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Sports

September 30, 2013

Brady getting help he and Pats need

Are you happy now?

You got your 30 points. You got Tom Brady carving an opposing defense with bargain basement utensils. And you got your last minute drama (a new development in New England Patriots football).

While their record is 4-0, your Patriots are far from perfect.

But this is the last day of September and with tight end Rob Gronkowski playing hide-and-go-seek and wide receiver Danny Amendola hurt again (and again and again), few people expected this.

Maybe the best development of 2013, including last night in Atlanta, a 30-23 win, is that Brady has some help.

In fact, while Brady gave an MVP performance for most of the night, his botched fumble on fourth-and-1, usually a given here his entire career, almost cost the Patriots an embarrassing finish and/or loss.

But the defense saved the day. Yes, the defense we've been mocking (a lot deserved), made the plays inside the 15-yard line in the final minute to clinch the win.

Cornerback Aqib Talib, who now has four interceptions in four games, batted away the potential tying pass on fourth down while covering superstar Roddy White.

The Patriots running tandem of Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount not only rushed for 139 yards, but they combined to carry the ball 31 times, which is exactly how many times Brady threw the ball (20-for-31, 316 yards, 2 TDs).

That's called balance and the threat of a running game has opened passing lanes for "The Rookies," primarily the go-to rookie right now, Kendrell Thompkins (6 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD).

This is very good news going forward with Gronkowski and Amendola both probably suiting up next week.

All of sudden, the weapon-less Patriots on offense look more like a unit built to play in January.

While Brady hasn't been his usual sharp self this early 2013 season, we saw last night what can happen when the pressure isn't simply on him to perform.

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