Following a lopsided 34-10 loss to the Titans on Sunday, the Patriots now head into their bye week on a low note. Still, Tom Brady was optimistic during a Monday morning interview on WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan.”
“We’ve got our whole season ahead of us, and our seasons’s really going to be what we make of it,” Brady said. “It’s a great opportunity. I know we can play better than we played yesterday. I know we can play better than we’ve played all year. We just have to be able to work at it and focus on it and try to go out and do it.”
Yet the mistakes of the previous day were impossible to ignore. Brady plain acknowledged where some of the blame needed to be placed.
“We’re not doing enough good things offensively,” Brady said. “It’s really been 10 weeks.”
“We made some big plays, and then we went backwards, made some big plays and then went backwards,” Brady continued. “I think a good offense has to go through everybody, there are a lot of players that have to make plays when your number is called, utilizing everybody that’s available. Hopefully with the bye week everyone can get healthy, really reinvigorate themselves and come back and we’ll see what we can do.
“But it always feels terrible when you lose, but I always I think it’s a great part of self reflection and what we have to do as individuals and what we have to do as a team to reach a much higher level.”
As for the the Titans, Brady credited the opposition.
“They didn’t make any mistakes,” Brady noted. “They played really well on defense, they played well on offense. If they played like that every week, they’d win a lot of games, just like we would if we played well.”
One particular Tennessee player who had things to say afterward was former Patriots running back Dion Lewis.
“That’s what happens when you go cheap,” Lewis said on Sunday. “You get your ass kicked.”
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) November 11, 2018
Lewis left New England in free agency, but has described afterwards how the the Patriots “could’ve had me.”
Brady was asked what he thought of Lewis’s comments.
“Dion had a great career here, and it’s hard to see great players go,” Brady said. “I know it’s not the first time it’s happened. It’s happened to a lot of guys. I’m sure when they go to different places, they want to beat us. Absolutely, I can understand that emotion. So we’ve had guys that come from other teams, and they want to beat that team. It’s just part of the sport. I give them credit, they beat us, and when you win, you get to say a lot of things. That’s the reality of winning.”
Regarding the reverse pass play in which Brady stumbled, coming up just short of a first down, the Patriots quarterback took the blame for not executing.
“Plays like that we have to come up with,” Brady admitted. “Julian made a great throw, and just came up a half yard short. Just one of those plays that I wish I would’ve done a better job of.”
Additionally, Brady was asked if he was “insulted” by the Titans running the same play later in the game.
“No, of course not,” Brady said. “They’re trying to win, they’re trying to use plays that they think are going to work, and play to their advantage. They executed well, they played well.”
A surprisingly development occurred late in the game, when Brady was put on the bench as the Patriots were losing by a wide margin. Brady had a blunt assessment.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I would like to always play, I would certainly like to be ahead by three scores by that point, but we weren’t, and we didn’t do enough to earn it. That’s happened before, and we have to do a better job of it.”
Brady summarized New England’s issues on the road by noting that the three losses all have a commonality, as do the Patriots’ road wins:
We’ve had three tough losses on the road where we didn’t play very well. We didn’t start very well. We always played on their terms, and that’s a good recipe for winning when you’re on the other side of those things. Getting a lead, playing with a lead, and then if you’re not playing with a lead, it’s really a lot of mental toughness, determination to fight your way back into the game. And we have to figure out a better formula for that when we get behind on the road.
We started fast in Chicago, got a lead there, we had a lead in Buffalo when we did win, and the three times where we had slow starts in the first quarter on the road was Jacksonville, Detroit and Tennessee. We’ve started slow in the past, it’s just hard to overcome it, especially when we’re not executing the way that we’re capable of executing.
The Patriots next play on Nov. 25 against the Jets (1 p.m.) at MetLife Stadium.