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For Brady, big day through the air was the plan

Tom Brady completed a pass to nine different receivers against the Bills.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Tom Brady dropped back to pass 61 times Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

He was sacked twice, attempted 59 passes, and completed 38 of them, all to the tune of 466 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

"I don't know if I've ever thrown the ball as much. Once? Yeah, that's what I thought," Brady said after the Patriots' 40-32 win. "That's a lot of throws. There will be a lot of different ways to win."

The 59 pass attempts are second-most in a single game in Brady's career, with the most (65) coming in a 34-31 loss to San Francisco in 2012. The 466 passing yards were the most the Bills have allowed in franchise history, and Brady's second-best total for one game. He had 517 in September of 2011 vs. the Dolphins.


Before Sunday, Brady was 1-5 when attempting 55 or more passes with a completion percentage of 58.7. He connected on 64.4 percent against the Bills.

But, as Brady and coach Bill Belichick said after the game, that was a part of the game plan to try to negate Buffalo's ferocious defensive line.

"We thought that would give us a little bit of advantage," Belichick said.

Brady connected with nine different targets, four of whom finished with at least 85 yards. Those four — Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Dobson, Dion Lewis, and Julian Edelman — accounted for 365 of the team's 466 yards through the air. And Danny Amendola's lone reception punctuated the offense's effort, making an eye-popping 29-yard catch on a fourth-quarter drive that led to one of Stephen Gostkowski's four field goals.

"I think the execution is ultimately what it comes down to, so I thought we did a good job," Brady said.

The offensive line, playing rookies David Andrews, Tre' Jackson, and Shaq Mason, held up the entire game, helping roll up 507 total yards and getting Brady one touchdown throw away from 400 in his career.


"They played great," Brady said. "They've been coming together since the spring and it was a big challenge today certainly with the crowd noise and the quality of players that they faced. So I thought they played great. I mean, they stepped up to the challenge."

But there are improvements to be made before the Patriots host the Jacksonville Jaguars next week.

"It took a lot of great execution. We made the plays," Brady said. "I thought still we left some plays out there. We're trying to go out there and execute."

Listen to Brady's full postgame news conference:

Rachel G. Bowers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter@RachelGBowers.