Tom Brady knows the Patriots can play better than they did on Sunday. (Jason Bridge/USA Today Sports)
Even though the Patriots beat the Steelers 27-16 in Pittsburgh on Sunday to improve to 6-1 on the season, Tom Brady isn’t completely thrilled, as he knows the offense can play better than they did on Sunday.
The biggest issue for the Patriots came in the second and early stages of the third quarter. After totaling 166 yards on their first three drives of the game, they had just 29 on their next three, which allowed the Steelers to get back in the game after building a 14-0 lead.
Things turned around as the Patriots scored on two straight possessions to end the third and start the fourth to pull away for good.
With all the talent on the roster, Brady isn’t satisfied with the poor stretches of play.
“We have a lot of veteran players that have been around for a long time,” Brady told reporters. “We shouldn’t be messing too many things up at the end of the day. We’ve practiced a lot together, played a lot of games together. We should take advantage of opportunities when we get them. There weren’t a ton out there today based on how they played us. We made some later in the game that helped us. We can play better than we played today.”
Part of the Steelers game plan on defense was to take away the big plays, notably with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, which left the middle of the field open for Julian Edelman.
“They were certainly aware of [Rob Gronkowski] and Martellus,” Brady said. “Julian got a lot of opportunity today. He hasn’t got a ton the last few weeks, but today he had a lot of opportunities with the ball. Running the ball was good and kind of possessing those passes. We had some third downs that we should have made there in the first half, which our execution wasn’t great on. We just have to keep putting pressure on the defense. If you do that, eventually you’re going to make some plays that they will over adjust to something.”
Edelman has his most productive game of the season hauling in nine catches for 60 yards.
The Patriots did turn the ball over twice as Chris Hogan fumbled on the first offensive play of the game and Edelman fumbled a punt in the second half.