Tom Brady has been in the NFL for so long that it feels like he's accomplished everything there is to accomplish, but as it turns out, he actually did something on Sunday that he had never done before in his 21-year career.
During Tampa Bay's dominating 45-17 win over the Dolphins, Brady threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns, marking the first time that he's thrown for five or more touchdowns in a game where he also threw for 400 or more yards. In 21 years, Brady had thrown for five or more touchdowns a total of eight times, but he had never hit the 400-yard mark when doing so.
With Brady going up against a familiar foe in Dolphins coach Brian Flores -- the two spent 16 years together in New England -- it almost seemed like the 44-year-old quarterback knew everything the Dolphins were going to do before they actually did it.
The Buccaneers quarterback diced up the Dolphins defense and there's nothing Miami could do to stop him.
Brady's five touchdown passes went to three different players and the most exciting score definitely went to Antonio Brown, who caught a short pass and turned it into a 62-yard TD.
That score was Brady's 45th career touchdown pass of 50 yards or more, which is tied for the third most in NFL history. Brown actually reached 900 career receptions on Sunday, reaching the mark in 143 games, which is faster than any other player in NFL history (Marvin Harrison had the old record, which was 149 games).
Although it's easy to give Brown a lot of the credit for that score -- and you probably should -- there were also a few throws where Brady deserves most of the credit, like this fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Mike Evans.
What Brady is doing at age 44 doesn't even seem possible. There are quarterbacks half his age who have trouble making that throw, but he makes it look easy. As a matter of fact, he makes everything look easy.
When Brady is on his "A" game, the Buccaneers are impossible to beat and the quarterback was definitely on his "A" game against the Dolphins. The Buccaneers ended up totaling 558 yards against the Dolphins, which was the second-highest total ever with Brady and the fourth-highest total in team history.
Baltimore 31, Indianapolis 25 (OT)
|Carson Wentz did his best to help the Colts steal a win in Baltimore, but the victory never came because of a defensive meltdown in the second half. After shutting down the Ravens for the better part of three quarters, the Colts had no answers for a Ravens offense that scored two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game to force overtime. The Colts' defense came up with some big plays, but they couldn't come up with one when they needed it late. The defensive meltdown overshadowed the performance from Wentz, who threw for 402 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Taylor helped the Colts jump out to a 22-3 lead with a performance that included 169 total yards and two touchdowns. This game marked the first time since 1998 that the Colts have lost when totaling 500 or more yards of offense. Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed one field goal, had another field goal blocked and also missed an extra point.|
|The Ravens' offense was completely nonexistent in the first half, but then Lamar Jackson brought them back to life in the second half and in a twist, he did it with his arm. Jackson threw for a career-high 442 yards and four touchdowns as the Ravens mounted a comeback from a 22-3 deficit to win. The 19-point comeback is tied for the third biggest in franchise history. Jackson was clutch, with the final two scores coming in the final two minutes and overtime. Mark Andrews also came up clutch with 11 catches for 147 yards while also adding two touchdowns and two two-point conversions. The Ravens' comeback wouldn't have been possible without a huge performance from Calais Campbell, who blocked a field goal attempt with four minutes left that likely would have iced the game for the Colts. The Ravens' streak of 43 straight games with 100 yards rushing came to an end, but there's a good chance no one in Baltimore cares about that after this win.|
Atlanta 27-20 over N.Y. Jets in London
|Apparently, the Jets' defense didn't make it through customs, because it definitely didn't show up for the first half in this game. For that matter, neither did the offense. The Jets were buried in a 20-3 hole at halftime and that mostly had to do with the fact that the Falcons were able to pile up more than 250 total yards through the game's first two quarters. Atlanta's Cordarrelle Patterson almost had as many yards (76) at halftime as the entire Jets offense (80). The Jets did mount a spirited comeback in the second half, but it was too little, too late. |
|Falcons rookie Kyle Pitts decided to hold his NFL coming-out party in London. With the Falcons missing their top two receivers, the first-year tight end had a career day with nine catches for 119 yards and a TD. His day was possible because Matt Ryan was on fire, throwing for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, the Falcons took advantage of an inept Jets offense, allowing just 230 yards, which was the fewest yards the team has allowed in a regular-season game since 2014.|
Minnesota 19-17 over Detroit
|If you watched the Red Zone channel on Sunday, you probably didn't see much of the Lions and that's because they didn't reach the Red Zone a single time until there was under two minutes left to play in the game. Although the offense sputtered, the Lions were almost able to steal a victory in Minnesota thanks a huge play from their defense (a forced fumble in the final minute that set up a Lions TD that gave Detroit a 17-16 lead). However, the same defense that came up with the big play also let the Vikings march down the field for a game-winning field goal on the final play. The Lions are now the first team in NFL history to lose on a game-winning field goals of 50 or more yards with no time left on the clock twice in a single season.|
