By Tom E. Curran
DALLAS - For the first eight games of the 2010 season, the Patriots offense was just OK.
Going into the Steelers game, Tom Brady had 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In four of those games, Brady completed less than 60 percent of his passes.
Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday, Brady was in front of the media lamenting missed chances. Blown assignments, bad execution, ill-timed penalties all were conspiring to keep the Patriots offense from going hitting their potential.
During that Sunday night game in Pittsburgh, Brady's agitation bubbled over late in the second quarter with the Patriots leading, 10-3. A spate of penalties and drops had kept them from being further in command.
In the second half, the Patriots put up 29 points, Brady closed the game 13-for-18 in the second half with two touchdowns, and the New England offense was never the same.
In the final eight games, including the Steelers matchup, Brady threw 22 touchdowns and no picks. Only once down the stretch did he complete less than 60 percent of his passes (55.6 percent in the frosty conditions at Buffalo).
Brady won the NFL's MVP Award unanimously on Sunday and his 2010 season should go down as one of the greatest a quarterback has ever had. But there was a very specific moment that made it go from a normal "Tom Brady year" to one for the record books.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomecurran
Tags: Tom Brady, New England Patriots