Brady: 'We just made too many mistakes'

964501.jpg

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."

Brady on Thomas criticism: 'I love Earl . . . Wish him the best'

Brady on Thomas criticism: 'I love Earl . . . Wish him the best'

Tom Brady was getting hit from all sorts of different angles on Saturday night. Not only was he dealing with Texans pass-rushers Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney, he was also catching social-media shrapnel from Earl Thomas and Ray Lewis. 

Thomas was adamant that Brady had an easy road every year because he played in the AFC East. Lewis, meanwhile, got on Brady for complaining to officials when he thought they should have called a penalty for roughing the passer. 

On Monday, joining WEEI's Kirk and Callahan program, Brady responded to both. 

"I don't think I've ever been one to, you know, say something negative about anybody," Brady said of Thomas, who missed the end of the season with a broken leg. "It's just not my personality. I love Earl. I think he's a hell of a player. I really wish him the best in his recovery."

When it came to Lewis' critique, Brady acknowledged he complained to the officials. And he noted that it might've worked. Soon after he threw a fit when a flag wasn't thrown, the Patriots did pick up 15 extra yards when Clowney was tagged with a roughing-the-passer call.

"We had a lot of battles with Ray on the field," Brady said. "And yeah, I would love to try to make sure the officials are paying close attention. If we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important."

Brady on Brown Facebook video: Wouldn't go over well with Belichick

Brady on Brown Facebook video: Wouldn't go over well with Belichick

We know how Bill Belichick feels about social media. For years now he's been openly mocking the names of different platforms. 

RELATED

How then would Belichick feel about one of his players streaming his postgame speech live to an online audience of thousands? Probably not great. 

"That's against our team policy," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning. "I don't think that would go over well with our coach."

Brady was referencing the video posted to Facebook Live by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown late Sunday night. With over 20,000 fans watching, Brown streamed the postgame locker room prayer as well as Tomlin's speech. 

Tomlin called the Patriots a-holes, and he made note of the fact that because the Steelers-Chiefs game had been pushed to Sunday night the Patriots had a day-and-a-half more to rest and prepare than the Steelers did. Then when he spotted a player on his phone, Tomlin told his players to get off social media -- all while Brown continued to stream from behind a bank of lockers. 

"Every coach has a different style," said Brady, who recently began using an Instagram account. "Our coach, he's been in the league for 42 years and he's pretty old school. He's not into social media, and I think he lets everyone know that. I think our team has a policy. We don't show anything that should be private because he feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have. What's done in the locker room should stay in the locker room."