After losing to the Ravens last week, the Patriots will not carry an undefeated record going into the bye week.
And for Tom Brady, that’s fine.
“It hasn’t all been perfect, but 8-1, I don’t think anyone’s going to complain about that,” Brady told Scott Zolak when asked about the current state of the Patriots on Friday’s episode of “Patriots All Access.”
As we’ve all come to expect from the Patriots, what happens in the first two months of the season doesn’t matter that much. It’s all about how the team closes the season and whether they end it receiving the Vince Lombardi Trophy from Roger Goodell.
Brady echoed that sentiment to Zolak.
“I think our entire season is determined by what happens from this point on,” Brady said. “We’ve had our ups and downs; certainly our defense has been playing great, and offensively, I hope we can get some continuity and grow and learn. Become the version that we’d all expect ourselves to become.”
Building continuity is certainly a major point of emphasis for the Patriots offense in the second half of the season.
New England has had a revolving door at wide receiver this season. Following the departures of Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, and Josh Gordon, it’s now up to new Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and 2019 first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry to step up and fill the void.
Even with the constant change at the wide receiver position, Brady said the Patriots are ready to play their best football.
“We’re ready to attack the second half of the year and play our best football,” Brady said. “This is our chance, this is our opportunity. We put ourselves in a good position, but everything is ahead of us. It’s our choice — what are we going to be?”
When the Patriots resume play next week against the Philadelphia Eagles, it will be their first of five games remaining in the season against teams who currently have winning records.
“Sounds like five playoff games to me,” Brady said of this part of the schedule.
With several new players on board, this stretch could be a strong indicator as to how the Patriots would play in the playoffs. This is obviously not Brady’s first go-around in trying to win a Super Bowl, and he said it’s up to him, the other veterans, and the coaching staff to get all the new players on board ready for the toughest part of the season.
“There are a lot of guys who are new to the team and you try to get them to understand what level it takes on a weekly basis, not just in practices but in games as well, to continue to improve and make the strides you need to make,” Brady said. “As the season goes it just gets tougher, and you have to improve as you go deeper and play better teams and the games mean more.”
And if you’re wondering about the 42-year-old’s health going into the toughest part of the season, you don’t need to worry about that right now.
“I’m doing great, I feel really good, as good as you can this time of the year,” Brady said when he was asked on how he is feeling. “You get hit a little bit, here and there, little bumps and bruises. But it’s hard to keep me out. I love being in there with my guys, so I’m going to try and hang in there for as long as I can.”
You can watch part one of Brady’s interview with Zolak here. Part two will air next Friday, Nov. 15, on “Patriots All Access.”