On more than one occasion during Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was visibly frustrated with his team’s offensive execution. From receivers running wrong routes to him making questionable decisions, the unit once again struggled to get into a rhythm and consistently move the football down the field against an opponent that was well-prepared to challenge New England’s aerial attack.
Houston’s plan was a simple one but it proved to be effective: invest resources into covering Brady’s most trusted weapons, wide receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White, and try to to force the Patriots to win their matchups elsewhere. More often than not they were unable to do that, which forced New England into unfavorable situations and led to the offense struggling for large portions of the 28-22 defeat — and to the quarterback’s frustration.
“A quarterback’s responsibility is to try to lead and motivate,” the 42-year-old said on Monday while appearing on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. “We’re often the voice of a lot of situations, because first we’re calling the plays in the huddle. And we have a lot of information from the coaches and coordinators on what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to motivate people and get people to play their best. Guys are trying. I have no problem [with the effort].”
The effort — something other players and head coach Bill Belichick also praised after New England’s second loss of the season — may have been solid against the Texans, but the bottom line remains the same. The execution was not good and consistent enough to win in Houston, with the passing game exemplary for the issues that have plagued the Patriots: multiple times, Brady and his intended targets were not on the same page.
According to the future Hall of Famer, however, there is no problem with the trust he has in his receiving options: “I love playing with Phillip [Dorsett]. I love playing with N’Keal [Harry]. N’Keal is working his tail off. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunity out there. He’s learning as he’s going. To expect someone to go out in their third game of the year, and be perfect, I think that’s unrealistic for anyone. I love what N’Keal is bringing.”
“We’re gaining confidence every week,” added Brady when speaking about his chemistry with the 32nd overall selection of this year’s draft — and other receivers: “I love what Jakobi [Meyers] is doing, we’re gaining confidence every week. Gaining confidence with Mohamed [Sanu]. Julian [Edelman] and I have played together for a long time and I think that shows itself pretty well. I think you see James [White] and I have played together a long time.”
So far, this gain in confidence has not produced the desired results as the Patriots’ offense continues to be inconsistent especially when trying to move the football through the air: since coming out of the Week 10 bye, Brady has completed just 51.2% of his pass attempts (67 of 131) for 704 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Nevertheless, the veteran quarterback has a positive perspective on his team’s ability to overcome its recent offensive funk
“Part of our sport is dealing with new situations and you try to deal with them the best you can,” said Brady when talking about the adversity New England’s passing offense has faced over its last few games. “This team has faced some unique ones in and of itself. Just like every team has; we’re not any different than any team. At the same time, we’re in decent position here. Now we have to try to go beat a great football at home, Kansas City.”