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December 9, 2013

Brady's spirit rubs off

FOXBORO — Tom Brady Column No. 124 ...Take 1.

New England Patriots backup defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga was seated at his locker, alone, appearing to be caught in a pensive moment as he stared ahead of him.

Mind you, Sopoaga didn’t play much yesterday in the Patriots’ 27-26 victory, not registering a tackle or assist, but that didn’t take away from the religious-like experience he witnessed.

“Amazing,” said Sopoaga, who was drafted in 2004 by the San Francisco 49ers, looking up with a smile. “I’ve seen this guy do it a lot on TV. I’ve seen it a few times in person on the other sidelines, too. And now I’ve witnessed it almost every game since I got here (Oct. 29).

“Tom Brady is special,” Sopoaga continued. “There is a spirit he has. It affects everyone in this room. It really does.”

You can’t fault Sopoago for having a slightly different perspective than the rest of us had. He’s been a Patriot for about five weeks — Pats acquired him from Philadelphia for a fifth-round pick after Tommy Kelly was officially lost for the season — and he has happened to witness five consecutive Brady-is-special games.

After the 55-31 demolition of the Steelers in which Brady was 22-for-33 with 432 yards and 4 TD passes, Sopoaga saw Brady remarkably get the Patriots near the end zone against the Carolina Panthers for a potential winning score before the controversial penalty/non-penalty call.

Then it was overcoming the 24-0 deficit in brutal cold and wind against the Broncos to win 34-31 in OT, followed by the 34-31 win over the Houston Texans last week, in which Brady helped the Patriots get in position for two 53-yard field goals in the final minutes.

Then came yesterday, another awful first half with many bleak moments, when the Patriots scored two touchdowns in just 68 seconds to clinch another amazing win. Brady was 16 of 20 for 142 yards passing and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

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