PATRIOTS MAIL BAG
Q: Is the perfection of Tom Brady’s throw to Brandin Cooks for the game-winning touchdown overlooked because of Brady’s greatness? — @OldUncleBoogie
A: I don't think so. The throw and execution were great from start to finish.
I learned a few years ago on this job never to take Brady's performances for granted. It's easy to because he has played at the highest level for so long, and the expectations are astronomical on a daily basis. For example, if he has a practice in training camp when he's off on three or four throws, people kind of freak out.
I began covering the Patriots in 2009, so I've had a first-hand view of much of Brady's career. I got a bit of a wakeup call in 2012 when I traveled to Tampa to cover joint practices with the Buccaneers and watched Josh Freeman for a week. Ditto for the 2013 trip to Philly to see Nick Foles throw for a few days. And on and on. Heck, just watch some of the horrendous quarterback play around the rest of the league Sunday afternoon.
Brady's play shouldn't be taken for granted for many reasons, the greatest of which is that his career is in its latter stage. Even if he plays another five years, he's still in the back quarter. Under the notion that he's the greatest of all-time, it'll never be as good as this. And from someone who has seen other quarterbacks around the league who struggle to take a snap and throw a completion on a simple slant route when there's no defense on the field, trust me. I've seen some things. And they aren't always very pretty.