The familiar spike was back after the star tight end's first touchdown of an injury-delayed season.
Brady shook off the inconsistency of his first eight games, threw for season-highs of 432 yards and four touchdowns and led New England to a 55-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
"You throw it, they catch it, they run with it," he said. "It makes a good day for a quarterback."
The Patriots (7-2) go into their bye week with a two-game lead in the AFC East, despite playing mediocre football for most of the first half of the season.
Brady had 252 yards passing in the first half, more than in five of his other eight games.
And 119 of those came on seven catches by Gronkowski, in his third game since missing the first six while recovering from surgeries on his left forearm and back. He finished with a career-high nine catches for 143 yards.
He caught his 19-yard touchdown pass with 4:30 gone in the second quarter as the Patriots took a 14-0 lead.
"It felt great out there," Gronkowski said. "It was important for us to play this way. Until now, we hadn't been clicking for all four quarters."
The excitement began before the game when Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, accompanied by several teammates, carried the World Series trophy onto the field.
He added a 6-yarder to Cotchery midway through the fourth quarter that made it 41-31. But two plays after the kickoff, Brady launched a pass down the left sideline that Dobson caught at the Steelers' 40 and carried into the end zone.
Three Patriots had more than 100 yards receiving: Gronkowski's 143, Dobson with 130 and Amendola with 122.
Roethlisberger turned the ball over twice on his first two series when he fumbled then threw an interception.
"We're all angry and disappointed," Roethlisberger said, Brady "is good, so you know that your mistakes have to be limited."
The Patriots got the ball back with 1:50 left in the half and went 77 yards on nine plays, with a 1-yard scoring run by Ridley.
After Cotchery tied it at 24, the Patriots took the lead for good on Gostkowski's 32-yard field goal.
"When (Gronkowski's) healthy and on the field, he's tough to stop," Brady said, "It's been a process for us, but at the bye week, 7-2 is not bad and, hopefully, our best football's ahead of us."
NOTES: The Patriots scored at least 50 points for the sixth time with Brady as their starting quarterback. ... New England has 36 straight games with at least one takeaway, the current longest streak in the NFL. ... The Steelers fell to 2-6 for the first time since 2006, the season after they won the Super Bowl.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press