New England Patriots QB Tom Brady spoke with WEEI on Monday morning and ESPN’s Mike Reiss has transcribed the 12 best bits of information. I’m only going to highlight a few because Reiss put in some hard work and you should read his article if you want to get all of it.
Brady gave an injury update on his knee, which apparently limited him on Sunday against the New York Jets.
“It’s better than last Monday, so I’m very happy about that,” Brady said. “Hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot better than yesterday come Sunday.”
The injury appeared to impact Brady’s ability to move in the pocket and step into his throws. His passes down the field were floating because he wasn’t following through with his throwing motion. Brady also points to mental errors when analyzing missed opportunities.
“I thought I was impatient early in the game,” Brady said, “just trying to get the ball out of my hands kind of before things developed.”
Once Brady settled down, the offense was extremely efficient, even without TE Rob Gronkowski, who left with a chest injury. It was clear that the loss of Gronkowski (and the subsequent injury to TE Martellus Bennett) affected the Patriots’ red zone strategy as the team had to settle for too many field goals.
But despite some clear problems, Brady acknowledged that winning on the road against a divisional foe is never going to be easy, especially when playing without your top offensive player.
“We went out and kind of slugged it out,” Brady said. “It wasn’t certainly our best game. We missed plenty of plays early and then got into a little bit of a dogfight. I’m happy we found a way to pull it out at the end. We really haven’t had a game like that this year. It was a great win for us.”
I would argue that the Patriots did have a game like this earlier in the season, but it was with QB Jimmy Garoppolo against the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, the game script was almost the same, with the Cardinals taking a lead in the 4th quarter and the Patriots offense needing to respond with a big score- and the defense needing to create a big stop.
But now the Patriots have three games on which they can hang their hat: week 1 vs Cardinals, week 3 vs Texans, and week 12 vs Jets. Brady believes the team chemistry is heading in the right direction as the Patriots face their final five games of the season.
“I’m having so much fun,” Brady said. “There’s nothing I’d rather do. This has been a great team to play for. The quarterback room is a lot of fun. We laugh. We joke a lot. Everyone is committed to one another; it’s been a very selfless year so far. Guys are very happy when other guys are experiencing some success.”
The Patriots offense is looking similar to the 2010 outfit when Brady was the league’s first and only unanimous MVP. Brady is avoiding turnovers and no individual player is carrying the entire offense.
In 2010, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the only player to eclipse 1,000 yards from scrimmage. Six other players registered 300+ yards on the season, including the likes of WR Brandon Tate and rookie TE Rob Gronkowski.
This year, Blount is the only player on pace to reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage, but an incredible eight (8!!) players are projected to reach 300+ yards from scrimmage. WR Julian Edelman is on pace for 972 yards, while both Gronkowski and Bennett are on pace to reach 800+ yards.
The Patriots are spreading the ball around and every week it seems like a different offensive player is featured and producing at a high level. This will make the offense more well-rounded in time for the playoffs when every player is available to contribute.
So long as Brady’s knee is healing and the quarterback is having fun, the Patriots will always have a chance to not just compete, but to dominate the opposition.