Only hours after leading the Patriots to a last-second win over the previously undefeated Chiefs, Tom Brady was awake and doing his weekly radio interview for WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan” on Monday morning.
When asked what exactly he was doing up so early after a night game, Brady laughed it off with a simple reply.
“Kids, so I’m up.”
On the topic of the thrilling win over Kansas City, Brady downplayed the effectiveness of the New England offense. The Patriots didn’t punt for the entire game, yet Brady saw ways in which the team can still improve.
“We played really well at certain times, and at other times I thought there were a few things we could’ve done better to score even more points,” Brady said. “I think we’re starting to feel confident in really what we can achieve. We put it all together for four quarters.”
Still, Brady allowed for a “good feeling” in the aftermath of another strong performance.
“I think we all feel like there are plays still out there, and we’re still getting familiar with one another. And if we can just keep grinding and keep practicing and keep making improvements, it’s tough to stop us. So that’s a good feeling.”
Regarding the subject of his touchdown scramble, Brady reacted to the bizarre comments from Chiefs linebacker Breeland Speaks (who claimed that he thought Brady had already gotten rid of the ball, and that he was also worried about incurring a penalty for tackling the Patriots’ quarterback).
“If he had a chance to tackle me, he probably should’ve tackled me,” Brady said simply.
The play itself – which ended with a rare rushing touchdown for Brady that wasn’t purely the product of a quarterback sneak – occurred because of an unusual coverage design from the Chiefs. In all, Kansas City double-covered three Patriots receivers.
“They doubled Julian, Gronk and James White,” Brady explained. “I was about to throw it to [Chris Hogan], that was kind of what the pump fake was, and the guy undercut him at the last second. And then Josh Gordon got the penalty on the hold that they threw, so it was literally three doubles, almost a chance to throw it to Chris and then they grabbed Josh.
“That’s not really my natural instinct to run, but I was pretty close, Brady continued. “So once I got past the line of scrimmage, it was basically just jump for the end zone.”
On the subject of defensive holding, Brady noted that he felt the Chiefs defense had done quite a bit of it throughout the game.
“They really grabbed us a bunch last night. I mean there were a bunch of penalties. I thought there were a lot of ones that they called on the Chiefs.”
On Josh Gordon (who caught five passes for 42 yards), Brady remains optimistic for the long term:
I think if we keep working at it, a lot of things are going to look better. I have a lot of confidence in him, it’s just been so impressive what he’s done in a short period of time to come in and learn the offense, have the kind of attitude he’s had about doing whatever the team needs him to do, and for him to be in there for as many plays is in my view is just so impressive. He’s a football player. He wants to be out there, he’s a competitor. [He] made some big plays for us. I think the best is ahead of us if we just keep working at it.
And reflecting on what he saw from the Chiefs, Brady alluded to the possibility of a postseason rematch.
“They’ve got a good offense,” Brady said. “[Mahomes] delivers the ball, those guys have a lot of speed, they catch and run with it. Tyreek Hill’s play at the end there was pretty spectacular. Jump up, catch the ball and then his ability to accelerate, there’s no one like him in the NFL. He’s so talented. Between him, Kelce, Hunt, Sammy Watkins, the way Mahomes can throw the ball, it’s going to be tough to stop those guys too. They’ve got a good team. I’m sure they’ll be there in the end.”
As for Brady’s vote in the ongoing question of the NFL’s best tight end, there’s no doubt it’s going to Rob Gronkowski.
“I vote for Gronk 100 out of 100,” Brady explained. “He’s a spectacular player, made some huge plays when we needed him. He was getting punt-vised on some of his routes, and he’s literally just running into two bodies. They’re aware of him on every play. They make it tough for him, but he made the plays when we need him.”