|The Vikings tried to give this game away with a missed field goal and a lost fumble over the final three-and-a-half minutes, but a heroic performance from Kirk Cousins saved the day. With the Vikings trailing 17-16 and just 37 seconds to work with, Cousins worked his team into field goal range by going 3 of 4 for 46 yards, which set up Greg Joseph's game-winning kick from 54 yards. Alexander Mattison came up big for the Vikings with 153 total yards and a TD, but he also almost cost Minnesota the win with a late fumble. It was a wild game that the Vikings should have won handily, but they just couldn't put the Lions away.|
New Orleans 33-22 over Washington
|It's not often you get the full Jameis Winston experience in one game, but the Saints got that on Sunday and it worked out for them. After turning the ball over twice in the first quarter, Winston rebounded by throwing four TD passes, including a 72-yarder to Deonte Harris and a 49-yard Hail Mary to Marquez Callaway right before halftime. Winston managed to throw for 279 yards and four TDs despite only completing 15 passes in the game. The Saints' defense wasn't perfect, but it did make several big plays, including a fourth-quarter interception by P.J. Williams that led to a TD that would end up icing the game for New Orleans.|
|The biggest mystery of the 2021 season is how a Washington defense that was so good last year has turned into a total disaster this season. Washington got burnt multiple times on big plays, including a Hail Mary just before halftime. With the defense playing so badly, there's no margin of error for the offense, which was a problem on Sunday, because the offense made plenty of errors, including two turnovers. Washington coach Ron Rivera also made some odd decision in this game, including going for it on fourth-and-10 from New Orleans' 35-yard line instead of trying a 53-yard field goal in a game that was tied at 13.|
Tennessee 37-19 over Jacksonville
|The Titans' defense got lit up and the offensive line once again struggled to protect Ryan Tannehill, but none of that mattered because Tennessee has Derrick Henry. The Titans star put the team on his back and carried them to a win in a game where he steamrolled his way to 130 yards and three touchdowns. As for the defense, although it struggled against Jacksonville, the unit did come up with several big plays including a Kevin Byard TD in the first quarter on a fumble return. The defense also made a big fourth-down stop on the 1-yard line with 10:28 to play. If the Jags had scored there, it would have been a 31-26 game, but the stop allowed the Titans to go home with a blowout win.|
|The Jaguars rolled up 454 yards of offense, but that wasn't enough because they also shot themselves in the foot roughly 454 times in this game. The first big error came on their opening possession when Dan Arnold lost a fumble that Tennessee would return for a touchdown. The Jaguars also had a missed field goal and had a failed fourth-down play from Tennessee's 1-yard line. If any of those had gone their way, this game might have been close, but the Jaguars played like a team that had been distracted all week. Does anyone know what that distraction was? OK, so it turns out we all do.|
Tampa Bay 45-17 over Miami
|The Dolphins had no ground attack, their defense disappeared in the fourth quarter and their quarterback was playing on an injured hamstring, so it wasn't too surprising to see them get blown out. This was actually a close game going into the final quarter, but the Dolphins had no answers for a Buccaneers offense that put up three touchdowns during a six-minute span in the fourth that turned a 24-17 lead into a 45-17 lead. With Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, the Dolphins just don't have the firepower to keep up with a team like Tampa Bay.|
|One reason Brady was so successful against the Dolphins is because his receivers were getting so open that it almost seemed like Miami was playing without a secondary. Antonio Brown (seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns) and Evans (six catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns) both went over 100 yards while Chris Godwin caught seven passes. Defensively, the Buccaneers struggled early, but they clamped down on the Dolphins after surrendering 10 points in the first quarter.|
New England 25-22 over Houston
|Ugly wins count the same as every other win, which is good news for the Patriots, because this was about as ugly as it gets. The Patriots trailed 22-9 in the third quarter before mounting a wild comeback that saw them outscore the Texans 16-0 over the final quarter-and-a-half of action. With the Patriots struggling in the red zone, the team's star ended up being Nick Folk, who hit four field goals, including three in the second half. The Patriots made plenty of mistakes in this game, including a Damien Harris fumble at the goal line, but they were able to escape Houston with a win thanks to Folk and a defense that clamped down on Houston in the second half.|
|Rookie quarterbacks almost always struggle against Bill Belichick, but not Davis Mills. The Texans quarterback became just the second rookie QB to throw three or more touchdowns against a Belichick defense, joining Russell Wilson. Mills' success was highly unexpected, especially given the fact that Belichick was 9-1 in his past 10 games against rookie quarterbacks. The Texans might have pulled off the upset in this game if not for a special teams disaster that included two missed extra points, a missed field goal and a zero-yard punt that happened because the punter hit the ball off one of his own players.|
