BOSTON (CBS) — For a team that is 10-2, there is certainly a lot of concern surrounding the New England Patriots. Much of that anxiety focuses on the offense and the frustrations of quarterback Tom Brady.
The Patriots mounted a bit of a comeback in their 28-22 loss in Houston on Sunday night, but it was too little, too late. Brady and the offense are still looking for answers in December, which is usually when the team has hit their stride.
Chatting with his pal Jim Gray on Westwood One on Monday night, Brady said there is no easy fix for the New England offense. It’s all about putting in the work at practice, and executing their game plan come Sunday.
“I don’t think there’s any real magic formula. There’s no magic play you can call that will work,” said Brady. “It just comes down to everyone believing in one another and trusting in one another, having confidence that we can go out and execute on a consistent basis. It’s one thing to say it, it’s another to do it. There are some times when we’ve done it and scored points and there are other times we haven’t and it leads to negative plays, turnovers, and punts where you don’t score. We’ve had quite a bit of turnover and change, and that’s natural. We’re working through those things like every other team.
“I know there are high expectations for us and there have been for a long time. We have high expectations. I wish we could win every game and win by 50 points every game, but I don’t think that gives enough credit to the teams we’re playing,” added Brady. “This isn’t the Harlem Globetrotters. It’s hard to win in the NFL and hard to win on the road.”
Brady was shown having a spirited talk with his receivers following another point-less drive on Sunday, a moment that many are over-analyzing as Brady chewing out his targets. Brady said that was not the case, and is a pretty common occurrence during games and throughout the week.
“I do that quite a bit in practice. I know they don’t always pick it up when I do speak, but I speak a lot in meetings and on the practice field, and certainly in the games in the huddle,” he said. “I’m just trying to communicate what I see and a lot of guys do the same thing. It was a tough game last night; they came out and played really well and played aggressively. When that happens you have to try to match it. They got off to a great start, we tried to battle back and we came up short in the end.”
After an 8-0 start to the season, the Patriots have looked pedestrian over the last month. The offensive struggles continue, and the defense has cooled off slightly with the competition ramping up. The Patriots no longer hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and with other teams starting to find their groove, New England appears to be vulnerable when the playoffs arrive next month.
But this happened last year, as the Pats struggled down the stretch and finished the regular season 11-5, only to go on and win their sixth Super Bowl. Brady was asked if he believes this year’s Patriots have what it takes to bring home a seventh Lombardi Trophy, but didn’t seem interesting in looking that far ahead.
“I don’t have a prediction. I think we have a plan. It’s about being committed to the plan,” he said. “The outcomes are what they are and you’re not going to control every outcome. What you can control is the practice, the process, the attitude, the confidence and you can work on building trust with your teammates throughout the week. So, if you do those things, you have good results. I know we get so focused on results so often, and I think you can take a lot from wins and losses. You take a lot from practices. I think focusing on the things that are in our control, and the things we can do a better job of will go a long way towards changing the results. But, if you’re always focused on results, I think sometimes you can get off track.”
While the team is frustrated, they are not letting doubt overtake their drive to get better.
“We are in a decent position at 10-2. We look at the season as a whole and realize there are things we can do a better job of, and there are things we’ve done a pretty good job of. We are going to have to continue to do the things that have been a strength of ours and eliminate the things that maybe hasn’t,” said Brady. “This isn’t reflective of one game. It’s easy to talk about the last game, but this is a very challenging league and it’s difficult to win. We have a great opportunity ahead of us and I’m excited for what we have ahead of us. Excited for our game this week against Kansas City. They’re a championship level team, and we’re going to have to play at that level to win.”
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Chiefs clash on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m., and after the game switch to TV38 for full analysis and reaction on Patriots 5th Quarter!