Brady, Patriots Outlast Redskins

The Pats won for the first time in DC

During Tom Brady's 12-year NFL career, he's gone from fresh-faced, high-energy upstart to cool-as-a-cucumber, savvy Super Bowl MVP.

On Sunday against the Redskins, Brady was as about as animated as we've ever seen him on a football field when he got into a sideline shouting match with quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien.

After the game (oh, right, the score: the Pats won, 34-27), Brady took responsibility for the spectacle.

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At one point, Brady had to be separated from O'Brien.

"We're both pretty emotional guys. That's what I deserve," said Brady. "You make a bad throw, you're supposed to get yelled at by your coaches. It's certainly not the first time and it probably won't be the last. You can't do it in that situation. It was just a stupid play by me."

Other teams should have such problems.

Despite an uncharacteristically erratic throwing day, Brady still made plays when it mattered. He finished the afternoon, 22 for 37 for 357 yards, including three touchdowns and the aforementioned interception.

Brady's favorite target -- surprise, surprise -- tight end Rob Gronkowski, who made Washington defenders look like Lilliput residents and he was Gulliver. By the time it was over, he had six catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

It was his 11-yard first-quarter score that set the single-season record for receiving touchdowns for NFL tight ends. As is customary when he ends up in the end zone, Gronkowski spiked the ball as hard as humanly possible.

"I got the ball back and everything, so it was cool," he said (via ESPNBoston), later joking he'd use the record-setting ball to practice his spikes in the offseason. "It was cool to get a record and everything, but that really doesn't matter. We got the team victory."

It was the first time the Patriots had beaten the Redskins in the either suburban Maryland or DC.

In other AFC East-related news: by defeating the Chiefs on Sunday, the Jets are now the sixth seed in the playoff race. Which means that, as it stands, Rex Ryan would get his wish. If the postseason started today, New England would host New York.

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