Green Bay 25-22 over Cincinnati (OT)
|Good enough to win, but it wasn't pretty. Mason Crosby missed three straight field goals before booting the game-winner in overtime and the Packers were basically asking the Bengals to take the win down the stretch. On top of Crosby's missed field goals, the Green Bay defense allowed a 13-play touchdown drive that knotted the game up at 22 after leading by as many as nine points. Aaron Rodgers was also thrown off his game a bit early, but was able to find his groove in the second quarter where he'd help the offense score 16 points before the break. Again, they were able to make the plays when it counted and it resulted in a win, but they weren't exactly earning a ton of style points out there in Week 5. |
|Cincinnati was in this game up until the buzzer, but they also seemed to let the win slip through its fingers on a number of occasions. Evan McPherson's missed 49-yard field goal in overtime is an obvious turning point, but Joe Burrow also threw an interception on his very first pass in OT that should have ended the game had it not been for Mason Crosby's struggles. The Bengals were able to apply pressure on Rodgers at points in this game, but they couldn't contain Davante Adams, who torched the secondary for 206 yards receiving and a touchdown. It was a strong effort by this up-and-coming Bengals team, but when the Packers kept giving them opportunities to win the game, they simply didn't snatch it.|
Packers-Bengals grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 21-18 over Carolina
An impressive comeback win for Philadelphia, but wasn't an impressive game -- at least on the offensive side of the ball. Jalen Hurts was not good until the final four possessions as head coach Nick Sirianni doomed him with way too many passes. Whether it was bubble screens, slants, or flats, the offense never adjusted with Hurts struggling early. Hurts didn't get anything going until he started using his legs to keep the Carolina defense honest and create plays. Hurts deserves plenty of credit for the fourth-quarter comeback, but that was aided by a defense that bounced back after two brutal weeks. The Eagles allowed just one touchdown Sunday after allowing 40 points in back-to-back weeks. They held the Panthers to 5 of 15 on third down and forced three takeaways while Carolina averaged just 3.8 yards per play. Special teams even blocked a punt to set up the winning touchdown. A lot of work needs to be done with this team going forward, but the Eagles got the win -- a much-needed one.
|Carolina has an excellent defense, but the unit just couldn't slow down Hurts in the fourth quarter and couldn't protect a nine-point lead. The Eagles had 177 yards on the final four possessions, which led to 15 points. Sam Darnold looked like the Jets' version of Sam Darnold, throwing three interceptions and making ill-advised decisions to keep the game in reach for Philadelphia. The Panthers had two turnovers and a blocked punt on seven second-half possessions, never getting past the Eagles' 31-yard line. Carolina looked inept on both sides of the ball against an inferior team at home. All of a sudden that 3-0 start and the opponents the Panthers faced have some merit. |
Eagles-Panthers grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 27-19 over Denver
|Teddy Bridgewater waited too long before taking advantage of his receivers against one-on-one coverage. After falling behind by double digits, Bridgewater looked more to Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. Sutton caught seven passes for 120 yards that included a 39-yard touchdown that made it a five-point game late in the fourth quarter. Patrick caught seven passes for 89 yards. Unfortunately, it was a little too late for the Broncos, who (sans Javonte Williams' big run) struggled to run the ball while going 1-for-3 in the red zone. Defensively, the Broncos – who entered the game as the league's second-best unit against the run – allowed the Steelers to score touchdowns on both of their trips to the red zone. Von Miler was a nonfactor after tallying 4.5 sacks in the Broncos' first four games.|
|The Steelers vastly outplayed the Broncos for the game's first 45 minutes, then made just enough plays to preserve the win. Pittsburgh's offensive line had its best collective game of the season. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just once, and the running game gained a season-best 147 yards on 35 carries. The Steelers were an efficient 7 of 12 on third down, while Pittsburgh's defense held the Broncos to just 2 of 12 third-down efficiency. Pittsburgh's defense came up with three big plays. After being put on a short field following Malik Reed's strip-sack of Roethlisberger, T.J. Watt's jarring tackle for a loss of Williams forced the Broncos to settle for a field goal at the end of the first quarter. Williams broke loose for a 49-yard run before Devin Bush's sack of Bridgewater forced the Broncos to settle for another Brandon McManus field goal as the Steelers led 10-6 in the second quarter. The last big defensive play was turned in by Pierre, who won a spot on the Steelers' initial roster after winning a tightly contested position battle. Pierre received more playing time on Sunday with starting cornerback Cam Sutton out with an injury.|
Broncos-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Arizona 17-10 over San Francisco
