Patriots

Why Tom Brady's 'perfect night' with Patriots was a regular-season game vs. Bills

Why Tom Brady's 'perfect night' with Patriots was a regular-season game vs. Bills

What was Tom Brady's best game in a New England Patriots uniform?

Was it his 328 passing-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX? Or perhaps his six-touchdown effort in New England's famous 59-0 rout of the Tennessee Titans at a snowy Gillette Stadium in 2009?

Nope. According to Brady, the quarterback's "perfect" game was a 2007 regular-season contest against the Buffalo Bills.

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"I almost giggle every time I think about that game," Brady said on "Greatness Code," an Apple TV+ documentary series that debuts Friday, as transcribed by Boston.com's Nicole Yang. "Because ever since that game, I’m still trying to get back to that point. Because in so many ways, for me, it was a perfect night."

Brady is referring specifically to the Patriots' 56-10 drubbing of the Bills on Nov. 18, 2007, at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The veteran quarterback guided New England to touchdowns on seven consecutive drives and threw four TD passes to Randy Moss alone in the first half.

Brady's final stat line: 31 completions on 39 attempts for 373 passing yards with five TDs and no interceptions.

Brady called his performance a "masterpiece of football," per Yang, adding: "That was a clinic. That’s the one that you’re always trying to strive for."

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The six-time Super Bowl champion has played for much bigger stakes, but Brady insisted one of the best throws of his career also came during this game: A deep curl route to Donte Stallworth in which he threw the pass before Stallworth came out of his break.

"You feel like at that point you can’t do much wrong,” Brady said, according to Yang. "It really wouldn’t have mattered who was on the field that night because our execution was unstoppable. [The Bills] were the mosquitos; we were the windshield."

That 2007 Patriots team squashed plenty of "mosquitos" en route to a 16-0 regular season that ended in a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants.

Brady would probably like to forget that game, but the fact that he chose this divisional matchup with the mediocre Bills proves he's always striving for perfection, regardless of the circumstances.

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is three and a half years old, but it certainly isn't forgotten.

Just ask Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who brought up New England's miraculous Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons while his fiancée, Morgan Hart, was delivering their baby. Seriously.

Hightower told The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld he started chanting "28-3, 28-3" and "Never give up" while Hart entered her 17th hour of labor with their first child last month.

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Apparently the motivational tactic worked, as Hart said Hightower's words helped her push through and deliver their baby boy, Grayson, on July 16.

"It was surreal," Hart told Grossfeld. “It was a long night and a long day, and he kept reminding me, ‘28-3, 28-3,′ meaning you can be behind and come back. Never, never give up."

That's a reference to the deficit New England faced in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI before rallying to win in overtime -- thanks in large part to Hightower's strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

Hightower still uses the 28-3 reference "all the time," per Grossfeld, but his focus won't be on football in 2020. The 30-year-old linebacker is one of eight Patriots players who have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.

"Not knowing too much about the COVID thing, I don’t want to jeopardize the health of my family," Hightower told Grossfeld. "I understand you can still catch it by going to the grocery store, but I’m not going to put my family’s health at risk for money.

"It’s family first. I want to take all the opportunity that I can to be a great father."

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Donald Trump says he'd ask Patriots' Bill Belichick for military advice

Donald Trump says he'd ask Patriots' Bill Belichick for military advice

You wouldn't seek out a military general for tips on NFL roster building, but Donald Trump apparently believes there's some transferrable wisdom between the battlefield and gridiron.

During an interview Tuesday on The Hugh Hewitt Show, President Trump was asked whether he believes Bill Belichick has a better chance of winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots this year than Tom Brady does with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Trump responded with a diplomatic answer -- that included some eye-opening praise for Belichick.

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"I think they’re both going to do great. They’re both friends of mine," Trump told Hewitt. "I’ll tell you, Belichick is an incredible coach, and I think he’s going to do really well. This guy just knows how to win. And he’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner.

"You know, if I ever had a military battle, I’d call up Belichick and say, 'What do you think? ... Give me a couple of ideas.' And he'd be as good as any general out there."

Belichick is a master strategist who relies on knowledge, adaptability and thorough preparation to put the Patriots in the best position to succeed. Those are all qualities of a successful military general, and perhaps Belichick could have been one in another life.

Alas, Belichick is a football coach with zero military credentials (aside from his father coaching at Navy), so we're not sure he's the best person to call about battle strategy.

Trump has touted his friendship with Belichick and Brady over the years, reading a letter of support from the Patriots coach on the eve of his election in 2016 and bringing up the former Patriots quarterback in various public appearances.

The President clearly still enjoys referencing both Patriots icons, even if his understanding of Belichick's talents is a bit off.