Tom Brady had a rough week.
So we won't give him that hard of a time for posting this celebratory shot on Facebook on Sunday following the Patriots' 43-17 victory over the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals:
And then there was this goofy celebration with tight end Julian Edelman on "Sunday Night Football" after Brady became only the sixth player ever to pass for 50,000 yards.
It really was a big night for Brady, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 292 yards, two touchdowns and a QB rating of 110.7 against the Bengals. And probably just as important to Brady, judging from his comment on Facebook, was the reaction of the fans, who chanted his name as various points throughout Sunday's game.
It all came at the end of a week filled with a lot of talk about the star quarterback being over the hill after a rough start to the season, particularly a 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on "Monday Night Football." During that game, Brady completed 14 of 23 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for a QB rating of 59.9.
“It's hard to be oblivious to things. We all have TVs or the Internet or the questions I get and the emails that I get from people that are concerned,” Brady said after the win over the Bengals. “Nobody died or anything. It's just a loss, and I think we've always done a great job putting losses behind us quickly.”
The blowout was so bad that Brady was pulled in the fourth quarter for backup Jimmy Garoppolo. ESPN, citing unnamed sources, had reported that Brady was unhappy with the direction of the team and that the Patriots were working on a plan to start ushering in the Garoppolo era, not this season but sooner rather than later.
"I love all those guys, all my coaches," Brady said Sunday. "I’ve never had any tension with any of them, truthfully. It’s unfortunate that some things get said and talked about, especially when they don’t come from me, and I think that’s the – when you’re in the middle of especially a tough week with our team to deal with things that are really outside football that are very personal – very personal relationships that I’ve built up for a long time. I’ve got a lot of love and trust for everybody in this building because we all count on each other. We rely on each other."
Tight end Rob Gronkowski might have taken the Brady bashing even harder than Brady himself. So he was particularly emotional after Sunday's game.
"I went out there with my teammates and we made Tom Brady look like Tom Brady after you guys were criticizing him all week, the fans, everything," the 25-year-old Gronkowski said of his 37-year-old quarterback.
"It feels so good. He's such a leader. He went over 50,000 yards today. He's an unbelievable player, and I'm so glad to play with him."
Gronkowski added: ""That's why it was so great, all the Brady chants and everything. After the first couple of games, we were a little shaky. It's great to come back strong, and he showed that he's still a young buck and he has a lot in his tank left. I'm proud to be playing with him."