New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says everyone on offense is to blame for their offensive struggles in Thursday night’s 13-10 win over the New York Jets.
With three top receiving targets missing Thursday, Brady completed less than 50 percent of his passes, while running an offense that converted just 4 of 18 third downs and had more punts (11) than first downs (9).
“It’s overall execution of our whole offense,” Brady said Monday during his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI . “It’s not the receiver position, it’s every position, including the quarterback position. It’s the quarterback position, running backs, tight ends, receivers, offensive line — we all have to be on the same page. Until we are, then we’re going to struggle.
“I’m really glad we won these last two games. I think our defense has done such a great job of limiting points and scoring opportunities for the other team, getting us great field position. We just haven’t done much to take advantage of those things. We have to work harder at what our job is, because obviously what we’re doing isn’t good enough at this point. How we’ve performed through two games as an offense is less than what the level of expectation is, and we need to find ways to improve it.”
Brady was visibly frustrated with his teammates throughout Thursday night’s contest, but says now that the emotion has worn off, it’s time to dissect the problem.
“That’s how football is, it’s a game of emotion. Once emotion wears off, you try to take a clinical analysis of what really happened. You have to take the emotion out of it at some point. It’s hard to take emotion out of it in the first quarter of a football game. Football’s an emotional game. We all have our ups and downs. We’ve all developed enough trust in each other where whatever happens on game day happens. But afterward you have to figure out the reasons why we’re not executing well. And like I said, it’s the quarterback position, too. I’m not making all the right plays, either. It’s not like the rookie receivers are messing up all the time, No, not at all. Look, I’ve really been able to count on those guys. They’ve done an incredible job for what they’ve been asked to do. We’ve got to improve in all aspects of our offense. That will hopefully remove some of the burden that is falling on the receivers right now.
“We have a lot of veteran players that aren’t playing right now, too, that if they were playing the burden would be spread around to different guys who would shoulder a lot of that responsibility that’s now falling on the younger players. And the younger players are doing a great job. They’re working really hard. They’re attitude is great. It’s been great to work with them. Hopefully it all pays off for us in November and December, if we can ever get to a point where we have a lot of our guys back and healthy and playing well.”
Brady says losing tight end Rob Gronkowski, who could be back by Week 3 or 4, is like a baseball team losing its ace pitcher.
“He’s a pretty important player. It’s like losing your No. 1 pitcher in baseball. What would that do to a baseball team? He’s pretty good. He’s a great player. He helps in the run game and the pass game, provides a level of toughness for our team. He’s been a really consistent performer when he’s been out there. It’s hard to replace him. There’s only one Gronk.
“I know he’s working his butt off to get back. Every time I see him he’s got a great attitude about his rehabilitation and what he’s going through to try to get back on the field. When he is back, and hopefully he can stay healthy over the course of a long season — but our offense could definitely use the help.”
The Patriots will look to bounce back offensively at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.