Gold Stars & Penalty Flags: Tom Brady Does Tom Brady Things Against Saints

BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots got their first victory of the season with a strong win on the road in New Orleans.

Here are your gold stars and penalty flags from the 36-20 win over the Saints.

Gold Stars

Tom Brady gets a gold star. No. 12 went 30-for-39 for 447 yards and three touchdowns. The Pats needed to start fast and Brady led the way, and then he made sure they didn’t slow down. On the sideline in the fourth quarter, he was screaming to everyone about finishing the game. They listened.

Some would call it a vintage performance, but I see vintage as something that is old and we haven’t seen in a while. We’ve seen plenty of this from No. 12 over the years, so this was simply Brady being himself.

Jonathan Jones gets a gold star. Eric Rowe got the start instead of Malcolm Butler, but that’s another story for another day. When Rowe got hurt, Jones stepped in and made a difference. He closed on plays fast and then had two pass breakups, which added to the Patriots’ defensive momentum.

Jones is a guy who keeps chomping at the bit to play and he got a chance on Sunday. He made the most of it.

That scramble field goal at the end of the first half gets a gold star. Bob Socci broke down the play completely, one that Pats special teams coordinator Joe Judge has them practice throughout training camp and during the regular season. The Patriots were able to get their offense off the field, their special teams unit on and in place and kick a field goal — all in 12 seconds before the game clock hit zero. It got the sideline jumping, and put three extra points on the board.

A lot of fans talked about it afterwards, that they had never seen anything like that. It was flawless. Gold stars all around.

Penalty Flags

Stephon Gilmore gets a penalty flag. Maybe Gilmore is hurt, but this is the second week in a row that he couldn’t keep his feet and let up a big play. I know the communication is something he’s still getting used to and for most of the game he was solid. But all it takes is one mistake and Gilmore has made one in each of the first two weeks.

Alan Brach gets a penalty flag. Remember when Branch was the run stop guy in the middle of the Pats defense? Well, not anymore. Rookie free agent Adam Butler has stepped in and taken that job, not to mention Lawrence Guy has come in also and gotten the job done.

Branch is playing sparingly right now and when he does, he’s a non factor.

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