FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady’s last three trips to Sports Authority Field ended in disappointment. Two of those featured the opposing team celebrating amid a shower of confetti.
Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. But for whatever reason, he rarely finds success in the mountain air of Mile High.
The New England Patriots have played the Denver Broncos on the road nine times, including the postseason, since Brady took over the team in 2001. They’ve won just two of those games: a 30-26 thriller in 2003 — during which the Patriots famously took an automatic safety down one, then rallied for the game-winning touchdown — and a 41-23 blowout against Tim Tebow in 2011.
Since that 2011 meeting, the Patriots have gone a perfect 4-0 against Broncos at Gillette Stadium but have not beaten them in their building, losing once in the regular season and twice in the AFC Championship Game.
The memory of last season’s conference title game — a 20-18 Broncos win in which Brady was sacked four times and hit 17 more — still sticks with the 39-year-old QB.
“I think you always remember those feelings, and you remember the circumstances of the game,” Brady said Wednesday. “Of course, to watch that game again — I watched it a bunch this offseason — but to watch it again, you?re just trying to do things better than the way we?ve done them. If you want a different outcome, then you?ve got to do things differently, and we?ve got to play better. I think that?s what it comes down to. I think about the things that I need to do better.
“We?ve been close, but close is not good enough when you play in the NFL. You?ve got to be able to finish your job.”
Brady will have a chance to end his three-game losing streak at Mile High when the Patriots visit there this Sunday. While the Broncos enter with a record of just 8-5, they return a host of players from their 2015 Super Bowl team, including NFL sack co-leader Von Miller.
“I think they?ve had really good teams,” Brady said when asked what makes playing in Denver so difficult. “More so than where you play, it?s how you play. I said earlier today, we just need to play better than the way we?ve been playing out there. It?s a great place to play. They?ve got great fans. Coach said they?ve sold out every game for like the last 45 years or something like that. It?s definitely one of the louder places, so our communication is going to be really important.
“No. 58 (Miller) on the other side of the ball is a lot more dangerous, and 94 (DeMarcus Ware), than the people in the crowd, so we?re going to have to do a good job handling all those guys up front. They?ve got a great rush group. They?ve got a great coverage group. They?re exceptional in a lot of ways and they?ve been that way for a long time, so it?s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images