Brady: 'We just made too many mistakes'

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Brady: 'We just made too many mistakes'

FOXBORO -- New England was down 31-3 to the Niners with 10:21 left to play in the third quarter.
With 6:43 left in regulation, the score was tied at 31.
"I could feel that we'd be able to come back," Tom Brady said in his post game press conference. "We hung in there; we battled back from a 28-point deficit.
"We just made too many mistakes when we needed to make plays."
There's that.
The Patriots lost the Sunday night game, 41-34, despite all second half heroics. But it probably makes more sense to say the game was lost in the first half.

Brady seemed to think so.
Rather than pat the back of the NFL's best defense (San Francisco surrenders just 14.2 points per game), New England's quarterback gave his own team a lashing.
The question: What were the Niners doing that kept you guys to three first half points? The way Brady answered says it all.
"We were turning the ball over," he said. "It's hard if you're not making big plays and you can't put together enough good plays to put together a scoring drive. And certainly to turn the ball over and give them a chance to score, which is pretty much what we did the entire first half. We just didn't even give ourselves a chance.
"I mean, they're a very good team, and a very good defense, and they play hard. We just spotted them 28 points. We fought hard, but you can't play poorly against a good team and expect to win."
New England turned the ball over four times on two interceptions and two fumbles. This is a team that was crushing all NFL competition with a plus-24 turnover differential.
But that's not the only uncharacteristic statistic.
Coming into Week 15, the Patriots had just 16 three-and-out drives on the season. They had four Sunday night.
Before playing San Francisco, the Patriots led the NFL in third-down conversion percentage at 52.5. They went two-for-15 against the Niners.
There was a more than 10 minute stretch, as San Francisco entered the break with a six-minute scoring drive and received to start the second half, where the Patriots didn't even touch the ball.
You can see why the comeback was impressive.
New England dug itself out of the grave by scoring four straight touchdowns. This, after displaying complete offensive impotence.
It's one thing to be beaten schematically -- there are practical adjustments that can be made and practically applied against the defense.
What do you do when you're beating yourself? How do you stop turning the ball over when you're already trying your damnedest to be efficient?
"It was just execution," Brady said. "It wasn't like there was a magic formula to what we were doing; we just stopped killing ourselves. We just can't turn the ball over and we can't miss plays that we have opportunities at. So, we hit a few of those and that's why we moved the ball."
Receiver Brandon Lloyd had three catches for 40 yards at the half and finished with 10 for 190 -- a career high for yardage. He made New England's halftime adjustments sound brutally simple.
"We need to hang onto the ball," he said. "We need to catch the ball."
The upcoming week's work will probably go more in-depth.
It doesn't matter the Patriots should coast through the regular season, from facing 2-12 Jacksonville to the 6-8 Dolphins; the way New England bared its neck to a ravenous Niners team is unsettling. Especially so close to the playoffs.
The Patriots will need to display resilience in the coming weeks. And something more than just a four-touchdown push that makes a loss look a little better in the box score.
"Mental toughness . . . I think that's what you show," Brady said of New England's next move. "It's not every game is going to be perfect; not every carry is going to be a 50-yard touchdown; not every pass is going to be a 50-yard touchdown; it's a matter of understanding what you need to do to help the team win and being selfless and doing your job."

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

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Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Rangers:

 

QUOTES

* “On a night when he didn’t have the consistency to the knuckleball that we’ve seen from many of his starts, he went to his fastball a little bit more. [Against] a good fastball hitting team . . . He’s typically made good adjustments staying over the rubber to get his release point out front -- that wasn’t the case [tonight].” John Farrell said about Steven Wright struggling with his knuckleball in his 4.2 inning outing.

* “The ball was spinning a lot out of my hand. It was a little bit hard to grip the ball because the humidity. But it was the opposite -- it was real sticky. That’s the first time I’ve had that ever. But I still felt like I should have figured that out. It was one of those things where I think I started trying to hard . . . I was trying to the throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t working.” Steven Wright said about struggling to find his knuckleball in the 10-3 loss.

* “It’s hard for me because you want to go out there and try and go as deep as you can to try to help the bullpen, but, you know, today was tough, a tough day for me.” Wright said on his disappointment with only going 4.2 innings.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Hanley Ramirez laced his fourth homerun in his last 11 games. In his nine career games at Texas, Ramirez has six homeruns.

* David Ortiz went hitless for the first time since June 12th. Boston’s designated hitter also hasn’t hit a home run since June 17th -- his third longest homerless spell of 2016.

* Xander Bogaerts scored his 57th run of the season, putting him one run behind Ian Kinsler -- the fourth highest total in the majors.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk -- scoring the team high three runs.

 

2) Ian Desmond

Desmond laced his 13th homer of the season in his second at-bat of the game, sparking Texas’ offense with its first run of the game.

 

3) Elvis Andrus

Andrus ended Steven Wright’s day quickly with a three-run triple in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.

First Impressions from Boston's 10-3 loss to Texas

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First Impressions from Boston's 10-3 loss to Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 10-3 loss to Texas:

 

Steven Wright can’t be stellar every night.

Although it’s seemed like it lately, it’s just not possible -- especially with a knuckleball.

He wasn’t even that bad Saturday night. He just didn’t get any help from his defense in the fifth frame.

But there’s no denying he didn’t have his best stuff. But whatever the reason, he couldn’t find consistent command or movement from his knuckler and he gave up some hard hits as a result.

Did he receive a fate worse than he pitched? Yes. But what Boston saw from Wright in his Saturday start is there will be times his go-to pitch is off -- and there’s really no way to work around that.

 

Hanley Ramirez’s “timing issue” seems to be coming around.

Although he hasn’t necessarily caught fire, Ramirez hit another home run -- once again to right field.

He’s shown more patience at the plate, and not trying to pull every ball out of the yard.

Ramirez doesn’t have everything completely figured out, but his homeruns have been plenty valuable at this point.

 

Ian Desmond is no joke.

The newly converted centerfielder is 5-for-10 against Boston pitching this series with a run and two RBI.

The ex-Nationals shortstop has good pop and good speed still. He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his new home after hitting .233 for Washington last year with 19 homeruns -- hitting his 13th Saturday night.

 

For all the criticisms Boston’s bullpen has received, the Rangers’ is definitely worse.

Although there wasn’t the same miraculous comeback witnessed Friday night -- and Boston’s pen wasn’t particularly stellar in the loss -- the Ranger relievers did not look good in the second game of the series.

They put themselves into deep counts right away -- and was lucky Boston’s offense was off.

Boston’s bullpen has its faults -- no question -- but it’s not nearly as bad as the one in Texas.

 

The Red Sox unfortunately have to rely on Clay Buchholz Sunday.

The bullpen is beaten down once again. The righty is still fighting for his job, so this would be the best time for him to pitch competitively into the sixth inning -- and maybe even longer.

DC United tops Revolution 2-0

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DC United tops Revolution 2-0

WASHINGTON -- Lamar Neagle had a goal and an assist to give D.C. United an early lead that stood up in a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

D.C., after being shut out in its two previous games and four of six, opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Luciano Acosta chipped a perfect pass over the defense to the foot of Neagle, who volleyed it in from 10 yards out.

Sean Franklin scored the second goal, his first of the season, when he knocked in Neagle's cross. Albaro Saborio sent a long ball down the right sideline that Neagle ran down and crossed to Franklin for the easy counter.

D.C. (5-6-5) leapfrogged the Revolution (4-5-7) into fifth in the Eastern Conference with its fourth shutout in the last seven games and improved to 2-0-1 in the series this season.