On the outside of Churchill’s Sports Bar in Kingsford is a collection of life-sized sporting posters. The NFL one is of a quarterback in classic throwing pose – a quintessential American football image.
If you can find your way across the street, you’ll notice that the man on the poster is none other than Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.
The photo, like the man himself, has been around for a while and last Thursday night Brady proved to the world that he’s still got what it takes.
Week 5 of the NFL opened with a game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
At 2-2 the Patriots’ opening to the season had been unconvincing. But against the Colts, New England’s offence clicked from the outset.
Their opening drive was almost perfect. Crisp passes and a collection of first downs culminating in a touchdown to Cordarrelle Patterson.
Indianapolis struggled to get going in the first half as quarterback Andrew Luck got sacked in their first possession leading to an early missed field goal.
Brady snuck in from one yard out for a touchdown where he jumped through his offensive line to make it 14-0 after the first.
James White scored New England’s third touchdown in a drive that featured a 21-yard strike from Brady to wide receiver Chris Hogan.
Down 24-3 at halftime, Indianapolis looked set to cop a hiding but they showed fine spirit in the second half. Tight end Eric Ebron put in a great performance with 105 yards as the Colts fought back to within one score.
Just as the Patriots fans were getting nervous, their 41-year-old quarterback stepped up and had the chains moving again.
Rookie running back Sony Michel scored a touchdown to cap off a fine performance asNew England won the match 38-24 and at 3-2 will have fans expecting a playoff run.
Michel finished with 98 yards and was a handful for the Colts defence. Pilloried after the first three matches, Michel has bounced back in the last two weeks. A son of migrants from Haiti, the 180cm, 98kg Michel is now one of the form running backs of the NFL.
In a battle of two 3-1 teams, the Cincinnati Bengals registered a remarkable 27-17 home victory over the Miami Dolphins. Down 17-3 in the fourth quarter, the Bengals couldn’t believe their luck when they were on the receiving end of not one but two pick-sixes, one of which featured a falcon off one of the offensive linemen.
The Houston Texans hosted their in-state rival, the Dallas Cowboys, in front of a noisy franchise-record crowd of 72,008 at NRG Stadium. Going into overtime tied at 16-16, the winning field goal for the Texans was kicked by Ka’imi Fairbairn. The Cowboys sit at 3-2 while the Texans now display a 2-3 record.
Kansas City continued their perfect start to the season with a comfortable 30-14 home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Los Angeles Rams joined the Chiefs at 5-0 with a tight 33-31 win against the Seattle Seahawks.
Ahead by two with around a minute and a half remaining, the Rams went for a risky one-yard play on fourth down that allowed them to kill the game. Had it failed, they might have lost the game. This thinking highlights the synergy that 32-year-old coach Sean McVay has with his roster.
On Monday night, the New Orleans Saints toasted the Washington Redskins 43-19. All the headlines were with the Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees who broke the all-time passing record previously held by Peyton Manning. Brees now has passed for 72,103 career yards.
Looking ahead, the highlight of Week 6 will be when the undefeated Chiefs travel to New England to take on the resurgent Patriots.