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New England Patriots Links 12/14/09 - Patriots Not Perfect, But Good Enough

<em>Kevin Faulk runs in untouched for a first half TD.</em>
Kevin Faulk runs in untouched for a first half TD.

Peter King (SI) You've got to like Tom Brady trying to put the pressure for the Patriots' performance down the stretch on his shoulders.

"Put it on me,'' he said over the cell phone on his way home from Foxboro on Sunday evening. "That's where I want it -- on me.'' You asked for it, you got it. We talked for maybe 15 minutes, and I'd have thought he'd be exasperated by a few things -- Moss, how poorly they were playing across the board the last month, the fourth-down-conversion problems, the Adalius Thomas fiasco. But no. Brady was ridiculously optimistic. "It's like a heavyweight fight,'' he said. "A boxing match. We just gotta keep fighting. We're not the same team as we were last year or the year before, but I haven't lost faith in us at all. It's just that our margin of error is so small.'' Whereas in 2007, Brady had a couple of professional receivers, Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney, as his third and fourth wideouts after Moss and Welker, now he's got the green Aiken and Julian Edelman (who's been hurt consistently).

New England's 8-5, a game ahead of the Jets and Dolphins, with the Bills, Jags and Texans on the schedule to finish up. Not too hard, not too easy for the old Patriots, but for these Patriots, where everything comes hard? "We're 7-0 at home,'' Brady said. "We just put up 470 yards of offense against a good defense in Miami. We got the best coach in history. Shoot, once the playoffs start, if we're fortunate enough to make them, anything can happen. We were 18-0 and didn't win the Super Bowl. You never know. Don't lose faith in us.'' When I got off the phone with him, I thought: That's what he's going to say to his team this week.

Tom Brady shares what he was saying to Randy Moss on the sidelines.

Yeah, I mean, it's frustrating as a player when you're - you know, he was frustrated in himself and the situation and it's just something you've got to fight through. He keeps fighting through it and you have those days where it's not all great, but you keep lining up and you keep going up. You've just got to keep fighting. I think that's the message I always try to convey to everybody. I mean, if you're a quarterback, you throw picks, you throw bad balls. If you're a receiver, you drop balls. If you're a running back, you fumble balls. You know, it's just part of the process and it's about making the next one a good one and not making the next one another bad one because you're a little bit down in the dumps.