FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady is one of the winningest quarterbacks in NFL history, but it’s the losses that leave a lasting imprint, he said. Sunday night’s 41-34 loss to San Francisco is the most recent defeat, but Brady said they don’t get any easier to deal with.
“I don’t think you get over any loss you ever had. I probably remember every single one,” Brady said. “That’s part of being mentally tough, is to move forward and learn from your mistakes, understand what you need to do better. That’s what the last two days have been about, as well as getting ready for Jacksonville and the different things that they do to try to screw up offenses.”
Brady and the Patriots will practice Wednesday afternoon, the first time they’ve been on the field since losing to the 49ers, and the first time in preparing for the 2-12 Jaguars. The Patriots were consistent in saying the last two weeks — in preparing for 11-1 Houston and 9-3-1 San Francisco — that records don’t mean much. That extends to the Jaguars and the other end of the spectrum, too.
Brady spent much of his press conference talking about learning from the mistakes made in the loss to the 49ers, especially when it comes to turnovers. The Patriots lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions, losing the turnover battle for the first time this season. They came in with a plus-24 turnover margin.
In Brady’s opinion, have there been any good losses in his time with the Patriots?
“I don’t think losing is the key to that. I think learning from your mistakes, whether you win or lose, is important,” he said. “Progressing over the course of a season, through practices and games, and realizing what you do well and what you don’t do well, the final score, I don’t think, really does the trick. It’s your ability to accelerate through the course of a season, and not really level off or regress.”
Two games remain in the regular season, giving the Patriots time to determine their playoff seeding (they’re currently third in the AFC) and possibly get tight end Rob Gronkowski back from a broken forearm. With the playoffs approaching, a sharper focus is necessary, Brady said.
“The other night we do some things really well and we do plenty of things that were the reason why we lost. I think it comes back to, a lot of times, eliminating turnovers. We had four turnovers, and you lose the turnover battle, a lot of times you lose the game,” Brady said. “We have to protect the ball this week, so that’s a big point of emphasis, and hopefully we can do a better job.”