With the way the New England Patriots’ offense currently is constructed, don’t expect them to go out and average 35 points a game.
That was, in essence, Tom Brady’s message Monday morning as the Patriots quarterback discussed his team’s offensive struggles during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“We’re not 2-10. We’re 10-2,” Brady said on the radio program. “And I know there’s very high expectations, as there are for us. I think the expectations for our team often are at a very, very, very high level, and I understand that. But at the same time, I think there are realistic expectations with our circumstances — incorporating different elements and players, and injuries — and we’re just trying to do the best we can do.”
In their last four games, the Patriots have scored 20, 17, 13 and 22 points. All three of their touchdowns in Sunday night’s 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans came in the final 16 minutes, after Houston had built a 21-3 lead. Two of the three came with less than four minutes remaining.
Of Brady’s 326 passing yards against the Texans, 204 were on throws to wide receiver Julian Edelman (six catches for 106 yards and one touchdown) and running back James White (9-98-2). Rookie receiver Jakobi Meyers caught three passes on seven targets for 46 yards and had two long receptions wiped away by penalties, but he also drew Brady’s ire after failing to adapt his route when the quarterback scrambled on third down.
Veteran wideouts Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett combined for just five catches for 29 yards on 11 targets, with the former dropping one pass on fourth down and the latter running a different route than Brady expected on at least one play. First-round draft pick N’Keal Harry wasn’t targeted after cornerback Bradley Roby outmuscled him for an interception during the first quarter.
The loss in Houston dropped New England out of first place in the AFC standings, greatly increasing the importance of this Sunday’s home matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the 8-4 Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots also have one game remaining against the 9-3 Buffalo Bills, who trail them by just one game in the AFC East.
“We have our whole season ahead of us, and we have to learn from the things we did last week and try and go out there and get a really tough win against KC and see if we can get back to winning,” Brady said. “That is going to be the most important thing this week.”
Thumbnail photo via Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images