Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan for his weekly Monday morning interview, following Sunday's 29-26 overtime victory over the Jets. Although the Patriots won, they squandered a 10-point fourth-quarter lead before recovering.
"I'm certainly pleased by winning," he said. "I think that's the most important thing. Whether you win by a point or 10 points or 30 points, they all count the same. We've been on the losing end of a one-point game, a one-point game and a two-point game. It feels good to win a three-point game.
"There was a moment there in the fourth quarter where we looked like we had a good lead, then soon after that, we're fighting for our life with the three-point lead, and then a three-point deficit, and we turn around to win it in overtime. I'm proud of the way the guys fought. Certainly, we could do a lot of things better, and hopefully we do. But it's nice to win."
Asked why the Patriots have been able to make it look easy in the past but are struggling to close out games now, Brady said it's not for a lack of effort.
"We're trying to do it," he said. "It's not like you flip a switch. I don't think that's it. There's 53 guys that are trying to do their best out there, and we're just not doing our best. Hopefully we get to that point. That's part of why we practice, why we meet and why we go to to work every day.
"I wish it were that easy. And maybe there were times when it has looked that easy. But I think you appreciate it when it does work. And you realize the preparation that you put into it, that it pays off. Maybe we've just spoiled some people in the meantime. Because it's hard to win, man. It's really hard to win."
The Patriots are one of only three AFC teams with a record over .500. Asked if that's due to parity or a lack of quality, Brady laughed.
"It's a hard sport, man," he said. "I'm telling you … I think there's times where, like I said, we made it look easy at times, and it's never been easy. There's some years where things go a certain way, and there's some years where they don't. We're in dogfights. That's what it is, and that's what it's going to be. As a player, it's not like we go, 'Man, we're just going to score 50 points this week.' No, you've got to earn it. And you're earning it against another damn good team.
"There's some good teams. We saw some pretty good teams over the course of this season. We've been close at times. We've won some, we've lost some. Hopefully, we can win some close ones, because that's what it's going to take."
Asked about how the Pats made it look so easy in 2007, for example, Brady said: "We had a supreme level of talent and we played extremely well from week to week. … It was just one of those years where everything worked. And you know what the result of that season was? Nothing, because we lost [in the Super Bowl]. So, the result of a 14-2 season a few years ago, we lost. And the result of a 13-3 season last year, we lost.
"We're only in it for one thing, and it's to be the one team at the end of the year that's happy about how the year went. But that's a long ways from now. And we've got a long time to get better and work hard and try to learn from our mistakes. I'm glad when you win you can learn from your mistakes, too. Because there's plenty of mistakes for us to learn from."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels: "Josh and I are on the same page. We've been on the same page since the day he got back. I wouldn't say there's a level of comfort that we're seeking. We know each other very well. … The coaches coach and the players play. No matter what they call, we've got to go out there and execute it. They could call the most perfect play in the world, and if the guy's wide open and I overthrow him by 10 yards, what does it matter? We have to go do a better job playing."
On Brandon Lloyd making just one catch despite being targeted eight times Sunday: "I don't know, guys. I've got to watch the film and see what we've got to do better."
On next Sunday's game in London against the Rams: "It's a good opponent we're playing. They're 3-4, but we've lost twice to the NFC this year. We'd better play better than we've been playing. We've got to take a long trip, and it would be nice for the guys to come together and see if we can be mentally tough and go out there and deal with some distractions and go on the road in a tough place on a long trip and try to win a game. I know there's guys that haven't made this trip, there's guys that have made the trip. It's a lot more fun when you win."
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