FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — With Gillette Stadium nearly half-empty, the fans figuring the New England Patriots had thrown away their last chance, Tom Brady delivered a drive to savor Sunday.
Taking over at his 30 with 73 seconds remaining, no timeouts left and the Patriots trailing the unbeaten New Orleans Saints 27-23, here is how a vintage Brady rallied his team to a 30-27 win:
— First-and-10 at Patriots 30, 1:13 left — Brady gets New England moving, hits Julian Edelman deep over the middle for 23 yards.
— First-and-10 at Saints 47, :53 — Brady and the Patriots hurry to the line, he throws over the middle to Austin Collie for 15 yards.
— First-and-10 at Saints 32, :39 — Brady knows he has time, is confident to work inside, completes to Aaron Dobson for 6 yards.
— Second-and-4 at Saints 26, :35 — Brady throws incomplete deep down the middle to Edelman. The miss gives New England a moment to regroup.
— Third-and-4 at Saints 26, :30 — Brady again looks for Edelman, but the veteran receiver drops the ball inside the 5. Now the Patriots are down to a final chance to keep the drive going.
— Fourth-and-4 at Saints 26, :24 — Brady comes through, hits Collie on the left side for 9 yards. The Saints tackle him inbounds, the clock keeps running.
— First-and-10 at Saints 17, :11 — Brady quickly puts the Patriots in position and spikes the ball, stopping the clock.
— Second-and-10 at Saints 17, :10 — Brady looks every bit a three-time Super Bowl champion, hitting rookie Kenbrell Thompkins high over the outstretched arms of defensive back Jabari Greer in the left corner of the end zone with 5 seconds left.
It is Brady's 342nd career TD pass and the 37th time he's led the Patriots to victory from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie.