Tom Brady was certainly pleased by the outcome of Sunday’s thrilling 29-26 overtime victory over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium, but the Patriots’ quarterback knew there was much work to be done after his team squandered a 23-13 lead in the fourth quarter.
“Well, I’m certainly pleased by winning,” Brady said Monday morning on his paid weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show. “That’s the most important thing. Whether you win by one point, 10 points or 30 points, they all count the same.
“We’ve been on the losing end of a 1-point game [at Seattle], a 1-point game [at Baltimore] and a 2-point game [at home vs. Arizona], so it feels good to win a 3-point game,” Brady continued. “There was a moment there in the fourth quarter where it looked like we had a pretty good lead and soon after that we’re fighting for our lives with a 3-point lead and then a 3-point deficit. We turned around to win it in overtime. Certainly we can do a lot of things better.”
Asked why the Patriots have struggled to close out teams when they have had the lead in the fourth quarter — they’ve squandered 10-point margins in their last two games — Brady replied, “Well, we’re trying to do it. It’s not like you flip a switch. I don’t think that’s it. There’s 53 guys who are trying to do their best out there and we’re just not doing our best. Hopefully we get to that point. That’s part of why we practice and why we meet and why we go to work every day.
“I wish it were that easy. Maybe there’s times where it has looked that easy. I think you’ll appreciate it when it does work and you realize the preparation that you’ve put into it, that it pays off.
“Maybe we’ve just spoiled some people in the meantime, because it’s hard to win, man. It’s really hard to win.”
Asked if he and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, back for a second tour of duty with the Patriots, were still going through an adjustment process, Brady said, “Josh and I are on the same page.We’ve been on the same page since the day he got back. I wouldn’t say there’s any level of comfort that we’re seeking. We know each other very well.
“When you’re the coordinator and you call plays designed — there’s not a play on the call sheet that’s not designed to gain more than 4-5 yards. There’s a lot of them that are designed to score touchdowns. We have to believe that we’re gonna do when we go out there, that’s what we have to do. That’s up to the players, that’s not up to the coaches.
“The coaches coach and the players play, so no matter what they call we’ve got to go out there and execute it. So they could call the most perfect play in the world and if the guy’s wide open and I overthrow him by 10 yards, what does it matter? So we have to go out and do a better job of playing.”