Flying from sunny Florida to frigid New England is depressing enough.
But a change of scenery was far from the main reason the Patriots didn’t enjoy their plane ride out of Miami late Monday night. The Pats had a chance to clinch their ninth consecutive AFC East title and instead laid a dud, falling 27-20 to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.
It was an especially rough night for quarterback Tom Brady, who threw a pair of rare interceptions and couldn’t jump-start an offense that went 0-for-11 on third down conversions, a level of futility it hadn’t reached since 1991.
So, Brady stated the obvious Tuesday morning when he said the Patriots were pretty down in the dumps on their trip home.
“I think everyone took this pretty hard,” Brady said in a radio interview with WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan,” via WEEI.com. “The locker room wasn’t in very good spirits and the plane ride home was very quiet.
“It is also the ability for us to learn from it and move forward, which is what we are going to need to do because I think we have always felt that one loss shouldn’t become two and two shouldn’t become three because that is when it really turns into bad seasons. We have to figure out a way to play a lot better, and I am confident we will put out a good plan.”
Brady’s right: The Pats have no time to sulk, as a matchup with the AFC-leading Pittsburgh Steelers looms just five days away. And even if New England hasn’t been as open as Pittsburgh about admitting it, Brady and Co. know what’s at stake.
“They have been talking about this game for a long time,” Brady said. “It is an important game for both teams, so we will see if we can go out and play a lot better. There is no real magic formula, it is just execution on a play-in, play-out basis and that is what it will take to beat a really good team.”