FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots’ offense had it’s worst outing in nearly four years on Thursday, and Tom Brady was none too happy with it, despite the fact that New England came away with the win.
Brady and the Patriots move to 2-0 on the season, marking just the 12th time in team history and the seventh under head coach Bill Belichick. The quarterback’s first-quarter touchdown also made a little history in the game, making him just the second player in NFL history to throw a touchdown in 50 consecutive games. Yet, even that couldn’t make Brady more comfortable about the performance of his offense.
“We have a long way to go,” Brady said. “No one is coming to rescue and save the day so we’ve just got to fight through it. We’ve got to work harder and do better and try to be more consistent. Hopefully we can score more points.”
The Patriots scored just 13 points, their fewest points since the AFC championship game last postseason (13), and their lowest regular season total since a 16-9 loss to these very Jets in Week 2 of the 2009 season. Brady seemed disappointed in his own performance on the night, completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes for the first time since that same loss in 2009 and throwing for under 200 yards (185) for the first time since a 198-yard outing against the Steelers in Week 8 of 2011.
Brady completed passes to just four receivers in the game, with 13 of his 19 completions going to Julian Edelman. The veteran receiver was as reliable as old friend Wes Welker on the night, pulling down near everything thrown his way and contributing 12 yards per punt return on special teams as well. Aside from Edelman’s stellar effort, though, the receiving corps was dismal.
Highly touted second-round rookie Aaron Dobson had a great “Welcome to the NFL” moment, catching a touchdown on his first NFL snap, but otherwise was unreliable with his hands. Undrafted rookie sensation Kenbrell Thompkins seemed to be more in sync with Brady than in Week 1, but he still only managed a pair of grabs for 47 yards and a called-back touchdown. As for fellow rookie Josh Boyce, he saw only a handful of snaps in the game, which might indicate that he’s still behind the learning curve on the offense.
Brady noticed all of the deficiencies in the group, and he’s prepared to keep fighting until the group finally gets it right. He even diagnosed some of those problems after the game on Thursday.
“It just doesn’t magically come together. You have to work hard at it and you have to concentrate,” Brady said. “The passing game is all about anticipation. They have to anticipate what I’m going to do and I have to anticipate what they’re going to do. We can do a better job of that. I think it’s unrealistic for them to feel like they do it like 10-year veterans. It’s not what they are, but they’re trying hard and they work really hard and they have a lot of skill and they’re great kids. We just got to keep battling.”
The Patriots battled through one of their ugliest offensive outputs in years on Thursday. If they can fight through that and come out on top, then almost anything is possible.