Any lingering concerns that the New England Patriots or their fan base had about the left knee of quarterback Tom Brady were soothed by the future Hall of Famer's performance in one quarter of work against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night.
In nearly two dozen snaps, Brady completed 11-of-12 pass attempts for 107 yards and a touchdown, resulting in a passer rating of 131.6.
With his left knee in a brace, Brady jogged out to lead the Patriots on a 15-play, 80-yard drive that finished with him connecting with wide receiver Danny Amendola for a 26-yard touchdown. Brady was a perfect 8-for-8 on the drive, completing third-down passes to running back Shane Vereen and Amendola, two players who are expected to play key roles on in an offense that lost Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead and Aaron Hernandez in the offseason.
Instead of kicking the extra point, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opted to go for the two-point conversion after the game-opening touchdown. On that play, Brady threaded the needle to undrafted rookie Zach Sudfeld in the back of the end zone, a pass that few quarterbacks in the NFL are capable of completing.
Though Brady had played 15 snaps to start the game, nearly matching the 16 snaps he played in last Friday night's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, he returned for New England's second offensive series. Brady attempted four more passes, completing his first three before he and Amendola had a miscommunication on a 3rd-and-7 play, forcing the Patriots to punt and ending Brady's night.