Brady: Turnovers really held us back

Brady: Turnovers really held us back
September 9, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Tom Brady knows it just like the rest of us do: turnovers kill.

They played a big part in the Patriots almost losing their Week 1 game against the Bills on Sunday, and if not for Brady's end-of-game drive to win it, the sloppiness of Sunday's game would have been at the forefront of every discussion.

Stevan Ridley's fumble was scooped up by the Bills and returned 74 yards for a Bills touchdown. Tom Brady's interception in their own territory led to a Bills touchdown a couple plays later heading into halftime. Brady later fumbled the ball away on a goal line attempt on fourth down.

Brady joined WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Monday morning to discuss the game, and address the turnover issues.

“Football is not necessarily a game of perfection," Brady said, "but I think the big [mistakes], like the turnovers — I thought we did a decent job with the penalties, but the turnovers were the one thing that really held us back from scoring more points, and really allowed them to score their points. It was a big part of the game. If you take away the turnovers, it’s a different outcome. But that’s pretty much every football game. A lot of the games around the league yesterday, a lot of them hinged on turnovers. Ours was one that we turn it over, we didn’t play great and we really allowed them an opportunity to stay in the game and obviously be ahead in the fourth quarter. We needed to make a lot of good plays there at the end to overcome them.”

Ridley didn't touch the field after his fumble in the second quarter. He had dropped the ball in the first quarter as well, but was saved when the ruling on the field was that he was down by contact first. Still, Ridley has a history with fumbles, and it's not the first time Belichick has made him ride the pine after putting the ball on the ground.

“He doesn’t like turnovers, and he lets us know,” Brady said of Belichick. “He stresses it every single day, the things we have to do to protect the football and protect the lead. Being smart, being physical, eliminating turnovers is all so important to winning games. We just didn’t do a great job of that.”

One of the bright spots in the game was the play of Danny Amendola. Amendola had to leave the game at one point when he reaggravated his groin injury, but returned later and finished with 10 receptions and 104 yards on the day. Brady commended Amendola's toughness.

“He was battling all week to get out there, and he fought really hard to do it,” Brady said. “He got out there and it bothered him enough in the first half where he went out. But he really fought hard, showed a lot of mental and physical toughness to get out there to play in the second half. And what a great second half he played. It was just awesome.”

But while Amendola looked comfortable out there, his fellow receivers didn't. Rookie Kenbrall Thompkins finished with four receptions but on 14 targets.

“There’s things that we all can do better,” Brady said. “It’s not just one player. It’s not just K.T. It’s all of us that have to work harder to communicate, to be on the same page. When you’re in the first week of the year, there’s a lot of things that we can do better. There’s a lot of things that aren’t right yet. Not that you’re going to expect everything to be perfect. There’s my first time really playing a meaningful game with a lot of these guys. These are things you learn under fire and you’ve got to end up going through them and learning from them, and hopefully you can be better every single week out there.”

Brady is keeping the right attitude with his younger teammates and is going to show the patience necessary to make it work over time.

“We’re going to do whatever we need to do to win. I’m going to try to always find the open guy and find the open matchup. That’s ultimately what I’m going to try to do. Whoever it ends up being, it ends up being. I have a lot of confidence in the guys that were out there yesterday. It’s just, we’ve got to do a better job executing.”