FOXBORO -- Phillip Dorsett couldn't believe it.
During a two-minute drill to end the first half, the Texans played inside leverage on Dorsett, meaning the defender assigned to him played off his inside shoulder to close off an inward breaking route. But it was . . . a two-minute . . . drill. Dorsett was more than happy to break outside and get out of bounds.
That's exactly what he did. Again. And Again. Brady, Dorsett told me after the game, is "going to take that every time."
With 31 seconds left, Brady hit Dorsett for 12 yards on an impressive, sprawling catch by the receiver before he rolled out of bounds. Two plays later, Dorsett made another catch going toward the sideline, this one for 14, before stopping the clock.
The finishing touches on the drive came one play later, with 14 seconds left, when Dorsett hit the back line of the end zone, planted on his right foot and burst in the direction of the nearest sideline yet again for a score that put the Patriots ahead, 21-6, going into halftime.
"He did a lot of things," Brady said of Dorsett. "I mean, he caught the ball well, a variety of different routes, had some option routes in there which he did a good job of, catch and run. So, I thought he played great."
Dorsett tied Rob Gronkowski for the team lead in receptions, topping all other players at his position, with seven for 66 yards. He caught every target that was sent his way.
Though Brady and Dorsett worked extensively together during training camp and had a productive preseason game in Carolina when the offensive regulars saw a good deal of playing time, what they showed against the Texans represented another step in the growth of the trust Dorsett has earned from his famously hard-to-please quarterback.
"Absolutely," Brady said. "I think if you’re out there, I trust you, the coaches trust you, the team trusts you. That’s why we’re putting you out there. So, guys that usually we don’t trust don’t get much opportunity out there. So, Phillip did a great job with his opportunity today."
Dorsett figures to continue to have more than his fair share of opportunities moving forward -- especially these next three weeks as Julian Edelman continues to serve his suspension.
He played 57 snaps on Sunday, second only to de-facto No. 1 wideout Chris Hogan (68). And others at the position didn't exactly perform in a manner that would scream for more reps. Cordarrelle Patterson finished with one catch for six yards (and three carries for 13), and Riley McCarron saw one target that was not completed.
When Dorsett caught his touchdown, he knew it was his first with Brady. But he didn't hold onto the ball for posterity.
"I didn't even think of that," he said.
Bigger things on his mind, obviously.