Brady dominates in Patriots' season-opening win

Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:02am EDT
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By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) - Tom Brady moved past a stormy offseason throwing four touchdowns as the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots scored a season-opening 28-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday in front of a frenzied home crowd.

Brady, whose status for the first four games of the season was in doubt until last week because of an NFL-imposed "Deflategate" ban, led his team onto the field to rousing cheers before putting on his silver helmet and delivering a stellar performance.

"It was a pretty special night so I was excited. Our whole team was excited," the 38-year-old quarterback told reporters.

"It is always fun getting out there and getting the opportunity to go play and we took advantage of it, it was a good win, I thought our guys played hard."

On New England's opening possession, Brady completed his first three passes to get New England into Pittsburgh territory. He then threw pair of incomplete passes and was sacked, forcing the Patriots to punt.

Brady eventually opened the scoring in the second quarter when he capped a 13-play, 90-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. He finished the game having completed 25 of 32 passes for 288 yards.

"He was an unbelievable performer tonight," said Gronkowski, who caught three touchdown passes in the win, "He's our leader. He's just a great player and it's fun playing with him."

Even a constant rain could not dampen the party atmosphere as fans showed support for one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time by sporting replica Brady jerseys, T-shirts with slogans like "Vindicated" and holding up signs reading "In Tom We Trust."   Continued...

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports