The 2019 New England Patriots have a Super Bowl-caliber defense but an offense that remains uncharacteristically disjointed as December approaches.
During an appearance on Westwood One Radio’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show, quarterback Tom Brady, who’s openly expressed his frustration with New England’s offense on several occasions this season, was asked point-blank whether his unit is talented enough to win a Super Bowl.
“That’s the question that probably everyone wants to know and tries to predict,” Brady told host Jim Gray one day after the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 17-10 to improve to 9-1 on the season. “But nobody knows at this point which team — there’s only one team that’s going to be able to reach the ultimate goal. Our team’s in a decent position, (but) we’re not going to know until we’re in that position.
“We’re 9-1. We’ve got to play great complementary football. There’s certainly things that we need to do better offensively. Again, it’s not what I think or what I predict or what somebody on TV can predict or what they think or what your parents say or what your kids say. It’s really about the mental toughness of our team to show up and try to improve — get to work, try to evaluate every game in a very fair way and have enough mental toughness to go out there and try to reach a higher level. That’s what we’re going to try to do offensively.”
Asked about New England’s perceived lack of weapons and O-line issues, Brady said the offense as a whole has yet to reach its full potential. The Patriots are third in the NFL in scoring (28.7 points per game) but have managed just three touchdowns over their last two games and have struggled on third down (17th in the league) and in the red zone (25th) for much of the season.
Brady said he was frustrated by the team’s several missed opportunities during Sunday’s win over the Eagles.
“Look, everyone thinks they analyze every game and they know everything that’s going on,” Brady said. “We talk about ignoring the noise. There’s a lot of noise. When you play great, you’re the best team in the world. When you play bad, you’re the worst team in the world, you can’t beat anyone. And that’s just riding the roller coaster of emotions.
“We have a lot of good players on our team, and we’re trying to excel. We’re trying to play at a very high level. I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet, and I’ll be excited when we do.”
Gray followed up by asking Brady, who ranks 25th in the NFL in yards per attempt, 21st in passer rating and tied for 16th in touchdown passes this season, if he’d be comfortable serving as a game manager while the Patriots lean on their elite defense and strong special teams.
“I’d like to see us reach our potential as an offense, and like I said, I don’t think we’ve got there yet,” Brady replied. “And we’re only 10 games into the year. We’ve got a lot of football to play, and that’s what we’re working towards. I don’t think any team is really a finished product. As critical as we can be of our team at times, we’re still in a good position.
“We’re 9-1, and that’s a good place to be this time of year. It’s not perfect. It’s not as bad as the worst teams in the league. But we’ve got an opportunity ahead of us that we’re going to try to take advantage of. I’m going to try to play the best I possibly can. I’m going to try to motivate my teammates as best as I possibly can, and we’re going to try to go out there and put our best performance on the field Sunday against Dallas.”