CLEVELAND -- Playing quarterback must be like riding a bike for Tom Brady, because as soon as he got back into an NFL game he knew exactly what to do.
Brady, in his first game back from a four-game suspension for Deflategate, passed for 406 yards and three touchdowns to lead the New England Patriots past the Cleveland Browns, 33-13 on Sunday. He did not throw an interception and recorded a 127.7 passer rating.
Of course, Brady was critical of his own performance, but overall he's thrilled the Patriots are 4-1 and on top of the AFC East.
"I think there was plenty of rust out there," he said. "I could do better in a lot of areas. I think it was a good win today. I thought the team played really well. It was fun to be part of it.
"It's been a fun week to get ready to play and be back doing what I love to do. I'm just proud of the way our guys played. Our line played so great. We hit some plays down the field with (tight end) Martellus (Bennett), (wide receiver Julian Edelman), (tight end Rob) Gronk (Gronkowski), (wide receiver) Danny (Amendola) made some plays. We were close to breaking a few runs there, but 4-1 is a great place to be right now."
Brady is now 6-1 against the Browns.
His performance Sunday was the eighth 400-yard game of his career and second straight against the Browns. He passed for 418 yards against the Browns on Dec. 8, 2013, and threw the winning touchdown pass to Amendola with 31 seconds to play.
"Our expectation was to come out here, perform as a team and win," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "I'm talking about the whole team. That includes everybody. What else would we come out here for?
"I think Tom works hard. He's always worked hard. I don't think there's any question about that. I think there are a lot of things he needs to work on. There are a lot of things we all need to work on as a football team. There are things we need to improve on. That's all of us -- players, coaches, everybody."
Now that Deflategate will never bother Brady or the Patriots again, he can get on to the business of pursuing his fifth Super Bowl championship -- something no NFL quarterback has ever done.