Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady said he knew Sunday’s victory over the Jaguars was going to be a fight from the start.
For the second straight week, the Patriots fell behind early. This week, the Patriots recovered for a 23-16 victory.
“It’s hard to dig yourself out of those things,” Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan program. “You’ll get away with them once in a while, but on a consistent basis it’s hard to keep getting down like we get down and come back and win.”
The final weekend of the season will determine the Patriots’ playoff seed and opponent, but Brady isn’t preoccupied with playoff scenarios. The Patriots face the Dolphins on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
“I don’t really care,” he said. “I would just like to go out there and play our best football here next week and beyond. I don’t care who we play or where we play or when we play or the time or the place or the opponent. It’s about us. We’ve lost four games this year. We were pretty capable of winning all four of those games. If it wasn’t for some of our own mistakes that we made, we could have. I’m sure a lot of teams could say that, too. I have a lot confidence in our team and what we’re doing. I just hope that our best football is still ahead of us.”
Like last week when the Patriots fell behind and ultimately lost to the 49ers, Brady said the mistakes the team keeps making is what is keeping them from playing their “best football.”
“I think it’s the self-inflicted errors,” said Brady. “I think that’s the biggest problem. I think the thing is that we show that we’re capable of doing that, we just don’t do on a consistent basis … There was too much up and down for us yesterday.”
The Patriots had two turnovers in the first quarter, plays that allowed the Jaguars to take a 13-3 lead.
“That’s the frustrating part is to have opportunities like that and really not take advantage on either play, so what should be good gains end up being interceptions or incomplete passes … Those are the ones that we have to make,” he said.
Brady also talked about running back Danny Woodhead and how trust between teammates was crucial to pull out a win over Jacksonville.
“He’s had a great year,” Brady said. “He’s a great player and he’s got so much poise back there and he’s really improved since the day he got to our team. He’s a great Patriot … It’s always about trust and dependability and Woody certainly has that. You trust that he’s doing his job and he’s so dependable. He’s in the right place and he makes the right play and that’s what football is all about.”
Overall, Brady said he thinks that the team has to go back to practice this week, analyze its mistakes and fix them for good if they want to finish the season strong.
“We have to do a better job protecting the football, I certainly have to do a better job protecting the football and that’s going to be really critical here coming down the stretch,” he said.
The Patriots will face the Miami Dolphins for the second time this season on Sunday. Until then, Brady said he feels lucky to get spend the holidays with his family.
“It’s a great time of year and in the wake of several tragedies we had over the last month, to be with my family and my loved ones is certainly most important,” said Brady. “This will be nice to spend a couple days certainly getting prepared for the Dolphins but also have a few extra hours to spend and I’m sure everyone will enjoy their holiday.”