Brady swings for the fences against Seahawks . . . and misses


Brady swings for the fences against Seahawks . . . and misses

SEATTLE Even after all hes accomplished in his NFL career or perhaps because of it there are small things that Tom Brady uses as motivators.

On Sunday, after throwing a first-quarter touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez, it seemed we got a look at what was fueling him against the Seahawks. He wanted to muzzle the much-ballyhooed 12th man of Seattle.

When Brady got back to the bench after that touchdown, he stared into the stands and made a point of letting them know what he thought of the home-field edge they were giving him. In the days leading up to the game, Brady talked of how he relishes getting a crowd to turn on its team.

Those words didnt go unheard in Seattle, as cornerback Richard Sherman indicated on Twitter after the game when he said,

Brady sure looks like a man who turned the 12thMan against us twitter.comRSherman_25st Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) October 15, 2012

Maybe, just maybe, Tom Brady got himself a little too fired up on Sunday. He didnt want to win. He wanted to go for the throat.

Which might help explain why, when the Patriots were trying to run one quick play before the half to look for a touchdown before settling for the field goal, he worked too long trying to go for seven and the Patriots got nothing.

And that might be why Brady tried to go over Shermans head with a third-quarter pass to Deion Branch that you dont usually see him make. That throw was picked while Rob Gronkowski ran free underneath for what would have been another 10- to 12-yard gain.

In the second half of Sundays 24-23 loss, the harder Brady tried to stick the dagger in, the more he seemed to turn it on his own team.

I think we just need to do a better job when it counts, said Brady. We moved the ball up and down the field, a lot of guys were making plays, a lot of guys made some really great plays and we had some really good opportunities to score points.

Brady then looked at his own mistakes, recounting them.

The interception in the end zone on the throw to Wes Welker. We are driving the ball and I throw an interception to Sherman up the seam. I make a play at the end of the half to squander three points and you lose by one point and there are a lot of things we could have done better to not be in that situation. We have to do a better job and I have to do a better job.

Bradys numbers were great if you had him on your fantasy team 395 yards, 36 completions, two touchdowns but in real football, the mistakes that cost points cost the Patriots this game and dropped them to 3-3.

The squander before the half was lamentable.

That is my responsibility to take care of the football and do something good with it, said Brady. When the play comes in from the sidelines, they are not thinking that we are going to have intentional grounding. They trust me to be smart with the ball and to get three at the worst and I just made a bad play.

It was one of two groundings Brady had on the day. And it was part of a number of rushed or hurried throws Brady made when he seemed unnecessarily harried. A player whos known for poise lost his a little bit Sunday. You could see it when he flipped out on the refs as he lobbied rightly and wrongly for calls.

Maybe the shot to the noggin he took from Jason Jones in the third impacted his play some in the fourth. After going 31-for-45 for 324 yards in the first three quarters, he closed by going 5-for-13 for 71 yards with the end-zone pick to Welker.

Whatever happened late, Tom Brady didnt play like Tom Brady normally does. And the last word belonged to the Seahawks and their 12th man.

Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats


Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats

FOXBORO -- When Dion Lewis wasn't spotted at Wednesday's practice, we had to make it clear when we mentioned his absence: He had only, as far as we knew, missed the start of practice. Though unlikely, there's always the chance a player emerges from the locker room once practice has started and goes through the remaining periods of the workout. 

Now that we have the injury report for Wednesday, we know that wasn't the case for Lewis. He did not show up on the report as a limited participant, meaning he didn't participate at all. 

There were no surprises on Wednesday's injury report, with nine players listed as limited, including tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), linebacker Jamie Collins (hip) and receiver Julian Edelman (foot).

For the Bills, running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) did not participate. Bills coach Rex Ryan explained on Wednesday that McCoy aggravated his hamstring injury against the Dolphins on Sunday, but he did not rule him out for the Patriots game this coming weekend.

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
LB Zach Brown (illness)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)

Will time off in September benefit Brady down the stretch?


Will time off in September benefit Brady down the stretch?

FOXBORO -- As far as Tom Brady is concerned, there were no silver linings to Deflategate or the month he spent in exile from his team. Don’t try to put whipped cream on that particular mound of fecal material.
Found that out Wednesday when I gingerly asked Brady whether he’s ever felt this good in mid-October.
“I feel good,” said Brady. “I felt good at this time last year though, too. From one year to the next, I’d say I’ve become pretty efficient with how I get ready to play.
So the missing of September?
“I always wish I could be out there playing,” he pointed out. “I’d much rather be playing than not playing, but it is what it is. I feel good at this point. But like I said, I felt good last year, I felt good the year before that, and I think every year at this time of year just based on the right routine and kind of doing the right things to get yourself feeling good.”
The line of questioning was prompted by two things.
First, Brady’s played 256 games -- regular season and playoffs -- since 2000. His 31 postseason starts are the most in NFL history and he’ll add to it this year. No quarterback’s ever had a schedule like Brady’s for as long as Brady and the punishment he takes (witness Denver last January) would have destroyed the Montanas and Mannings with whom he’s compared. The extended layoff had to do a body good. And the level at which Brady’s playing right now -- and may continue to because he’s fresher -- can only mean good things.
Second, all the band, resistance and quickness work Brady does will never make him fast. But it has seemed to make him more decisive and determined that -- when he does opt to run -- the body will cooperate and arrive at the appointed destination without disaster.
Sunday, Brady both bought time for completions and embarked on short-range scrambles that picked up key first downs.
When Brady talked last week about making Pittsburgh “defend every inch of the field,” Brady scooting into open areas was a perfect illustration of that.
“If there are two or three plays a game that you can make just moving the pocket, or sliding, or buying your receivers more time, or scrambling on third-and-two, it’s just one more thing that they have to defend,” said Brady. “We made – Jimmy [Garoppolo] made a bunch of those when he was in there early. Jacoby [Brissett] made some.
“It’s nice to be able to do that because I think it’s a little discouraging for a defense when they feel like they’ve got you covered or they’ve got the right call on it, and all of the sudden – I mean, I don’t think they’re preparing for me scrambling for first downs. I know they’re not working on that. They’re working on stopping Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], and stopping Julian [Edelman], and Danny, and Hogs [Chris Hogan], LeGarrette [Blount] and James [White]. That’s not one of their top 10 things on their hit list, so I think it’s pretty discouraging when it happens and hopefully we can keep it going.”
At this point, Brady’s running has to at least be in the scouting report.
Although Rex Ryan isn’t buying.
“I’d like to see him do it more often,” said Ryan when asked if the scrambling of Brady was becoming annoying. “Put him in the option, that’s one thing that doesn’t scare you much, you live with that. What scares you is when he lets the ball go. He’s able to pick up a few first downs, But I think we may have the edge in running ability this week. I may go out there and make that bold statement. They may be worried about (Tyrod Taylor) more than than we’ll be about Tom running.”