Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s surprisingly close 16-9 victory over the lowly Raiders.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s surprisingly close 16-9 victory over the lowly Raiders. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Although they won, the Patriots continued to struggle offensively, putting up just 16 points at home against an unimpressive Raiders team.

“It’s great that we won the game. Obviously, offensively we’re just not doing as good a job as we’re capable of doing. We left a lot of points out there yesterday and made it a close game there. We just have some issues we’re going to have to try to fix here, and we’re going to have to try to fix them fast, because it only gets tougher from here.

“We’ve got a smart team, we’ve got a tough team, we’re physical, we’ve just got to execute better. I think we’ve done a good job with not turning the ball over, which has helped. We talk about that every week. But too many penalties, too many missed opportunities to score, it’s just not what our expectations are. We’re going to go back to work and see if we can do better.”

Some people have pointed the finger at the offensive line, which is without longtime coach Dante Scarnecchia, who retired after last season.

“For us to think about a bunch of hypothetical situations, it doesn’t serve us well,” Brady said. “That’s really for you guys, all the listeners and the fans. All those things that make for great sports talk aren’t necessarily what are in the minds of our team. Whether Dante’s here or not here, whether a player’s here or not there, it doesn’t matter, because we’re faced with what we’re faced with.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the offensive line, I’ve got a lot of confidence in coach [Dave DeGuglielmo] and what he’s doing. This goes back to us players, and us players doing a better job. I don’t think it has anything to do with the people who aren’t on the field. The people who affect the wins and losses in the game are the players, and we’ve got to go out there and throw the ball, catch the ball, run with the ball, block, tackle — all the things that it takes to win the game. I’m not going to sit here and say that it has anything to do with anything other than that, because that’s where I feel the responsibility always lies.”

Brandon LaFell, signed as a free agent in the offseason and expected to provide a much-needed boost to the receiving corps, made his first catch of the season Sunday.

“I don’t anybody’s really found their stride this year,” Brady said. “I don’t who you can point to on offense and say, wow, they’re really clicking.”

Brady, however, did acknowledge that Julian Edelman has had success.

“Yeah, he’s done a good job, so that’s one,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of other guys on offense. There’s 22 other guys on offense. So, I’m not going to sit here and say every single guy is clicking. We’ve had one individual player that’s caught some passes. Great. Does that make a good offense? I don’t think so.”

Danny Amendola also has yet to make a contribution this season, coming off a 2013 campaign when he underwhelmed after signing a big free agent contract.

“I think that there’s not one person on our team that has good individual statistics this year,” Brady said. “If we want to look at individual statistics for running back or receiver, tight end, quarterback — our offense hasn’t been producing, so no one’s going to have good statistics. That’s just the way it is. It’s not an individual problem. It’s a collective problem by our entire offense, the reason why we’re not producing more and producing better.

“We’ve all got to figure out how to do a better job of that. It’s not one person. It’s not not singling any person out to say, wow, if this person were out, or if this person were in, or — I mean, if we had 11 people on the field that were producing like Julian Edelman, we’d have a pretty good offense. We’ve got one guy.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On if the trade of Logan Mankins took away some of the toughness of this team: “He was [tough], but we’ve still got a lot of those guys, too. I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s just knowing our job, and everybody collectively doing their job better, so it’s better for all of us. It’s not one thing. … It’s not an easy thing to do. And that’s why the production is what it is. If it was easy, you’d just roll your helmet out there and score 30 points a game. Well, that’s not where it’s it. This team has different strengths than it has had in the past. That’s just based on the way your team is. Some years it’s offense, some years it’s defense, some years it’s special teams. Some years all of them have a little bit. … We’ve got a really great defense. Hopefully our offense, we can start doing more things so that we can become a more prolific offense, and then that will be a lot better for our team.”

On two passes to Rob Gronkowski that were off the mark: “Yeah, he was open [on the second-quarter crossing pattern]. He had some space. I just made a bad throw. The other one on the goal line was a pretty tight throw, pretty tight coverage. Charles [Woodson] got a finger on it. It just kind of disrupted the timing of the play. Yeah, I’ve got to hit the open guys. That’s what my role is. When I find someone that’s open, I’ve got to throw it and hit it.”