|Trey Lance gave his all, but his contributions were limited almost exclusively to the ground. Kyle Shanahan didn't do him a ton of favors on key downs, like their five fourth-down tries, even if his aggressiveness was warranted. Defensively, they actually fared well against Kyler Murray's arm and legs for long stretches, but they couldn't contain their deep threats early and then late in the fourth quarter. They continue to be a scrappy, but not necessarily scary competitor.|
|Murray was on his game out of the gate, and boy did Rondale Moore show out. But their backyard style left the star QB exposed at times, and he's now dealing with what appears to be an aggravated throwing shoulder. Still, they made plays when they needed to, and their defense was feisty against the pass, thwarting pretty much every attempt by Lance to push the ball down the field.|
49ers-Cardinals grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Chicago 20-9 over Las Vegas
|The Bears' victory was not flashy by any means, but Justin Fields and the defense were able to get the job done. It's fair to want more than just 252 yards of total offense, but Chicago won the time-of-possession battle and did not turn the ball over once. You have to be impressed with how Fields was able to battle back after taking multiple big hits, and returning to the game after he suffered what appeared to be a left leg injury. The offense put together a couple of long drives which resulted in touchdowns and the defense held their ground all day. A win is a win.|
|The Raiders' offense was not on the same page all game. Box scores usually don't tell the story of games, but in this case, it somewhat does. Derek Carr threw for just 206 yards and one interception, and the Raiders recorded 10 penalties for a total of 82 yards. The Raiders are better than the team that took the field in Vegas on Sunday, but after two straight losses now, you have to hope that this isn't a trend where Jon Gruden's team completely falls apart. Something to keep an eye on moving forward.|
Bears-Raiders grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 44-20 over N.Y. Giants
|Why was this not a fail for Big Blue? Well, consider two things: the breakout effort of rookie first-round pick Kadarius Toney (10 catches, 189 yards) and the grit they displayed in trying to stay as competitive as they could for as long as they could in the wake of losing Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay to injury. The kudos stops there, however, because the incessant unsportsmanlike penalties in the waning minutes of the game -- including Toney being ejected for throwing a punch in a move that dirtied his stellar individual performance -- combine with the team's inability to stop Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper to give the struggling Giants another black eye in a season that's rapidly becoming one to forget. |
|Another week, another imperfect but convincing win by the Cowboys. It was another good win for Dallas to dig in deeper atop the NFC East, but even the Cowboys will admit they, once again, left some meat on the bone (which is why this isn't an "A+"). It never once felt like the Giants had a chance in this game and, that said, I have to give Dallas a demerit for not decimating them in this game. The score at halftime was close at 17-10 only because of an interception by Prescott followed by a fumbled snap by the two-time Pro Bowler that was recovered by the Giants, and those were only two of the errors the Cowboys put on film in a first half that could've and should've seen them up by at least three scores (e.g., the dropped touchdown pass by tight end Dalton Schultz). They overcame their mistakes, though, as really good teams do, and they're most certainly that: a really good team.|
Giants-Cowboys grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 47-42 over Cleveland
|The Browns did nearly everything they could in this game minus a game-winning drive at the end. They had some blown coverages leading to the Chargers' two longest scores. However, they were dealing with several injuries with most of their cornerbacks out so miscommunications were almost to be expected. This was a heart-breaking loss for a Cleveland team that has now gone toe to toe with two of the AFC's best (Chiefs and Chargers) on the road and lost. |
|Justin Herbert took advantage of Cleveland's errors and the Chargers also took advantage of the opportunities that came with some questionable officiating decisions. The defense came up with the stops when necessary. At the end of the day, scoring four touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game will almost always lead to a victory and that's what the Chargers did here. The Chargers scored 26 points in the fourth quarter, which was their most in a fourth quarter since 1991. Los Angeles retains its place atop the AFC West and has a strong resume with wins over Kansas City and Cleveland.|
Browns-Chargers grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Buffalo 38-20 Kansas City
|If you go on the road to Arrowhead Stadium and get revenge for a loss in the AFC title game, you are probably getting an "A+". If you do it while getting four total touchdowns from Josh Allen and holding Patrick Mahomes to one of the most inefficient performances of his career, you are definitely getting an "A+". The Bills are now 4-1 and have by far the league's best point differential. They look like a juggernaut.|
|Things were really, really bad for K.C. in this one. Mahomes couldn't get anything going down the field. None of the running backs could find any room, and then Clyde Edwards-Helaire left with a knee injury. Travis Kelce had to get checked in the blue tent. I think Daniel Sorenson just gave up another long completion while I was typing this paragraph. The Chiefs have some things to work on.|
Bills-Chiefs grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)