FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – Tom Brady opened his eyes wide, roared and shook his upper body in celebration.
The cool quarterback went a little crazy.
Brady had just thrown a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski and jogged to the end zone. Face-to-face with the excitable tight end, he out-Gronked Gronk.
The Denver Broncos had dominated last Sunday night’s meeting of division leaders, leading 24-0 at halftime. But Gronkowski’s catch on the 6-yard pass over the middle made it 24-21 in the final minute of the third quarter, and the New England Patriots went on to win 34-31 in overtime.
Why not show some emotion?
“He always gets pumped up on that play,” Gronkowski said. “It got the juice flowing for everyone.”
Brady’s fire emerges on big plays that work for or against the Patriots.
Such as when rookies ran wrong routes or dropped passes in the second game of the season, a 13-10 win over the New York Jets in which the Patriots were blanked in the second half.
So expect to see his passion again in this season’s playoffs.
“He’s always been that way,” said left guard Logan Mankins, who has protected Brady since 2005. “He likes to head-butt guys every now and then.”
Julian Edelman was on the receiving end of one of those helmet collisions after catching a touchdown pass against the Broncos.
“You’re working hard, you’re competing and, most of all, you’re having fun,” Brady said, “especially when you do things good. You have to have fun.”