Brady torches Dolphins for Patriots-record six touchdown passes

So he's not perfect.

But he and the New England Patriots are awfully good.

Flawless at the start and off the bench, Brady threw a team-record six touchdown passes to help the unbeaten Patriots rout the winless Miami Dolphins 49-28.

With his team comfortably ahead, Brady came out early in the fourth quarter, then re-entered and threw for New England's final score. His TD total exceeded his career high of five, set last week against Dallas.

"He's looking awesome," Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas said. "He has always been awesome. That's where it all starts for them. But he has more talent to work with now."

The Patriots, who led 42-7 at halftime, improved to 7-0 for the first time in their 48-year history.

"We've got a long way to go," Brady said. "Our goals are bigger than winning seven games this year."

Brady completed his first 11 passes for 220 yards and four scores, including throws of 35 and 50 yards to Randy Moss. His other touchdown passes covered 14 and 16 yards to Wes Welker, 30 to Donte' Stallworth and 2 to Kyle Brady.

"Those guys are making the plays," Brady said. "I'm just throwing it. They're making my job awful easy."

Brady has 27 touchdown passes after seven games and is on pace for 61. The NFL record is 49 set by Peyton Manning in 2004.

The drubbing was the biggest downer yet for the Dolphins, who fell to 0-7 for the first time in their 41 seasons. They next play the New York Giants in London.

"We can't win in America," defensive end Jason Taylor said. "Maybe we can win overseas."

Miami also lost running back Ronnie Brown to a knee injury in the third quarter. Brown, who came into the game leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage, is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Monday.

The Patriots have won all seven of their games by at least 17 points, matching a league record to start a season. They showed little letup until backup quarterback Matt Cassel entered the game with 11 minutes left.

When Taylor intercepted Cassel's second pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to make the score 42-21, Patriots coach Bill Belichick sent Brady back in.

"I did it because of the score," Belichick said. "One more turnover, and then it's a 14-point game in the middle of the fourth quarter."

"Coach Belichick looked back over at me and goes, 'Yep, you're going back in,'" Brady said. "By that time I had taken all my stuff off, so I suited back up."

Brady then drove New England 59 yards in four plays, the last a touchdown pass to Welker.

The Patriots were that relentless all afternoon, dominating even on special teams. Willie Andrews returned a kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown. The first time the Patriots punted, Chris Hanson's kick pinned the Dolphins at their 1.

Even when Miami forced New England into a third-and-18 situation, Brady hit Moss for a touchdown. Moss outfought defenders in the end zone for both of his scores, making one of the catches one-handed.

"If you want to know why we're 0-7, you look at plays like that, and it says a lot," Miami cornerback Andre Goodman said.

But the entire NFL is struggling to stop Moss, who has 10 touchdown catches in his first season with the Patriots.

"You give him a chance, he usually comes down with it," Brady said. "He's such a mismatch. He has a size and speed advantage on every defender he plays against."

Brady finished 21-for-25 for 354 yards and no turnovers. For the second game in a row, the Patriots scored their highest points total in 23 years. Their 42 points by halftime were a franchise record for a half.

Notes
Safety Renaldo Hill hurt his right knee on Moss' second touchdown pass. Safety Courtney Bryan hurt his thigh, further depleting Miami at a position plagued by injuries.
Taylor's touchdown was the eighth of his career, breaking the modern career NFL record for a defensive lineman he shared with George Martin.
Patriots running back Laurence Maroney returned after missing three games with a groin injury. He carried six times for 31 yards.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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