Even when Tom Brady screws up, he sets a record.
In the first half, he tried to hit Randy Moss in the end zone for a touchdown but threw somewhat awkwardly off his back foot and it looked like he didn't get enough on the throw, which was intercepted by Tanard Jackson.
With that, Brady officially sets a team record of 183 consecutive passes without an interception. You have to go back to 2005 for the last time he threw a pick inside the red zone.
But these are not the records of achievement -- number of points or touchdowns successfully scored, for example, or yards successfully gained -- but records of non-failure, streaks of time in which an an undesirable thing does not happen. The kind of streak like the one Brady broke when he was carted off the field last year, after a team-record streak of consecutive starts by a quarterback (111-- also good for fourth on the all-time list).
The statistical feats are cold comfort when such streaks come to an end. They only remind us of how great things were two years ago -- and that they are now, officially, different.
It wouldn't be another 183 passes between interceptions for Brady, either -- rather, it would be either one or two, depending on if you're counting attempts or completions, before he threw another pick, on another attempt to find Moss, this time deep downfield from the Patriots' 33.
With that, in case you were keeping track, Brady matched his own season record for interceptions (2) in the first two quarters of one game.
In fairness, however, those same two quarters saw the Patriots' 80th unanswered points in just under 90 minutes of football. The only thing between them and 100? A single Buccaneers' touchdown, the only one the "home team" at London's Wembley Stadium would score.
Is Brady really showing rust after his knee injury? Or is he rusty only by Brady standards?
Meanwhile, Brandon Meriweather chalked up two interceptions of his own this week, one of them run back for a touchdown. Vince Wilfork appears to have fully recovered from his Week 3 injury. And aged as he is, Junior Seau seems like he's become something of a good luck charm for the Patriots.
It's easy to imagine Seau as a veteran catalyst, whose leadership is bringing the Patriots' many fresh defensive faces together into a cohesive and solid unit that will continue to stifle opponents in the second half. But before we get too carried away, he's also a 40-year-old linebacker who's made exactly 4 tackles so far this season.
Then there's Laurence Maroney. He led Patriots rushers today with a decent 43 yards, hardly last week's 123-yard effort but a far cry from the single and low-double-digits he was putting up in earlier weeks. Still, with Sammy Morris out, what happens when New England isn't facing the Sisters of the Poor?
Here's the strange land of uncertainty in which Patriots fans find themselves, heading into the bye week at 5-2. How much of the last two weeks of dominance should truly be encouraging? And how much should be chalked up to facing consecutive 0-fer teams?
Prior to that, the Patriots beat the Bills (3-4), the Falcons (4-2) and Ravens (3-3). They've faced one team that's remained undefeated through Week 7 -- the Broncos, who had a bye this week. I think we know what happened then.
But what to make of another statistical outlier -- the loss to the now-4-3 Jets in Week 2?
Not much of a pattern in the tea leaves to tell us what might be waiting on the other side of the bye, when the Patriots must face the Colts and Saints, both of whom head into Week 8 undefeated.