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MIAMI (AP) — Desperate to slow down Tom Brady, the Miami Dolphins tried playing 12 men on defense.
That didn’t work. They drew a penalty. Using only 11 defenders was even worse.
Brady threw for a team-record 517 yards and four touchdowns, including a 99-yarder to Wes Welker, and the New England Patriots opened their season Monday night by beating Miami 38-24.
Brady and the reigning AFC East champions picked up where they left off last season, when he was a unanimous choice for NFL MVP, and his team led the league in scoring.
“He’s a great quarterback,” teammate Aaron Hernandez said, “and the world knows that.”
New England totaled 622 yards, the most in franchise history and the most allowed by Miami. Brady’s performance overshadowed Miami’s Chad Henne, who threw for a career-high 416 yards.
The 906 net yards passing was an NFL record.
“They made some plays on us,” Brady said. “We made a few more than them.”
Even by Patriots standards — they’re 1-0 for the eighth consecutive year — this was a fast start.
Defensive end Jared Odrick picked off a deflected pass to set up a Miami touchdown and end Brady’s NFL-record streak of 358 passes without an interception. Otherwise Brady was close to flawless.
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