One of the biggest questions heading into this season centered around the health and subsequent effectiveness of quarterback Tom Brady coming off major knee surgery.
An award as the NFL's Offensive Player of the Month for October should all but quell any remaining concerns among New England's fan base.
Brady certainly hasn't been perfect, but he's been remarkably efficient as the season has progressed, particularly in the past two games where he's thrown nine touchdown passes and only two interceptions.
Overall, Brady has 15 touchdowns this season with four picks. And no, that isn't comparable to his 2007 pace, the season in which Brady set the single-season record with 50 TD passes.
The fact is '07 was as good as it'll ever get for the Patriots' high-powered offense. The New Orleans Saints are on pace to rewrite some of the history New England made two years ago, but seasons like that are rare.
Brady doesn't need to throw another 50 touchdowns to reclaim his throne as the league's top passer.
From a physical standpoint, Brady looks mobile, fluid and pain-free. With his instincts and penchant for knowing when to step up in the pocket and avoid oncoming pass-rushers, he doesn't need Randall Cunningham-type speed to succeed.
Four months ago, the big question was whether or not Brady would return to form. He has. The Patriots can shift their focus to more pressing issues as they prepare to enter the second half of the season.
--DL Myron Pryor received praise from head coach Bill Belichick for his steady progression since the start of the season. Pryor has increased his workload by making incremental improvements along the way and figures to play a significant role in the second half.
--RB Laurence Maroney was not on the field Thursday during media availability at practice despite participating the day before. Maroney most likely received a brief respite considering this is a bye week.
--QB Tom Brady's Offensive Player of the Month award for October was the third of his career. He also won the award twice in 2007, the same year he set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes.
--RB Sammy Morris has not been at practice the past two days, which might or might not be bad news. Morris has been hurt, but the extra time off might be a byproduct of the fact the Patriots aren't playing this weekend.
--LB Junior Seau hasn't practiced this week. It's likely he's taking this time to rest since the Patriots will need him down the stretch. He's jumping back into football rather quickly after spending the first month of the season at home.
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