Tom Brady Says the Game Sunday Didn’t Come Down to One Play

When it comes to winning time, the New England Patriots usually thrive and find a way to pull off the victory. It looked like that was going to be the case on Sunday once again. When things looked bleak for the Pats, trailing by two points with Tom Brady on the sidelines, the defense found a way to force a fumble and give the ball back to the offense with a shot to win. It all came down to one play, a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. This time, things didn’t go New England’s way and Tom Brady lost his first-ever home opener since arriving in New England. Tom Brady joined WEEI in Boston with Dennis and Callahan to talk about the missed field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, if he was surprised by the Cardinals, if he felt the offense took a step back without Aaron Hernandez, whether he was hoping the team could’ve taken another shot at the end zone as opposed to settling for a field goal, why Wes Welker didn’t start for the Pats and if he agrees that the Patriots had poor practices leading up to the Cardinals games.

On the missed field goal by Stephen Gostkowski:

“It really shouldn’t have come down to that. We do a decent job moving the ball, we just don’t do enough of it over the course of a drive to get it close enough to either kick a field goal or do what we really need to do which is score touchdowns. We put together some good plays and then we have negative plays. The negative plays really kill you.”

If he was surprised by the Cardinals:

“They pretty much did what they did all day and pretty much what they’ve been doing all preseason, and even going into last year. So, it wasn’t a ton that really surprised us. It was just a matter of, really, they have a good team. They have some very, very good players, very disruptive front, good guys in coverage, they disguise things pretty well. But our execution wasn’t great, even when we really had them figured out. That’s why you get beat, is you have chances to make plays and you just don’t make them.”

Whether he feels like the offense took a step back without Aaron Hernandez:

“I didn’t really feel that way. He’s a big part of what we do and he’s out there on the field quite a bit. I thought we just pretty much moved on, though, tried to adjust with some different personnel groupings and formations and such. But I don’t think we were really shell-shocked that he wasn’t in there. I thought we tried to react, and we didn’t have a great first half, by any stretch. But we fought hard in the second half and fought hard to the end. It was pretty amazing the defense got that turnover. I never saw that. That was unbelievable for them to make that play at the end of the game to get us the ball back. They played great all day. Those guys played their hearts out. It’s really, you win as a team, you lose as a team. That’s always what we’ve been about. That’s what we always will be about. And all of us will nitpick the things that we need to do better. Because it’s a long season; we’ve got a long way to go. When you lose, it stings, and you really self-reflect. Hopefully we can go and have a much better week this week.”

If he wanted the offense to get another shot at the end zone as opposed to settling for a field goal:

“He always makes those. He’s been the best kicker, the most accurate kicker in the history of our team. He’s a great kicker. Everyone’s confident, he was confident, sometimes you just miss them. Sometimes as a quarterback you just miss a throw, sometimes as a linebacker you just miss a tackle or you drop a ball. That’s just football. It’s never one play. You can always point and, ‘That was a big play.’ Well yeah, they’re all big plays. We had 82 offensive plays yesterday and we could’ve scored on any one of them if somebody would do a better job of doing their job. That’s just the way football is. It’s easy now to point a finger at one player or one play. But the reality is it was a lot of plays by a lot of guys where we need to do a better job so that it doesn’t come down to a kick at the end of the game.”

Why Wes Welker didn’t start:

“It was just a personnel grouping where he’s not in the game. We have a lot of different personnel groupings with him in the game. There’s a lot of guys on the roster, and we’re trying to utilize every player so that at the end of the year one guy doesn’t have 700 plays and another guy has 50 plays. Hopefully everyone can contribute and have an opportunity and be fresh and stay healthy. Because we need everybody. It’s a long year.”

If he feels the Patriots overlooked the Cardinals:

“This is a team, though, that had won eight of their last 10 dating back to last year, so now it’s nine of 11. We talked about them all week about being a team that plays hard for 60 minutes, that wins a lot of close games; they were 4-0 in overtime last year. So, you know the principles of what they’re built on and what they’re capable of. I don’t think we took them lightly at all. I thought we prepared hard. Everyone’s trying to do the right thing. There’s a lot of effort. It’s just the execution. That requires more attention to detail and more concentration. And that’s what we’ve got to try to do a better job of. There’s a lot of football left. We’ve got to be able to move on. You’ve got to be able to move forward and not really let this week affect next week. It doesn’t get any easier next week. You can never overlook a team. And we certainly never have done that and we never will do that. I think what happened yesterday is we just didn’t play the way that we needed to be able to play for 60 minutes to win a game. Until we do that, they’re going to be very competitive, like they were yesterday.”

On Wes Welker:

“I love Wes. He’s like one of my best friends. What he does on a daily basis to prepare himself really motivates everybody else. He’s a leader. He’s so tough. I’ve been in so many critical, critical situations with him where he’s worked so hard to do the right thing and be in the right place and make the play. He’s a phenomenal player.”

Whether he feels like the Patriots had poor practices leading up to the Arizona game:

“It’s the second week of the year. It’s not like we’ve got everything figured out as a team yet in practice or in games, obviously. The way we played yesterday is probably pretty much the way we practiced last week; it was just up and down. We make good plays and then we make bad plays, and good plays and bad plays. The problem with that offensively or defensively, is you can’t string together drives. That was our problem yesterday.”

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