Tom Brady made his weekly WEEI Patriots Monday appearance on Dennis & Callahan Monday morning and talked about the team's 49-19 rout of the AFC East rival Jets on Thanksgiving night.
"When we play well for 60 minutes, it can look pretty good. And we've had a few games here in the last three or four weeks where we've done that," Brady said. "It just so happened the Jets were the opponent. They made some mistakes in the game that we capitalized on. We had some great interceptions, great fumble recoveries for touchdowns. Those were like bonus points. When you're sitting on the sideline on offense and that happens, like it has for two straight weeks, you shake your head and think, wow, this is not what we planned on.
"It was a great win for our team on a short week against an opponent that always plays us really tough. We didn't take anything for granted. I thought we put a lot of work in and it really paid off. That was I think the most gratifying part of the whole night."
With the Jets in the rear-view mirror, the Patriots have a three-game lead over the second-place Dolphins as they prepare for a Sunday afternoon game in Miami.
Said Brady: "It would take a lot for [the Jets] to come back. We couldn't eliminate them based on the record and so forth. But we could put a lot of teams behind us if we win this week. This is a very important game. This is a very important part of our season. This is when it matters most. This is when we see what we're going to be capable of."
Since the Week 6 loss to the Seahawks, Brady has shined and the Patriots have not lost. Asked if he's playing as well as he ever has, Brady said: "I hope so. I hope I'm getting better and better and making more improvements. I think that's what our coaches expect of myself. That's what they expect of every player, is to keep getting better. There's really no reason why you shouldn't. You should make your improvements. You should learn from your mistakes. I think our team has done a really good job of that over the course of the season. We've just to be able to continue to do it."
Brady credited the running backs with taking advantage of an opportunity for more playing time, and he noted the success of the offensive line that has remained solid despite some key injuries.
"I think the guys that are in there now, they're coached really well. They've got one of the best O-line coaches you could ever play for," Brady said, referring to Dante Scarnecchia. "That's a huge thing, to be prepared every single week, to play well together. … That's what those guys are doing every week. Different guys are making different plays for us. That's been a fun part of the season. It hasn't been just one player. It's been a collective group of guys on offense that take the coaching, that try to do the right thing, that are trying to play really good football. Like I said, I hope we can just keep doing it."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On playing without Rob Gronkowski: "No one's like Rob Gronkowski. There's only one of those in the league. You can't say that we don't miss a player. We miss every player that's not out there. Everyone is critical to what we're doing and our success. It will be actually fun if we can ever get everyone on the same field at one time. We haven't really had that except for the first game all season. We've got a critical stretch here and we need all the guys healthy. Hopefully Rob can get back as soon as he's ready.
"In the meantime, we've still got to move one. We've still got to keep trying to win games. No one's feeling sorry that we have injuries or guys are out. Everyone's still trying to go out there and play well against us and beat us. Every team deals with some sort of injury to important players. Rob's a very important player for us. But we've got to still put together a game plan, go out and execute the game plan."
On the Dolphins: "They won a big game yesterday against Seattle, a team we lost to. I know that they've got a lot of players with a lot of talent. In the second game last year they played us tough. We didn't play very well in the first half of that game. We know the players. It's a team that we've always had a tough time with down in Florida. They're athletic, they can rush the quarterback. Cameron Wake is one of the best players that we play all season. Very good third-down defense, good secondary. It's going to be a fun game. I'm excited to get back out there."
On Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who taunted Brady after Seattle's 24-23 victory on Oct. 14, receiving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs: "That's too bad."
On his new Uggs commercial: "We filmed them back in the summer. We did those on back-to-back days with the other Ugg commercial. It was fun to do I don't do it too often. When I do, I seem to probably enjoy it more now than I used to."
On preparing for his wife to deliver the couple's second child: "Hopefully soon. I think we've still got a few more weeks till she's due. But I'm ready anytime -- not that I have to do much work."