By: Ian Logue
After losing against the Dolphins and seeing their shot at a number one seed potentially slip through their fingers, not to mention a missed opportunity at clinching the AFC East, quarterback Tom Brady knows that Sunday’s game against Baltimore is pivotal as they continue jockeying for playoff position.
A victory against the Ravens now holds two big keys for the Patriots, who fell to 10-4 after their loss to Miami last weekend. A win locks up the AFC East, and also secures a playoff spot, but more importantly beating a team in a tough environment might be just what the doctor ordered for a team that needs a win like that to cure what’s been ailing them in recent weeks.
Tom Brady knows how important Sunday’s game against Baltimore is to his football team.
(USA TODAY Images)
Brady feels it’s a game they need, and he noted the importance on Wednesday as he spoke to the media.
“We need it,” Brady said. “There’s no bigger game than this one for us. We have to put everything we can into it. It’s a very important game. As the season goes on, each of these games gets more and more important. We know how important this one is to try to win the division.”
After a season that has seen a lot of slow starts and heart pounding finishes, Brady admitted that it would be nice to finally go out and put 60-minutes of solid football together. However, he expects that to be a challenge considering how tough the Ravens have been in recent years.
“It would be nice to go out there and play this team and play them well for once,” Brady said. “We haven’t done a great job playing against them offensively. They present a lot of challenges. They’ve always had great players there; they still have some great players that are carryovers from last year’s team and different guys that they’ve added this year. It’s a really good group and they put a lot of pressure on you. They’re good in the red area, they’re good on third down. They do some really good things. It’s going to be a big test.”
The Patriots have struggled on the road this season, with a 3-4 record away from Gillette Stadium. Sunday’s loss in Miami was the latest blow for a team that has had an up and down year, and they’ll now try and avoid losing back-to-back games during a critical stretch. Each game has been a grind, and they’ve battled through injuries, new personnel, all the while trying to put themselves in position to be a contender when all is said and done.
That’s the position they’re in right now, and Brady admitted that despite all the criticism and adversity, none of that matters. In order to beat Baltimore, they need to just go out and make the plays.
“Ultimately, it’s going to come down to how well we execute, whether we make the plays or not,” said Brady. “The players will have plenty of say of the outcome of the game once we get out there on the field.”
There was a lot of disappointment coming off of their loss to the Dolphins, which cost them a top seed and delayed their shot at a “hat and T-shirt” to lock up the Division. They have a shot once again Sunday, and a win also ensures they’ll play at least into January.
Needless to say, while the defeat was tough, what happened in Miami is over and it’s on to Baltimore.
“Putting Sunday behind us is important and moving onto this week,” said Brady.
“There’s nothing really from the last game that’s going to help us this week.”