The Patriots tight end, who joined the team in the offseason from Chicago, had yet to play a regular season game with his starting quarterback and his completely healthy partner-in-crime. Heading into New England's Week 5 reunion game, Bennett was having a stellar start to his Patriots career (15 catches, 247 yards, TD), but nothing could prepare the tight end for the real deal coming with the return of Brady and Gronk.
With the legends on his side, Bennett caught six balls for 67 yards against the hapless Browns and recorded his first career three-touchdown game in New England's 33-13 win.
The tight end saved the best for last as his impressive third and final score, a catch-and-run that topped Week 5's Top "Performance Moments of the Week", presented by Bridgestone.
On the first drive of the second half, Brady situated the Pats with a first and 10 from Cleveland's 37. New England lined up with one back (James White) in the backfield and two tight ends, Gronk and Bennett on the outside, to the right. After Brady executed a play-action fake to White, Gronk and Bennett both peeled off their blocks to run streaks downfield. Though both tight ends were open, Brady found Bennett in stride after he beat cornerback Ibraheim Campbell, who was biting hard on the play-fake. With safety Jordan Poyer closing in fast from the middle of the field, Bennett leapt from the five-yard line toward the pylon and snuck the ball in for six, securing a 30-7 New England lead.
This play is indicative of things to come in New England. Two tight-end sets with Gronk and Bennett on the same side of the line will prove a mismatch nightmare for linebackers, even against more accomplished defenses than Cleveland's. Beware, world.
Also on the countdown: Jakeem Grant goes from* Undrafted *to untouchable on a long punt return. ... Michael Crabtree continues the season of a lifetime with another clutch touchdown. ... Welcome home, Nickell Robey-Coleman! The former USC and current Bills cornerback pick-sixes Case Keenum in the Coliseum, his former stomping grounds.