Brady's landing on TD dive drew cringe from Patriots' Kraft

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft "shuddered" when he saw his franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, take a crunching hit on a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Kraft even wondered if Brady's back was broken.

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Such a graceful dive. Such a powerful blow.

"It was scary," Kraft said Monday, his momentary fears quickly put to rest, "but he popped right up."

Brady shook off the body-bending force of Ray Lewis' helmet to his lower back, spiked the ball and punched the air in celebration. Brady had just scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Brady was OK, and so are the Super Bowl-bound Patriots, who will face the New York Giantson Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. But at the instant of impact, there was concern in the owner's box where Kraft was sitting with friends, family members and former Patriots.

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"We all shuddered up in the box," he said. "We thought that his back might have been broken."

Another unexpected occurrence also caught Kraft's attention -- the vertical leap of the lumbering Brady. The quarterback soared high over his offensive line, arcing his back and reaching the ball over the goal line while clutching it with both hands.

"I actually didn't know he had that kind of rise," Kraft said with a smile.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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