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Week 12 Game Ball: Tom Brady

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When it comes to evaluating the play of quarterback Tom Brady, people usually expect the very best.  And considering the torrid start that Brady had at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season,  it's not hard to reason why people have expected so much for the majority of this season.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won in the first two weeks of our "Game Ball" series, but he hasn't received the honor since.  It's not that he hasn't played well, it's just that he hasn't had many of those "vintage Brady" games that just really make you go "wow."  But on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tom Brady had one of those games.

In the Patriots' 38-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Brady went 24/34 for 361 yards and three touchdowns, without committing a turnover in the game.  The passing performance was good for a 134.6 quarterback rating.  Surprisingly, Brady also added 28 yards on five carries.

The statistics don't even speak enough about how good Tom Brady was against the Eagles.  It seemed that Brady would take a hit on nearly every throw in the first half - yet Tom stood strong in the pocket and delivered completion after completion.  And despite the fact that the Patriots were facing a 10-0 hole early, Brady was able to rally the troops after a sub-par first drive and not only keep the team in the game, but blow the doors wide open for the victory.

On the year, Brady now has thrown for 3,627 yards, completed 65.8% of his passes, and has thrown 28 touchdowns compared to ten interceptions.  So far, he has a 105.1 quarterback rating.  Most years, those types of numbers would be MVP-worthy, but with Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers have a magical year of his own, Brady winning the award for a second straight season seems rather unlikely at this point.

Nonetheless, if the Patriots get the Tom Brady that showed up on Sunday afternoon against the Eagles, the Patriots will be nearly unbeatable down the stretch.

Past Winners: 
Week 1: Tom Brady 
Week 2: Tom Brady 
Week 3: Wes Welker 
Week 4: Wes Welker 
Week 5: BenJarvus Green-Ellis 
Week 6: Brandon Spikes / Andre Carter 
Week 8: Kevin Faulk 
Week 9: Rob Gronkowski 
Week 10: Andre Carter
Week 11: Rob Gronkowski
Week 12: Tom Brady