Brady tempers excitement in wake of big win


Brady tempers excitement in wake of big win

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady did his best in the aftermath of New England's 42-14 win to remind people that Houston is a good team.
"It was a big game because they were 11-1, leading the AFC and we had to see where were at, see where we match up against the better teams in the league. We lost to Baltimore, whos winning their division; we beat Denver, whos leading their division; and we beat the Texans, who are leading their division.
"It's always good to win these games, certainly Monday night weve played in a lot of big games here but Monday night in December is an important one for us and we came out ready to go."
Brady completed 21-of-35 passes for 296 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Not bad against the NFL's No. 6 defense.
Coming into this week Houston's 'D' allowed the lowest third-down conversion percentage at 28.4. The Patriots went 6-for-12 on third down Monday night.
As Monday night rolled over into early Tuesday morning, the Texans hardly resembled the AFC's top team.
Houston averages 29.3 points per game (one spot behind New England's best 35.8), so finding the end zone just twice was disconcerting. Even the team's lowest output of the year, a 13 point effort in Chicago, came in a win.
Arian Foster certainly didn't help much. One of the league's best backs, Foster was held to just 46 yards on 15 carries.
Brady appreciated it.
"Our defense is playing with a lot of confidence and offensively, we feel like we can move the ball. We feel like we can put points on the board. Weve done that consistently throughout the season. Our defense has shown us they can really get the ball to us and play some complementary football and I thought we did that for the most part tonight."
Four quarters of complimentary football.
Or, in the words of Texans receiver Andre Johnson, "It was a good butt-whipping and that is pretty much it."
And this being New England's toughest test to date. Excellent timing.
"It needs to come together now," Brady said flatly. "This is the perfect time for it. We cant wait any longer than this. Weve got three games to play the three most important games of the year."
Ah, true. Overturning the Texans is swell and all, but there's still more football to play. And the Patriots have one of the NFC's fiercest teams waiting on the other end of this short week.
Perhaps that's why Brady tempered his excitement Monday night.
"It was just a good win. I dont want to make more of it than it really is. It was a very good opponent, we played them at home on Monday night, had an extra day to prepare, I thought we took advantage of it and we played a pretty good football game.
"I think there are still things we can do better and hopefully we do do them better because we're going to need to play almost a perfect game next week."

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello


Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-2 win over Tampa Bay



"I can't say enough about the way our position players have continued to grind away. . . Tonight was just another example of that.'' - John Farrell.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped. You look to a starting pitcher to go out and be consistent every fifth day -- he's been a model of that for us.'' - Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"It's nice to come back with a statement game tonight. The past couple of week haven't been good for us, so it was nice to get back on the right track tonight.'' - Travis Shaw.

"Preventing them from scoring first was big and then limiting the big inning. The fourth inning was a grind. I dug myself a hole and had to find a way out of it.'' - Rick Porcello.



* Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox starter to record a win since David Price beat Seattle on Jume 19.

* Porcello is unbeaten over his last eight starts, going 3-0 with five no-decisions.

* Porcello had gone 19 straight starts without allowing more than two walks, the longest such streak for a Red Sox starter since Curt Schilling went 33 in a row.

* The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and are one of two teams (Cleveland is the other) to not have lost four straight this season.

* Boston has a major league-leading 22 games in which it has scored eight or more runs.

* The first six hitters in the Red Sox lineup were 11-for-24, while the bottom three were a combined 0-for-13.

* Travis Shaw's home run was measured at 449 feet, the second-longest homer by a Red Sox player this season.

* In one night, Travis Shaw had more RBI (five) than he had in his previous 27 games (four).

* David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas in career RBI (1,704); both are in 23rd place.



1) Travis Shaw

Shaw belted out three hits -- including his first homer in the month of June -- and knocked in five RBI, tying a career high.

2) Rick Porcello

In a perfect world, Porcello would have gone a little deeper, but kept the Rays off the scoreboard early and helped set the tone for the night.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez reached base five times with two hits -- both singles -- and three walks - one intentional - and seemed to be in the middle of every Red Sox rally.