BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is not happy his team sits under .500 for the first time since 2003, but he certainly isn’t going to sit around and sulk about it.
Not with a divisional match-up against the Bills in Buffalo on tap for Sunday.
“I think we have to dig ourselves out of a bit of a hole that we kind of put ourselves into,” Brady said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re sitting here at 1-2 and looking up at Buffalo and the Jets. It’s obviously a big game for us in terms of conference and division standings. Any time you play a division opponent on the road it’s a big game. We lost up there last year, so we have to go out there and try to play better than we’ve been playing. ”
“It’s frustrating when we lose. It’s been two weeks in a row and obviously nobody feels very good about it,” Brady added. “But all of our energy and focus is on this particular opponent and the challenges they present; (it’s) certainly a big challenge for us. They’re a very good team, very well coached and they play well at home. It’s going to be a battle.”
Over the first three games, the Patriots offense has stalled at times. Last Sunday in Baltimore, they scored just a field goal in the fourth quarter (on a drive that began in the third), letting the Ravens erase a 30-21 deficit over the final 14 minutes.
“We talk about it all the time – situational football,” said Brady. “There’s red area, there’s third down, there’s short-yardage, there’s goal line, there’s two-minute and four-minute offense is critical when you’re winning the game and you have to figure out a way to keep their offense off the field and still move the ball offensively, get first downs and chew up the clock. It’s something that we obviously need some work on.”
The Patriots were just three-for-five on red zone trips in Baltimore, and are six-for-12 on the season. Those aren’t bad numbers, but considering their 65-percent success rate last season — and the fact they couldn’t punch it in Sunday night after one of their drives started on the Baltimore six-yard line following a Steve Gregory interception — it will be a major focus going forward.
“It’s hard to win if you’re not productive in the red area,” said Brady. “We feel like we can move the ball, but the concentration has to continue to build as you work toward the red area, and you have to play your best football in the red area, because the windows are the tightest, including the running game.”
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At the end of the day though, what matters most is winning.
“When you win, you don’t get questions about the four-minute offense or stuff like that; it’s more ‘What do we need to do to be better?’ I think that’s still part of it. It’s not like we sit here and look in the locker room and say, ‘Wow, we’re terrible, we can’t make any plays, we’re not even in these games.’ We’re right in them; we just have to do a better job in certain areas. If we do that, we’ll start winning close games. If we don’t, we’ll have a miserable year. No one wants that around here,” said Brady.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Kickoff is at 1pm, with Patriots Preview beginning at 10am on 98.5, and Patriots Gameday at 11:30am on WBZ-TV. Stick with the Hub for three hours of post game coverage following the game, and Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV.