BOSTON (CBS) – Thursday night was one frustrating evening for Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady.
Yes, the Patriots walked away with a 13-10 win to improve to 2-0 on the young season. They have two division wins out of the way, and will get a few days of rest before preparation begins for their Week 3 match up with the Buccaneers.
But getting to the finish line on Thursday night was not easy. Brady and his rookie receivers are clearly not on the same page yet, and after numerous drops, missed routes, and even a few errant passes by Brady himself, the quarterback let his emotions show.
There were stare-downs on the field, outbursts on the bench, and even a few words that made it over the broadcast that probably wouldn’t make the cut in a late-night time slot.
“I think I have to do a better job with my body language,” Brady said after the game. “I definitely can improve that. I wouldn’t say it’s a real strong point of mine right now.”
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But Brady said he wasn’t the only one ticked-off about their offensive effort.
“I think everybody was, you know, when you don’t execute the way that you’re capable,” he said. “We just have to keep fighting.”
Brady finished the night 19-for-39 for 185 yards and a touchdown. The game marks the first time Brady had a completion percentage below 50-percent since Week 15 of the 2009 season, and first time at home since the 2006 season-opener.
Patriots’ receivers dropped four passes Thursday night, with three of them coming off the hands of rookie Aaron Dobson. Dobson himself said his showing was unacceptable, and didn’t see Brady losing his temper as a bad thing.
“He’s just being a vet,” said Dobson, who finished with three catches on 10 targets, including his first career touchdown. “He’s experienced way more than we have so he’s telling us looks we may see, talking to us and giving us pointers out there.”
Julian Edelman, who was Brady’s favorite target and finished with 13 receptions for 78 yards, agrees with Dobson.
“We’re all competitors out there. After a play, sometimes everyone gets a little heated or something. But I didn’t sense anything (from Tom),” he said. “He kept us all in the game. He was being our leader.”
Head coach Bill Belichick wasn’t ready to criticize his quarterback either.
“I think Tom is probably the best leader I’ve ever been around so I wouldn’t be too critical of him,” Belichick said after the win.
During the off-season, Brady spoke about becoming more of a teacher with his young receivers, something he was not so open to in the past. He said he would be more patient with the newcomers, though it didn’t seem that way Thursday.
But despite the drops from Dobson, Brady kept going back to him. Usually when a receiver lets him down on multiple occasions, Brady will shy away from them or in some cases, never throw a ball their way again.
But it’s still early in the season, and Brady knows the learning curve this year is different from all the others.
“We have a long way to go,” said Brady. “No one’s coming to rescue and save the day, so we’ve just got to fight through it and have got to work harder and do better and try to be more consistent. Hopefully we can score more points.”
“We’re just all trying to get it right mentally, physically, the execution on game day, execution in practice. It just takes a lot of work,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of work in, we’ve tried, but obviously we need to keep working. Like I said, it’s not going to be easy by any stretch. We just have to put the work in and see if we can make improvements.”
“We can learn from it, there’s no question. You learn from every game, win lose or draw, and I think we’re going to learn from this one,” he said of the sloppy win. “These games aren’t easy. It’s hard to win games and it’s hard to win against division opponents. Our defense played great, got us the ball and we did a good job protecting it for the most part. So we just keep fighting.”