The two-time MVP absolutely dismantled an outmatched Cleveland defense in his first real game action since last January's AFC Championship. He took advantage of weapons new and old in a throwback performance. Brady tossed three touchdown passes to Bennett while hitting another 2016 acquisition, Chris Hogan, four times for 114 yards.
He also provided a spark for longtime target Rob Gronkowski. Injuries had limited the big tight end to just one reception and 11 yards in two games with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett behind center, but he broke out for five catches and 109 yards against Cleveland.
Brady showed no rust in carving up the Browns. It took him fewer than 33 minutes of game time to rack up 330 passing yards against one of the league's worst defenses. He was pulled with a 20-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, ceding snaps to Garoppolo after 406 passing yards and a 127.7 passer rating. His mastery kept the New England Patriots atop the AFC East and improved his team to 4-1 on the season.
Brady's return from his four-game DeflateGate suspension may have been the most highly anticipated moment of the season to date. Hoards offans descended into the Dawg Pound Sunday, cheering on Brady as he diced up the Cleveland secondary. When Brady first came onto the field for pregame warmups, it sounded like Gillette Stadium.
Though the Patriots were able to post a 3-1 record without Brady, his return came at the perfect time. They came crashing down to earth during last week's 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills and , who started the game, was placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury a couple of days later. Garoppolo started the first two contests of the season, but was out of action over the last two weeks with a shoulder injury.
The Patriots may have downplayed Brady's return during the week, but there was little doubt Sunday how excited his teammates were to have him back on the field.
The next stop for Brady's Revenge Tour will be a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday. They've been put on notice.