ATLANTA - Two weeks ago, Kenbrell Thompkins was on the receiving end of Tom Brady's wrath.
Sunday night, the rookie was on the receiving end of several big fourth-quarter pass plays, including an 18-yard touchdown and a crucial 26-yard reception on third-and-19. Both catches were instrumental in New England remaining unbeaten, as the Patriots (4-0) defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-23 in the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons fell to 1-3 on the season, falling for the second straight week to an unbeaten team from the AFC East.
"He's an impressive young player," said Brady, who was visibly upset with mistakes the undrafted free agent wide receiver made in a sloppy victory over the New York Jets in Week 2. "It's really rare to see a young player step in with that kind of confidence to make plays and make things happen out there."
Atlanta stormed back to threaten overtime, thanks to the recovery of an onside kick and a fourth-down fumble by New England. Trailing by seven with 1:50 to play, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan found wide receiver Julio Jones for a stunning 49-yard strike down the left sideline. But on fourth down at the New England 10-yard line, Ryan threw incomplete for Roddy White, and the Patriots held on for the victory.