By: Ian Logue
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t used to losing.
Since taking over as quarterback during the 2001 season, Brady’s only finished one season with less than double digit wins, finishing 9-7 during his sophomore season back in 2002 where he dealt with a shoulder separation that – according to reports after it was over – would have kept him out of the postseason even if they had gotten there.
Brady reached yet another milestone on Sunday against Buffalo. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Otherwise the Patriots signal caller doesn’t know what it feels like to endure a losing season. That’s probably a good thing, because one thing we’ve learned about him during his tenure as quarterback here in New England is that he’s about as competitive as it gets.
On Sunday he became just the third quarterback in NFL history to finish with over 5,000 yards passing in a season, adding his name to the record books along with his other accolades that have been accomplished during his storybook NFL career.
But Brady told reporters after Sunday’s come-from-behind win over Buffalo that those records don’t matter, because he’s only focused on one thing.
“I’ve played this game for one reason, and it’s to win,” said Brady, who threw for 338 yards in a 49-21 win over the Bills. “There’s nothing more important to me than that.”
Brady, who also threw a touchdown pass in his 32nd straight regular season game on Sunday said that records have never been something he’s worried about.
“It’s not something I think about,” said Brady. “It’s not something I ever…[and say] ‘Man, I love throwing touchdowns’, or ‘I love throwing for yards’. I love winning, and that helps me sleep at night.”
For the most part he should be used to sleeping pretty easy. He and Belichick have become the NFL’s all-time winningest quarterback/coach tandem, with three championships and yet another division title thanks to a 13-3 finish this season. After Sunday’s win they’ve locked up the top seed and find themselves with yet another opportunity to battle for a Super Bowl. The good news is, as long as they continue to win, for at least two games they’ll be playing in Foxboro.
As for reaching the passing yard milestone, Brady – as expected – gave the credit to his receivers for being the ones to get the yards after the catch, which obviously helped get him there.
“Well, the guys did a lot, catching the ball and running with it,” said Brady. “Our passing game has been obviously a strong point of this team. And the pass catchers and the blockers have been great, and we’ve run the ball well too at times.
“That what it takes, a complimentary offense and you run it, we throw it when we need to throw it and we can be effective. You’ve got to stay balanced, and those guys have done a great job all year doing stuff with it.”
Now he here is, with the number one seed thanks to Sunday’s victory and about to embark on yet another playoff run. As nice as having home field throughout the playoffs, Brady said that it won’t be where they play – but how they play – that will ultimately make the difference.
“It depends how well we play,” said Brady, when asked how important playing at home is going to be for them. “I think that’s going to be the determining factor on whether we win or lose, is how well we execute.
“You know, it’s great playing at home. It’s great to have a bye, but I think we’ve got to concentrate here this week on what we need to do to play our best football in a couple weeks.”
Hopefully that’s what happens, and that for three more games he continues to sleep a little easier.