Like his head coach moments earlier, Tom Brady said his record-setting night was a total team effort. Brady completed 32-of-48 passes for a team-record and career-high 517 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 win over the Dolphins on a hot, humid Monday night at Sun Life Stadium. 

After a wild opening night 38-24 win in Miami that saw the two teams combined for over 900 passing yards, Patriots coach Bill Belichick summed it up as only he can. "Obviously a lot of big plays in the game and fortunately we made a few more than they did," he said. "We certainly have a long way to go. That was no Rembrandt performance but fortunately it was good enough."

Tom Brady opened 2011 with one of the greatest single-game performances in NFL history, throwing for a career-high and franchise-record 517 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots handled the Dolphins, 38-24, in the season opener Monday night at Sun Life Stadium in South Florida. Brady capped his monumental night by hooking up with Wes Welker for a 99-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter, matching the 99-yard TD run by Tony Dorsett against the Vikings on Monday Night Football on Jan. 3, 1983 and Brett Favre's 99-yard pass to Robert Brooks on Sept. 11, 1995.

Already thin on the offensive line, the Patriots suffered a major blow during the season opener in Miami as starting center Dan Koppen had to be carted off after sustaining what appeared to be a serious left leg injury. 

In a move to add depth to the offensive line, the Patriots Monday signed Thomas Welch off the practice squad and added him to the 53-man roster. To make room for Welch on the active roster the Patriots released linebacker Jeff Tarpinian.

The Patriots announced Sunday that the following players have been downgraded to out for Monday's game:

T Sebastian Vollmer
LB Jermaine Cunningham
WR Taylor Price
LB Jeff Tarpinian
OL Ryan Wendell

For more Patriots information, check out weei.com/patriots.
 

Here are 10 matchups worth keeping an eye on in Monday’s season-opener between the Patriots and Dolphins in Miami.

Energy against energy



The only major change in the Patriots injury report on Saturday is Albert Haynesworth, who, after practicing without an issue all week, was held out of practice on Saturday because of illness.

Probable
CB Leigh Bodden (hand)
WR Julian Edelman (hand)

Questionable
DE Mark Anderson (knee -- limited)
CB Kyle Arrington (hip -- limited)
OL Dan Connolly (foot -- limited)
LB Jermaine Cunningham (groin -- limited)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb -- limited)

One man's Week 1 NFL selections (note: I picked Green Bay over New Orleans on Thursday, which is historic if only because it means I'm over .500 for the first time in the year-plus I've been making picks for the website.) ...

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KIRK MINIHANE

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FOXBORO -- Dan Gronkowski says there hasn't been much time for laughs and jokes with his younger brother, Rob, since the Patriots signed him off waivers this week from the Broncos. The Pats officially added him to the roster on Wednesday, giving him a chance to team with Rob and giving the Patriots another big tight end on the edge to help in the run-blocking game and another big body in the kicking game.