‘It’s no way to play football’: Tom Brady laments Patriots’ execution against Lions

"We're not doing anything well enough."

To say Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not impressed with his team’s effort against the Detroit Lions Sunday night would be an understatement.

“We’re not scoring a lot of points,” Brady said after New England’s 26-10 loss. “We’re not executing well enough on a down-by-down basis, certainly not on a high level that we should have our expectations set at.”

After falling to both the Lions in Week 3 and the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, the Patriots have lost back-to-back games by double-digits for the first time since December 2002. Sunday’s defeat also put the team two games out of first place in the AFC East for the first time since 2002.

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“Two weeks where you get behind and [are] just not making enough plays early in the game,” Brady said Sunday. “We’re behind, [and] we’re just fighting uphill all day. So, it’s no way to play football. It’s no way to execute at a very high level. We’re not doing anything well enough.”

Against the Lions, Brady completed 14 of his 26 pass attempts for 133 yards — his fewest total since December 2014 — and a touchdown. He also threw an interception and was sacked once. Without suspended Julian Edelman and injured newbie Josh Gordon, the Patriots receiving corps was limited to four catches for 43 yards. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who notched only two catches against the Jaguars, was once again contained, recording four receptions for 51 yards.

“I mean, there’s no magic play you can call,” Brady said. “It just comes down to execution — throwing and catching, converting on third down. If you don’t have a third down, good execution on first and second down. We’re just not doing a good job. It’s not one thing, it’s everything we need to do a better job.”

The Patriots converted on just two of nine third-down opportunities. Brady blamed his team’s inability to execute on offense, rather than Lions’ defensive performance.

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“They covered Gronk pretty well,” he said of the team’s struggles. “We just didn’t get the job done. It wasn’t like they reinvented the defense out there. It was just really us not doing a good job of anything — run game, pass game — we just didn’t do enough to advance the ball and score points.”

Brady said the Patriots have been “watching film and correcting stuff” during practice, but the group is still “not getting it done on the field.” He said things need to change soon, but he wouldn’t say whether he believes improvement is imminent. Up next for the Patriots are the 3-0 Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

“We’ll see,” he said. “I’m not going to make predictions. It’s about hard work. It’s about commitment. It’s about being disciplined. It’s about doing the right thing. Obviously, we’re not doing a great job of that. We all got to get back to work, look at ourselves, and figure out what we need to do to help the team win.”

Tom Brady
Tom Brady walks to the team’s news conference after losing to the Lions. —AP Photo/Rick Osentoski