Tom Brady knows the New England Patriots have a lot of work to do, but he also knows the team that took the field Sunday in Miami likely won’t be the same team that takes the field in the AFC divisional round.
Brady and the Patriots had a chance to lock up the AFC’s top seed Sunday against the Dolphins, but instead turned in a bizarre effort that ultimately led to a disappointing loss. The Denver Broncos took advantage and snatched the No. 1 spot, but the Patriots do get the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Brady said Monday morning on WEEI’s “The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show” that two full weeks of rest and preparation could make a big difference for the Patriots moving forward.
“I don’t think there are any sort of simple solutions this time of the year,” Brady explained Monday on WEEI. “I mean, we’ve played a lot of football, and there have been a lot of things that happened over the course of the year, and we’re going to need to put together our best effort in two weeks. I think that’s what it comes down to. We’re not the team we played in the opening week and we’re not the team we were in Week 8. We’re the team we are in Week 17.
“We’ll be a different team in two weeks than we are from (Monday) based on how we practice and the guys who go out there and play. Does that mean things will be perfect? Absolutely not. We’re going to have to go out there and work hard to achieve our goal.”
The Patriots hope they’ll have some reinforcements by the time Jan. 16 rolls around. Whether it’s the return of wide receiver Julian Edelman or offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, or any of the other injured players nearing a return, there’s reason to be optimistic.
“Hopefully, we can use this bye week to our advantage,” Brady continued. “We haven’t had a bye week since Week 4. So I know a lot of guys are fighting through a lot of stuff. We’re going to have play a great game of football whoever we play. This time of year is about how you play, not who you play or where you play or any of that. It’s how you play. Hopefully we’ve learned some lessons over the last six weeks, and we can get to playing more Patriot-like football.”
As for the quarterback himself, Brady’s downplayed his own ankle injury. Brady’s right ankle was rolled up under Ndamukong Suh on Sunday, which required the Patriots training staff to retape Brady. The quarterback also was seen limping after the game, even hobbling down from the podium following his postgame news conference.
“I’m doing all right, I’m doing all right,” he insisted on WEEI. “We’ll see how it goes this week. I’m sure there will be some treatment as always. A lot of guys are banged up, so it’s just part of football season.”
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images