It's not very often that a defender gets a clear shot at Tom Brady. And it's even rarer still that said shot isn't accompanied by a complimentary penalty flag for roughing the face of the NFL. But Sunday against the Broncos, the former took place without the latter and it was one of the best hits of the season (and perfectly legal, which must make Redskins linebacker London Fletcher feel much better).
With the Patriots leading the Broncos, 31-16 early in the fourth quarter, Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil embarrassed right tackle Nate Solder on his way to blowing up Brady on a hit that actually lifted the quarterback off his feet.
A monkey takes the reins during Denver's halftime show, partnering with a dog to treat the fans to some inter-species hijinks.
Brady, to his credit, popped up immediately. Dude's tougher than he looks.
After the game, he admitted that "I'll feel that one in the morning," which is the response you'd expect from just about anybody in that situation.
"I was looking to throw the ball up in the slot and didn't see Elvis coming," Brady said, via ESPNBoston.com. "He got me pretty good, but we really answered the next time we got the ball, which is important. He's a very good player -- Elvis and [linebacker] Von Miller. We talked about them all week. I thought our guys really hung in there."
Dumervil, who has 8.5 sacks this season, admitted he was shocked to see Brady standing there unaware of his impending Doom (see what we did there?).
“I just tried to make a play for the team,” Dumervil said. “I tried to get there, and I wish I would have gotten the ball out, but he is a good quarterback and was able to hold the ball in still. We have a lot of work in a short period of time and need to take care of business against Buffalo.”
"When one of the best pass rushers in the league gets a clean shot it's going to hurt." Brady said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard. By the time it was over, Brady had thrown for 320 yards, two touchdowns, and rushed for another, and he punctuated that last trip with a Gronkowskian spike.
"I don't get in the end zone very often -- maybe once or twice per season -- so when I do, I get pretty excited," he said. "It's nice to score. It's usually once a year for me."
Brady is now 2-5 against the Broncos, which is all the more impressive given Denver was on a six-game winning streak and Tim Tebow appeared to be nearly unstoppable. But prayer goes both ways.
"Yeah, I Tebowed," Pats nose tackle Vince Wilfork said, via the Boston Globe. "Absolutely. Everybody in the world was hearing about this guy, and he's a very good athlete. I said it last week, he's a winner. You look at his whole resume, and he knows how to win. Every time you speak to a team, or to little kids, about winning, I'm pretty sure his name is going to come up. So, however he do it, he do it."
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