FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Too bad all those Patriots fans who left Gillette Stadium in disgust when their team was down didn’t wait a minute.
Because that’s all Tom Brady needed.
Fans left in a half-empty stadium roared when the two-time NFL MVP threw the winning touchdown pass with five seconds left. They didn’t beat the traffic, but did see the Patriots beat the Saints, 30-27.
Coming off one of his worst games, Brady threw the decisive 17-yard pass to rookie free agent Kenbrell Thompkins, knocking New Orleans from the unbeaten ranks Sunday.
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“Guys made big-time catches,” Brady said. “It was just a great game.”
The Saints (5-1) had taken a 24-23 lead with 3:29 remaining on Drew Brees’ 34-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills and the extra point, but couldn’t put away New England (5-1).
• Adrian Peterson would have been forgiven for sitting this one out. Two days earlier, Peterson’s 2-year-old son was killed in an alleged case of child abuse in Sioux Falls, S.D. The alleged assailant is in jail, and Peterson rushed to the hospital Thursday to see the child before vowing to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Even after his Minnesota Vikings were thumped 35-10 by the Panthers and booed off the field by their home crowd, Peterson said he never wavered in his decision to play.
“I was set on it,” said Peterson, who was held to 62 yards on 10 carries. “I just look at things and I don’t ask people to understand my mindset and how I think. Anything bad, I try to take good from it. That’s the way I approach life in all situations. I never thought about not playing. It was all about just going out there and praying that I have the strength to get through and help my team. That was my focus.”
• Houston quarterback Matt Schaub suffered an apparent right ankle injury when he was sacked by Chris Long. Some fans cheered while he was down after the injury, angering Houston’s players.
“For them to cheer about something like that, it just shows they have no class,” receiver Andre Johnson said.
Coach Gary Kubiak didn’t have many details on Schaub’s injury after the game, saying only: “Matt’s got a little bit of everything on that one leg.”
Schaub was 15 of 21 for 186 yards and didn’t have a turnover after being intercepted eight times, four of them returned for touchdowns in the past four games.
• Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s two touchdown passes gave him 22 on the season, a record for an NFL quarterback through six games. The Broncos have scored 265 points, the most by a team through the first six games of a season in NFL history.