By: Ian Logue
New England may be facing a group of teams with losing records through these final six weeks, but you’d never know it listening to Tom Brady on Wednesday.
Sunday’s match-up against the 4-6 Philadelphia Eagles seems more like they’re playing the 10-0 Green Bay Packers, at least if you judge it by the tenor of Brady’s demeanor as he met with the media yesterday. As far as he’s concerned this game is as tough a match-up as they’ll face during this final stretch, and he expects it to be tougher than most people seem to think.
Despite their 4-6 record, Brady expects Sunday’s game against Philadelphia to be a tough one. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
“This is the time of year when it’s most important,” said Brady during Wednesday’s press conference. “There aren’t a lot of games left. When you play a tough team, on the road, that came off one of the biggest wins of their season – we have everything we could ask for. We’re going to go out there and try to play our best.”
Under Brady the Patriots have had a history of finishing strong after the Thanksgiving holiday. Since 2001 they’re an NFL best 61-15 (.803 winning percentage), and they finished last season 6-1 during that span to end the year at 14-2.
In order to keep that trend going, they’re going to need to pick things up a bit offensively during this final stretch, especially early on. They opened the season scoring a touchdown in the opening quarter in the first five games, scoring 42 points during that span. Since then it’s been a much different story, as they’ve scored just 9 first quarter points over the past five games.
Brady didn’t directly address that topic on Wednesday, but he still feels that the offensive execution needs to be better than it has been recently.
“We can execute a lot better than we’ve been executing, there’s no question about that,” said Brady. “I think that’s what we’re trying to do. It doesn’t matter if you win, you’re always trying to make improvements and we’re trying to make improvements and we’ll continue to make improvements up until the last day of the season, whenever that is. We go out to practice today, we’re going to try to get better and I think we can get better.”
For now they’ll keep working on making sure they put together a good performance against a team they haven’t had much success against on the road. They’re 1-5 all time against the Eagles in Philadelphia, with their only win coming back on September 14, 2003 when Brady and the Patriots beat them 31-10.
Brady’s hoping that they’ll get their second win in “The City of Brotherly Love” on Sunday.
“This is a very important game for us,” said Brady. “Everything that we’re putting into – we’re putting it all into this week. We have a lot on the line. It’s a very good team.”