On the pick play on which LaFell has been penalized three times this season: “Brandon LaFell is 220 pounds, so when someone runs into him they usually take more of it than he does. We got called yesterday. Yeah, you’re trying to get in the way and make the guy … try to create some separation for your guy on offense. Every team in the league does it at some point. We’ve just been called. It sucks, because we got three really big completions and three big plays. But you’re right, there’s finesse to it. We’ve got to do a better job. All of us have to understand the concept and then try to play within the rules.”

On his block when Shane Vereen reversed direction and ran across the field: “I was trying to get out of the way. When he saw him coming back the other way, I was kind of [expletive]. … Shane’s a hell of a lot faster than I am, so I can’t sit there and coddle my way down the field. I just tried to find somebody and tried to get him down.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
The last minute of the Patriots' win Sunday left the field with a bunch of frustrated Raiders. (Getty Images)

The last minute of the Patriots’ win Sunday left the field with a bunch of frustrated Raiders. (Getty Images)

With just under a minute left in the Patriots’ Sunday tilt with the Raiders, Oakland running back Darren McFadden rushed into the end zone for what appeared to be a game-tying touchdown. But he would soon discover that it was all for naught.

Oakland rookie guard Gabe Jackson had been flagged for holding Patriots safety Patrick Chung.

One play later, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s attempt at a last-second, game-tying touchdown pass was picked off by Patriots’ defensive lineman Vince Wilfork after a deflection, ending Oakland’s comeback bid.

It should also be noted on the play before Jackson’s penalty, Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan was flagged for a questionable 24-yard pass interference penalty, where he and Andre Holmes were battling for position up the sideline.

Here were some of the Raiders’ thoughts on the controversial play:

“I saw it up on the big screen, and my opinion is it was not a hold,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen

“I thought it was a clean block,” Jackson told reporters. “But the call is what it was so I don’€™t have too much to say about that. … Maybe they saw something from a different angle.”

What did you think?

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Blog Author: 
WEEI

Vince Wilfork delivered in the clutch for the Patriots on Sunday.</p>
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Well, the kickers were good.



TIM BENZ

BIO | ARCHIVE


FOXBORO — Finishing with 16 points and only one touchdown against a Raiders defense who allowed a combined 49 points in their first two games of the season, Tom Brady and the offense had a reason to be frustrated with their performance.

It hasn't been the start Tom Brady and the offense had hoped for, but it's only Week 3 with plenty of time to make improvements. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It hasn’t been the start Tom Brady and the offense had hoped for, but it’s only Week 3 with plenty of time to make improvements. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Finishing with 16 points and only one touchdown against a Raiders defense who allowed a combined 49 points in their first two games of the season, Tom Brady and the offense had a reason to be frustrated with their performance. But, even with its offensive struggles, the Patriots were able to sneak away with a 16-9 win over the Raiders in its home opener Sunday afternoon.

“We had some opportunities there to score more points and we didn’€™t come away with it,”€ Brady said. “We left some chances on the field and certainly scoring opportunities. That’€™s something we’€™re going to have to obviously get a lot better at, so we’€™ll keep working at it.”

The major issue for the Patriots was its red zone efficiency as they ran six plays inside the Oakland’€™s 3-yard line and scored zero touchdowns on those plays. Their lone touchdown of the game was a 6-yard pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski in the second quarter.

New England couldn’€™t find the end zone at the end of the first half when Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen were stopped on consecutive running plays and then on third down the shotgun snap was botched. Then, opening the fourth quarter, Vereen was stopped and Brady threw back-to-back incompletions, intended for Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. Stephen Gostkowski kicked field goals on both occasions and finished with three total in the game.

“€œWe’€™re going to try to keep making improvements,” Brady said. “€œI don’€™t think anything is perfect out there. There are some teams that are playing really well already. We’€™re not really doing that offensively yet. Defensively we played great but it’€™s a team sport. We’€™ve got to handle our business and do our job, whether it’€™s situationally, whether it’€™s scoring when we need to score. Not turning the ball over has been good — I think we’€™ve done a good job of that. We’€™ve just got to score more points. Especially getting down to the red area and having opportunities to score and not being able to do it.”

