FOXBORO -- In some places, the alarm sounded early: Is Brandin Cooks not working out in New England?
Despite three catches for 88 yards in Week 1 against the Chiefs as well as a handful of drawn penalties that night, a one-catch performance in New Orleans in Week 2 had some wondering if Tom Brady and his new deep threat weren't on the same page.
Those opinions changed by Sunday evening. Brady hit Cooks on his first and last throws of a 36-33 win over the Texans, highlighted by a 25-yard, toe-tapping score with 23 seconds remaining to put the Patriots ahead. When it was all said and done, Cooks had five catches for 131 yards and two scores.
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Cooks said after the game he felt as though the level of trust his quarterback has in him was taken to another level thanks to their late-game connections.
"I think it helps in a big way," Cooks said of his late-game receptions, which included an 18-yard grab to keep the chains moving on the game-winning drive. "You can practice it so much but game-time situation is when you really want to see it. The more plays like that being made, I feel like the more that we'll get on the same page."
Brady's first pass of the game was to Cooks, a 44-yard completion down the left sideline. The 23-year-old wideout also had a 42-yard touchdown in the third quarter when he ran away from the Texans on a deep over route. His final grab of the day came on a return route in the front corner of the end zone on New England's two-point conversion to make it a three-point game.
But it was the touchdown at the end, which stood after a lengthy review as to whether or not he secured the football through the catch, that had Brady beaming afterward.
"They were playing a two-high defense and we got Cookie behind the corner," Brady said. "We had Danny going up the middle of the field, so I tried to stare down the middle and then put it up and didn't really see the end of it until I saw it on the scoreboard. It was close, and then they reviewed it. I'm glad we got the two-point play. It was a great win. Got to play to the last second."
Of being a part of Brady's latest comeback, Cooks replied, "It was amazing."
On the final throw, Cooks had his defender beaten and it seemed as though he got to the front corner of the end zone almost too early. He waited a beat before the pass hit him by the sideline.
"Those are the throws," Cooks said of his game-winner, "that you're just like, 'Hurry and get to me.' But it was a perfect throw, perfect timing, and I expect nothing less."