Patriots

Brady’s take

Tom Brady’s post-game press conference:

On the offense and its final drive:
“I think that’s all this offense can ask for –- to come into a tough environment like this and playing against an excellent team. To say we’d have a chance to win the game with three minutes left, I’d take that any day of the week. There was some good execution at times out there. I’m proud of the way the offense played. This is a tough place to win. I think we really worked for this one.”

On getting the tight ends more involved in the passing game:
“They’re a big factor. I wish we could get them the ball like that every week. It shows that when those guys start making those types of plays –- when you can throw to the receivers, get the tight ends involved, and the running backs too, I think that’s when we’re at our best. Hopefully it continues that way.”

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On Bethel Johnson’s long touchdown catch:
“He’s so fast. I dropped back and I looked, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t really even see him. I threw it as far as a I could, and he ran under it. He’s that kind of player; he really can add a different dimension. It was good to get him the ball. I thought Deion [Branch] played great, David Givens continues to play well, the tight ends, the running game –- we ran for over 100 yards. So all around offensively, it was pretty big.”

On how big of a win this was:
“We put a lot into this one. We put a lot into every one. It seems like it’s been up and down, up and down. I think we just want to play more consistently as a team. It’s been a tough few weeks –- it was tough getting out of the gate and playing some excellent teams. Physical teams. Playing on the road –- Carolina, Pittsburgh and down here. It’s pretty tough. We have a huge one this week in Denver and then we’ll get a little bit of rest and a much-needed rest at that.”

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On hearing others doubt the team:
“We’ve had doubters for a long time. Like I said earlier in the week, you can keep betting against us. That’s fine by us. We’re just going to keep trying to go out and do the same things every week –- play hard, play tough and play physical. Today was a better example of that. I think it showed some of the resiliency of the team. The guys really fought hard for this one, and we needed to fight hard because we were playing one of the best teams in the league.”

On his thoughts of Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub:
“I thought he did a great job. He throws the ball well. He’s a big guy. He got rid of it when he felt the pressure. Put the ball in some of tight spots. He’s going to be a great quarterback. They’re pretty set here at the quarterback position.”

On if he’s disappointed that Michael Vick didn’t play:
“No. Any time he doesn’t play, that’s a bonus because he’s so explosive. He’s one of the best in the league. Schaub, and the way he played, it seemed like he was prepared and ready to play. Their team played great. They run the ball so well. It felt like we were sitting on the sideline for a while there in the second quarter. I wish we’d have gotten on the field. Their defense keeps coming at you. They have a good pass rush, playmakers in the secondary. They made a great play on the interception. It was a good win.”

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On if Deion Branch was the primary receiver on a crucial pass defensive interference call in the fourth quarter:
“Deion is kind of always the primary receiver whenever he’s out there. I’m always looking to get him the ball. He was matched up one-on-one with the [defensive back] and I laid it up there. I think I threw it a little bit early. I wish I’d have made a better throw on it, but he went up there and the [defensive back] was trying to do everything he could to keep him from catching it and we got a call there. That was a big play –- first and whatever it was, first and a long ways. It was really important for us to really make a play there.”

On scoring early in the second half on two plays, both to tight ends:
“They certainly had a lot of momentum going there at the end of the second quarter. We came out, called a play and got the look we expected. Dan [Graham] popped open and made a great catch and run, and then the next play Ben [Watson] made a great catch and run. Those tight ends, like I said, this was the most productive day they’ve had all year and probably at the most opportune time. We really needed them to step up and they did.”

More on the offense after last week’s loss to the Chargers:
“We’re always trying to put up points. Last week I think we really let our defense down. We didn’t match them at all. Today it was good for us to go out there and kind of throw the first punch there at the start of the game, and in the third quarter and get us off to a little better start and give us a little momentum. This team we played –- they fought back. That’s what makes a great team. That’s why they were in the NFC Championship [Game] last year, because they keep fighting back.”

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On if the Falcons were surprised by the first drive of the second half –- a two-play scoring march on big plays to tight ends Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson:
“Those were big plays. I think you look for one-on-one matchups and we got the one-on-one matchups. The tight ends we have can run and catch –- and they block well -– so it was good to get them matched up one-on-one. They really made a big play on both those. It was a big point in the game. We were coming out feeling what kind of team we were. Are we a front-running team? Are we resilient? Are we tough? I think we showed a little fight today.”

On having a complementary running game and a quick passing game:
“Deion [Branch] caught a bunch of quick passes, the tight ends did [too]. I think it was important. Whenever you [can] run the ball, it takes a lot of pressure off the pass game. You don’t feel like you have to throw it every time you need to gain yards. Especially late in the game there, in the end where you’re trying to run it out. You run those plays down there, gain a first down, that really set up the field goal. We’re going to need to continue to run the ball if we want to be any good. It was good that we had a little bit of toughness in there –- the offensive line was good, Corey [Dillon] got in there, Patrick [Pass] did some great things running, too.

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Winners and losers to come.

–Mike

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