Through the first three games of the season, arguably the biggest issue for the offense has been the play of its offensive line as Brady has been under constant pressure — looking uncomfortable in the pocket at times. The quarterback was sacked only twice Sunday, but was hit six times.

“That’€™s my guy. It’€™s tough seeing him take hits like that, but it’€™s Tom Brady and you know he’€™s going to compete till the end and you know he’€™s going to take those hits and it’€™s not going to phase him,”€ wide receiver Julian Edelman said. “It’€™s not good seeing your QB get hit, but it’€™s a rough game and is going to happen sometimes. When you have No. 12 back there leading your squad you know he’€™s going to get up.”

In the first three games of the season, Brady is 67-for-114 (59 percent) for 632 yards (211 yard average per game) with three touchdowns — not typical Brady numbers. But, it’€™s only three weeks into the season and there is a long way to go with plenty of time to make adjustments to get things right for when they matter most.

“It’€™s only three games in, so we have a long season ahead of us,” said Brady. “There’€™s a lot of football to play. We haven’€™t done a lot of good things offensively, period. If you want to settle on the red area, I’€™d settle on everything ‘€“ certainly the pass game, run game, penalties. But you know what? We’€™re 2-1. I think we can make the improvements and understand that we’€™re trying to build something. But we have to improve everything. That’€™s the stage we’€™re at.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

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FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski is a realist.

He knows 16 points might be the 0-3 Raiders at Gillette but the bar is a little higher than beating a winless team traveling cross country on its way to London.


FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski is a realist.

He knows 16 points might be the 0-3 Raiders at Gillette but the bar is a little higher than beating a winless team traveling cross country on its way to London.

Gronkowski had the only touchdown of the day in a 16-9 win over the Raiders Sunday as the Patriots improved to 2-1.

“€œSometimes there is frustration but you always want to move on to the next play, and that’€™s what we were doing,” Gronkowski said. “We did enough this game, but that’€™s not always going to get the job done. We’€™ve just got to keep working together as a unit and keep working hard.”

While there wasn’t much offensively to get excited about, Gronkowski and his continued great play in the red area is one thing Patriots fans can take comfort in.

He had another touchdown catch on a crossing route in the end zone in the second quarter as the Patriots found the end zone for the only time on the afternoon. Gronk would’ve had a second touchdown catch if it weren’t for Charles Woodson sticking his hand up at the last moment and deflecting Brady’s pass to an open Gronkowski in the back of the end zone.

“€œJust a little over route and just got open on the linebacker, and Tom put a nice ball right there, and I just made the catch and got in,” Gronkowski said of his second-quarter grab. “So, good job by everyone as a unit, and we executed well.”

One of the few times on the afternoon an offensive player in a blue jersey could say that. Julian Edelman would be another. He had 10 catches on 13 targets for 84 hard-fought yards, including a somersault flip near the goal line. After the game Edelman, perhaps after a discussion with coaches, admitted he’s got to do a better job avoiding hits.

“Julian is a warrior,” Gronkowski said in admiration. “He has the ball, he goes full speed, game, practice, whatever. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve been around.”

Gronk finished with three catches on six targets for 44 yards, including finding a hole in the Raiders zone at midfield for 22 yards on a pivotal 3rd-and-15 conversion from Tom Brady.

“€œWe’€™ve just got to keep working together as a unit, and that starts at practice first,” Gronkowski said. “We’€™ve got to get clicking for sure. We did enough today to get that victory, but there are always a lot of improvements, starting with myself. I could make a lot better blocks, better routes. So we’€™ve just got to go out there in practice and have the offense clicking altogether as one and bring it out to the games.

“€œA win is a win. Every team is good in the NFL, so whenever you come out with a win, especially in the first game at home, it’€™s a win. The defense played very well, and we just did what we had to do to get that victory, which is huge.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — With Oakland having first and goal, trailing by seven points with less than a minute to play in the Patriots’ home opener, the defense needed to come up with a big play.