FOXBOROUGH — It’s hard to argue with the roll the Patriots are on: a five-game winning streak in which they’ve scored 29, 45, 37, 59, and 49 points, an average of 43.8 per game. The team boasts the league’s top-rated offense, and also leads in turnover margin.
All of those are positive marks 11 games into a 16-game season. But to hear quarterback Tom Brady tell it, those numbers don’t mean a thing.
“I think we have [clicked], we have done that, but we’ve got to continue to do it, that’s the important thing,” Brady said on Wednesday morning. “Last week’s game is going to have no bearing on this week’s game, that’s not the way football works. Whether you win or lose, you have to put the previous week’s game behind you and move on.
“It’s kind of a week-to-week thing. I think last week we played well, hopefully we play well this week, but I don’t think that you can just assume that we’ll play well next week. I think we have to go out and prove it: Go through our week of practice, try to execute well in practice, so that leads to confidence and anticipation going into the game.”
Next up for Brady and the Patriots is Sunday’s 1 p.m. game in Florida against the Miami Dolphins, the first of two meetings for the teams in a five-week span. A win over the 5-6 Dolphins would give the Patriots (8-3) the AFC East division title, which would be their fourth straight and ninth in 10 years. The only team other than the Patriots to win the division since 2002? Miami, in 2008.
Games that provide hat and t-shirt opportunities are held in high regard around these parts, so the Dolphins certainly have the Patriots’ attention, especially after last week’s win over Seattle, the last team to beat New England.
“There’s always motivation for us to go out there and win,” Brady said. “[We] haven’t played these guys all season, it’s the first time getting a shot at them. They won last week against Seattle, so hopefully we go play well. We’ve been playing well, but we lost to Seattle. They present plenty of challenges for us, they’ve beat some pretty good teams.”
His name hasn’t been mentioned in MVP discussions, but Brady is having one of his better seasons statistically: he’s completing 65 percent of his passes, has thrown for 3,299 yards and 24 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 105.0 and only three interceptions. It’s not about individual numbers to Brady, though. That would be selfish.
“I think that’s being part of a team, and being part of our organization. It’s being unselfish and doing what’s best for the team, always,” he said. “It’s not what’s best for the individual player or for the individual position, it’s how we’re going to score the most points and doing what our job is. If your job is to run through the defense and clear out for another player, then you do that as best you can.
“We’ve always found guys to be able to do those things. It’s not about rushing yards or passing yards or receiving touchdowns, it’s about winning games, that’s most important.”