Brandin Cooks hitting his stride as deep threat

Brandin Cooks hitting his stride as deep threat

Brandin Cooks hitting his stride as deep threat

 Brandin Cooks had his moments in the first two games of the season, but he wasn’t the impact receiver many expected after the Patriots acquired him from the New Orleans Saints for first- and third-round draft picks in March.Cooks has since trended upward, hauling in 23 of 35 targeted passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns, including a 25-yard, toe-dragging TD with 23 seconds left that lifted the Patriots to a 36-33 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 3.

The fourth-year pro’s 65.7 catch percentage in the past five games — four of them wins — is especially solid because he sees so many low-percentage long balls from quarterback Tom Brady.

“I think I’m trending positively on growing and coming together with Tom and the offense,” Cooks said Wednesday. “Not where I want to be. I’m working for that. But I think we’re going in the right direction.”

Cooks, who is on pace to finish with a career-high 1,227 yards, has proven to be the deep threat the Patriots thought they were getting.

He’s averaging a league-leading 19.2 yards a reception (minimum 16 catches). He has four receptions of 40-plus yards, a total that matches or betters 24 teams in the league, and five of the Patriots’ nine longest plays.

Credit that to getting more comfortable in the Chemistry 101 class taught by Professor Brady.

“Just getting better every week, every day that you come into practice and connecting on little things that we may have missed at the beginning of the season,” Cooks said. “Just getting a feel for him every single week and it’s my job to be able to do that because I’m the receiver. All he has to do is throw the ball in the direction, so I’ve got to be able to get on the same page as him.”