BOSTON (CBS) – With the bar the Patriots offense set last season, most knew it would be tough for them to match (or better) their output in 2012.
But following a lackluster performance in Sunday’s 20-18 loss to the Cardinals, along with slow spurts against the Titans on opening weekend, it’s the Tom Brady-led offense that has been called into question.
Brady, who has 552 passing yards to go with three touchdowns and one interception over the season’s first two weeks, is the first to admit the New England offensive attack is not where it needs to be.
“We’ve just been inconsistent, I’d say, with our execution,” Brady said Wednesday as the Patriots prepare for a Sunday night meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. “I think there’re plays out there that we’ve made that we’re trying to make. I don’t think it’s through lack of effort; it’s just a matter of execution. Hopefully we can improve this week in practice and put on a better performance this week as opposed to last week.”
While the Patriots have been progressing into a much more balanced team — with Stevan Ridley providing a more-than-serviceable rushing attack — some would question if the Pats are running too much. Brady, though, says that balance is very much-needed.
“We’ve got to be able to do both effectively. I think when you run the ball well, that sets up the pass. When you pass it well, that sets up the run. I think if you become really one-dimensional it’s a problem for an offense because it’s just too easy to defend,” said Brady. “In the second half last week, we were pretty much forced to throw it a lot more than we would have liked, but that’s what, really, the situation dictated.”
When asked what the ideal ratio of run-to-pass plays was, Brady said there is no number, just what the game dictates.
“I don’t think there’s room in the stats book for ratios; I think it’s wins and losses,” he said. “I think that’s the only stat in the end that really matters. So, whatever we need to do to win, that’s what’s important. It’s not how many runs or who gets the passes or who gets the yards, whether it’s a running back…it’s ultimately about scoring points and whatever we need to do to score points, I think that’s what I like doing the best.”
Digital Debate: Are The Pats Running The Ball Too Much?
There is also plenty of drama surrounding the New England air attack, which took a hit with the loss of tight end Aaron Hernandez to an ankle injury. While losing one of their best playmakers should be the biggest discussion, that actually belongs to conspiracy theories about why Wes Welker has seen a decrease in his role thus far.
But one guy who is staying out of it is the one who gets a first-hand view of Welker’s role in the offense.
“I don’t pay attention to it. I love Wes and he’s a great player on this team and has been since the day he arrived, so nothing has changed in my mind,” said Brady.
As for the guy supposedly taking snaps away from Welker, Brady is very impressed with receiver Julian Edelman’s rising star.
“He’s really worked hard and put himself in a position to get opportunities. I have a lot of confidence in Julian and his abilities,” said Brady. “He made some really key plays for us last game along with [Rob Gronkowski] and along with Wes and along with Brandon [Lloyd]. It’s really the skill guys that are out there that have opportunities to catch the ball and that are playing, we need to be able to make those plays. All those who are out there are doing a good job of that.”
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