FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady arrived at the podium for his usual Wednesday news conference unaware he had just been named AFC offensive player of the week for the second straight game.

“I didn’t know that,” he said.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, considering he has passed for nearly 1,000 yards through just eight quarters this season.

His next test comes from an unlikely source, the Buffalo Bills, the perennial AFC East basement dwellers, who have dropped 15 straight games to the Patriots but have looked impressive in getting off to their own 2-0 start.

“We’ve had a lot of good years here and ultimately it comes down to winning games, and that’s the best part about it is we’re 2-0,” said Brady, dodging questions about his torrid start.

“I think this week is going to be a huge challenge for us. We’re going up against a team that’s also 2-0, that’s scored a ton of points, that’s been pretty tough on opposing offenses at their own home stadium. We’ve got our work cut out for us, we really do.”


So does the Buffalo defense.

Brady, a three-time Super Bowl champion, is off to the best start of his career, which is saying a lot considering he has three 4,000-yard seasons and owns the NFL single-season record for touchdown passes with 50, set during New England’s record-setting 2007 season.

But even that year’s start pales in comparison to this season’s.

Brady has completed 71.6 percent of his passes for 940 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception in leading the Patriots to their first 2-0 start since 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury during the first quarter of the season opener.

He followed his fabulous four-touchdown, 517-yard performance — the fifth-best total in NFL history — in a season-opening victory over Miami with 423 yards in a 35-21 win over San Diego on Sunday.

“It’s Tom Brady,” said running back Danny Woodhead, “and I think he approaches every day the same.”


Brady now is trying to guide New England to its first 3-0 record since that 2007 season, when he threw for 576 yards, six touchdowns and one interception through the first two games en route to the first 16-0 regular season in league history.

In fact, Brady has dwarfed his previous best two-game start of 594 yards set in 2009.

As usual, he insists it was just another day at the office.

“There’s different ways to win games. I think we’ve had opportunities to be able to throw the ball. Last year against Buffalo we ran it pretty good both games,” he said.

“When my number’s called upon, I try to execute. When a running back’s number’s called upon, they try to execute. Your offensive line always has to execute.

“Offense is about everybody really being on the same page. That’s where we’re trying to be.”


Buffalo Coach Chan Gailey said he thinks New England may already be there.

“It looks like it doesn’t matter who they plug in where, they do a great job,” Gailey said. “Everybody’s on the same page. That’s almost the highest compliment you can give to an offense is when everybody’s on the same page.

“And obviously it has a lot to do with (Brady) and the way he runs the offense. He’s a great quarterback when you look at physical talent, but he’s even better when you see the way he manages the game and controls the tempo and does all the little things to help his team be successful.”

With veteran receivers Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco, and second-year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez — who is sidelined one to two weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee — Brady has an arsenal of targets who enable him to approach the defense differently on every play.

“It’s a collective effort,” Brady said. “The better the running game, the better it is for the play-action pass.

“Everything feeds off one another. It’s not one guy doing it.”


But through two weeks, it’s been Brady putting on the show.

“Tom’s a professional every day he’s out there,” receiver Julian Edelman said.

THE PATRIOTS placed center Dan Koppen (ankle injury) and defensive lineman Myron Pryor (shoulder) on injured reserve, ending their seasons.

They also re-signed defensive lineman Landon Cohen and signed defensive back Phillip Adams.


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