Brady: We were lucky to win

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Brady: We were lucky to win

It's not unusual for Tom Brady to appear upset after an ugly win.

His demeanor fit that bill Sunday evening after the Patriots narrowly escaped Jacksonville, 23-16.

"I mean, we played pretty terrible out there," he said. "It came down to the wire and our defense made some plays but that was a bad 60 minutes of football. We got out-competed out there, out-fought.

"We were lucky to win."

New England's execution was unimpressive from the start.

Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne went a perfect 6-for-6 passing on the team's first drive. The nine-play, 78-yard effort got Jacksonville on the board and ate up almost six minutes of clock.

New England's offense was equally impotent and the team went down 10-3 after the first quarter.

"We started slow -- couldnt do anything offensively, couldnt make any plays," Brady said. "They made plenty of plays. We were lucky to be in it at halftime, didnt really do anything in the second half in the run game or the passing game, so its just a poor effort overall."

Henne contributed 343 to the team's overall 436 yards of offense.

When the Patriots 'D' did step up, killing a Jacksonville drive that got down to New England's 1-yard line, the offense couldn't answer. With a seven-point lead to protect and three minutes of remaining regulation to burn, Brady and company gained just 13 yards before punting.

Patriots-Jaguars truly came down to the wire.

In his press conference last Wednesday, Brady gave 2-12 Jacksonville what seemed like undue respect. When the quarterback went on about how the Jaguars always fight to the last bell, it went even beyond the typical NFL diplomacy.

Those words turned out to be disconcertingly prophetic.

"They didnt give us anything," Brady said Sunday. "I mean, we had to fight for it and they made plenty of plays on us. It just wasnt a very good performance."

There was no, 'A win is a win' shrug to punctuate the presser's end.

The quarterback just saw too many mistakes, with too little time to correct them, before the postseason.

You get very concerned when you dont play well. Thats very evident by the way we performed," Brady said. "We better have a good week of practice or its going to be just as tough against Miami.

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week. 

"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."

Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.

"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."

Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."

Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.

"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”