In the hours leading up to Sunday's Dolphins-Patriots game, the big news was that Tom Brady had been spotted at a Make-a-Wish event the day before with two fingers on his throwing hand taped together. The concern was that the Patriots quarterback was battling a hand injury, which would go a long way in explaining his subpar play this season.
(Brady completed fewer than half his passes in last week's loss to the Jets, the third time this season his completion percentage dipped below 50 percent.)
Brady didn't look like his old Hall of Fame self against Miami; he was just 13-of-22 for 116 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, but New England overcame a 14-0 deficit to gut out a 27-17 victory and move to 6-2 on the season. And in typical "Patriots Way" fashion, Brady wasn't about to make excuses.
My hand is perfect,” Brady said after the game.
When asked if his hand was bothering him, he quarterback replied, "Absolutely not."
As for those images that showed Brady's hand appearing swollen, he offered this: “I didn’t know that anyone knows what the back of my right hand looks like. It looks fine to me. It feels good, so I’ll be out there next week, you don’t have to worry about that.”
Brady was then asked -- without getting into specifics -- how important it was to push through minor injuries to set an example for his younger teammates.
“That's what you do. It’s football," he said. "It’s a contact sport and you play as hard as you can and you count on the guys next to you to do the same. I feel great. For the eighth week of the year, I feel awesome. Hopefully we go out and execute better. Ultimately, that’s what it takes.”
So there you go. Nothing to worry about even though, you know, Brady has played some of the worst football of his career this season.
The good news is that the Pats will run away with the division title because there's no competition. The bad news is they won't win a playoff game because, for whatever reason, their quarterback isn't quite right.