Tom Brady among Week 5's six defining throws


Every Monday, Gregg Rosenthal picks the throws that explain the weekend. Football is good.

Tom Brady's numbers haven't lept off the page this year, and yet we feel like he's playing better than a season ago. This toss to Brandon Lloyd to set up a 1-yard touchdown is a great symbol of Brady's accuracy this year. The New England Patriots had a ridiculous 94 offensive plays against the Denver Broncos while playing this fast-break football.

We usually only pick positive plays in this post, but Cam Newton's ground ball on fourth-and-goal was such a defining moment of Carolina's season. The Panthers badly needed this win. Newton doesn't reset his feet. His mechanical issues have stymied Carolina's passing game. Nothing is consistent about their offense at 1-4.

You've already seen Drew Brees' record-breaking touchdown pass to Devery Henderson plenty. (And you should read Jeff Darlington's account of the night.) This toss to Marques Colston was more impressive and better shows what has made the Saints' offense so unique for so long. Brees can barely see over the pressure, delivers just before getting hit and launches a nearly-impossible touch pass. Colston comes down with the alley oop with one hand despite not being open. Colston became the all-time Saints receiving touchdown leader later in the game. This play explains so much about him and Brees.

Remember when it seemed like the Indianapolis Colts paid too much to keep Reggie Wayne for his decline phase? Eric Davis did an outstanding job on "NFL AM" here breaking down what we feel was the key moment in the Colts' remarkable comeback win. Andrew Luck's ability to evade pressure and Wayne's outstanding ball skills are all here.

Since we broke the "bad pass" barrier with the Cam play above, let's just go wild with another second-year quarterback. Blaine Gabbert has shown no progress in his second season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The happy feet and the eyes on the pass rush are back. The Chicago Bears' defense, meanwhile, has scored five touchdowns this year. They've also given up just five. Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman are the only teammates to both score pick-six touchdowns in back-to-back weeks in NFL history.

It flew under the radar, but the Pittsburgh Steelers' game-winning field goal drive might just have saved their season. On a day when Ben Roethlisberger's receivers let him down, the Steelers' offense played its best with the game on the line. It overcame a first-and-20 with this third-and-long conversion to start the drive. If Big Ben doesn't make this play, we doubt the Steelers win.

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