (ESPN)

The Red Sox secret weapon against the Astros could be aggressiveness on the base paths: While classic Red Sox teams of the last 15 years have been predicated on power, the 2017 version might try to leverage their speed in a playoff clash with the Astros. Houston is a well balanced team in almost every respect, but do have some issues on defense.

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On the flip side, Boston’s defense – which ranks near the top of the league – could prove an asset in trying to keep the capable Houston hitting off the scoreboard. (Boston Herald)

Patriots running back Mike Gillislee sets a personal goal: In his first season with the Patriots, Mike Gillislee has only averaged 3.4 yards per carry through the opening four games. It’s a disappointing drop-off for a running back who averaged 5.7 yards per carry a season ago in Buffalo.

So Gillislee recently noted that his goal – which he’s written down – is to break an “explosive run.” (MassLive)

“AirKraft” makes its debut: In August, it was announced that the Patriots ownership had purchased a pair of Boeing 767 jets to be the official team planes. With the team heading to Tampa for a Thursday night game against the Buccaneers, one of the jets will make its first flight in an official Patriots capacity.

The draw for the Patriots was the ability to customize the plan to make room for equipment and – importantly for NFL-size players – extra leg room: