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Patriots' Brady works comeback magic — again
Brady, who struggled with new receivers this season, led his team down the field and hit rookie Kenbrell Thompkins with a 17-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left, giving the New England Patriots a 30-27 victory over the Saints.
The loss by New Orleans (5-1) loss left the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos as the only unbeaten teams in the NFL.
New Orleans nearly won even though tight end Jimmy Graham, who had 10 catches last week, was shut out, much of the work done by Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib before he left with a hip injury. Graham suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury in the fourth quarter, came back and left again.
New England’s Stephen Gostkowski broke a 17-17 tie with a 54-yard field goal with 1:36 left in the third quarter, then added a 23-yarder with 8:34 remaining in the game to put the home team ahead 23-17.
Patriots running back Stevan Ridley, who missed last week’s 13-6 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati due to a thigh bruise, scored his first two touchdowns of the season to lead the Patriots to a 17-7 halftime lead.
NOTES: Brady moved into eighth place in all-time NFL passing yardage. ... Gronkowski (back, forearm) missed his sixth consecutive game, the same number he would have missed had the Pats placed him on the physically unable to perform list at the end of camp. With reports swirling that the team wants him to play, his mother, Diane, told the Boston Herald, “All I can say is Robbie is dying to play.” ... Former Patriots TE Benjamin Watson called (and won) the coin toss for the Saints, then caught three passes for 61 yards. ... New Orleans G Jahri Evans, who has never missed a game, played in his 115th straight. ... New England WR Julian Edelman, the NFL’s all-time punt return average leader, tried a trick play in the first quarter that was almost a disaster. He sent the ball backward to teammate Talib, and it was loose on the turf before Talib recovered at his own 11. Edelman caught a big pass on the final drive before failing to hold one near the goal line. ... The Patriots visit the New York Jets next week, while the Saints have a bye before hosting the Buffalo Bills.
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