The Patriots offense has really gotten it in gear in recent weeks as Tom Brady has used his running backs effectively as receivers as well as the tight ends underneath. On Sunday in Mexico, those elements were still present, but the explosiveness of Brandin Cooks was also on full display.
Oakland's secondary has struggled all season long, so much so that the group has failed to record a single interception through 10 games. Those struggles, combined with an inability to mount much pressure on the quarterback, pointed toward a change in approach for the Patriots offense and Brady took full advantage.
The Patriots were already in full control with a 17-0 halftime lead, but they came out of the locker room at Estadio Azteca looking to deliver the knockout blow – and succeeded. New England took over at their 25 after a touchback on the kickoff and Brady went to work.
First he hit Dion Lewis for 5 yards and followed that with a 6-yard connection with Danny Amendola. The dinking and dunking ended there, however. On the next play Brady dropped back and looked toward Cooks, who was streaking past rookie Obi Melifonwu with safety Reggie Nelson nowhere near close enough to do anything about it.
Brady sent a bomb down the right side to Cooks, who grabbed it in stride around the Raiders 31 and easily sprinted to the end zone untouched for a 64-yard touchdown. The two also connected for a 52-yard pickup in the first half on a play that led to Amendola's touchdown.
The touchdown was the longest pass play for the Patriots this season and the big play effectively ended the game in Mexico in most satisfying fashion.