The morning after a devastating loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said his team didn’t play its best when it meant the most.
“It’s hard to win these games,’’ said Brady Monday during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan program. “It’s hard to win the Super Bowl … Those two teams yesterday were best when it mattered most… Unfortunately for us, because we’ve had a lot of success, nothing means anything unless you win the last game of the year.’’
Brady said it’s different in the playoffs because you don’t get another chance to win. This game, he said, will take a lot longer to get over.
“Coach said after the game, there’s really no soft landing,’’ said Brady. “It’s just a crash so to speak. It was just a bad night for us and certainly didn’t play anywhere to the level we were capable of playing … We really let things get away from us in the second half.’’
Brady said while he thought the Patriots moved the ball pretty well in the first half, it was the crucial plays they missed that cost them the win.
“It was poor execution on our part,’’ Brady said. “Your margin of error is different when you play the best team. Baltimore’s always been a tough team for us. Even when we play our best they’re a tough team for us and they play very well. We just couldn’t get enough going and string together enough good plays to score touchdowns when we needed to.’’
Now that this season is over, wide receiver Wes Welker will become a free agent. Brady said that while he isn’t involved in the business aspect of the team and changes are always being made, Welker is an important staple on the Patriots roster.
“Those business parts of the game usually take care of themselves,’’ said Brady. “Everyone knows how I feel about Wes; our whole team feels that way about Wes. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with and played against and he’s just a phenomenal player. He’s the heart and soul of what our team’s all about. He’s been so selfless and the way that he carries himself and commits himself to help our team win is second to none.’’
Brady has the opportunity to play with some of his teammates in the Pro Bowl next weekend in Hawaii, but Brady said he’ll talk to his doctors before deciding if he will make the trip. As for next season, Brady said he won’t start thinking about it for a while.