Curran: Brady and his no-good, 6-2 Pats march on

Curran: Brady and his no-good, 6-2 Pats march on
October 27, 2013, 10:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- Tom Brady’s all set with navel-gazing and introspection for the benefit of the masses.
 
Tom Brady’s all set with standing at a podium on Sunday evenings and Wednesday afternoons, opening up a vein and letting mea culpas flow just because the Patriots are winning football games in a way people aren’t accustomed to seeing them win football games.
 
Don’t like it?
 
Scoreboard.
 
“I mean, we’re 6-2,” Brady said when it was pointed out that boos rained down as he left the field for halftime with three points on the board and 25 passing yards to his name. “We’re obviously not doing a great job in a lot of areas on offense, so we’re trying to get it right. We’re working at it. We’re 6-2 and we’ve got a whole season ahead of us, but we obviously have to do a better job.”
 
The greatest quarterback of his generation in terms of championships, efficiency, guts, competitiveness and postseason excellence has won with relentless regularity over 13 years. Yet it seems nobody wants to be left behind when the S.S. BRADY CAN’T PLAY leaves the dock. And the hold is filling up fast.
 
So by 2:15 p.m. Sunday, the guy people were drooling over less than two weeks earlier when he tore the Saints beating heart from their chest and showed it to them, was getting booed after his eight pass attempts in front of the home fans since he hit Kenbrell Thompkins for a TD to give New Orleans its first loss.
 
“I didn’t hear much,” said Brady. “Truthfully, I just go off the field and it's a long game. I know sometimes it doesn't go well in the first quarter, second quarter, or the third quarter, but ultimately you have to wait until it all plays out. I wish we were doing a better job for 60 minutes, but we're not and we’ve still got to find a way to win. We’re 6-2 and we’ve had two chances in the games we lost. The expectations are high. They’re high for us; I’m sure they’re high for our fans.”
 
Maximus was able to throw his sword and ask this:
 
Brady has to show up with stubble on his chin and a cashmere coat over his shoulders and calmly point out the Patriots are -- people may be bummed to realize -- not that far from 8-0 even though they have played like ass for large stretches of several games.
 
Same thing last year. They lost their four regular-season games by a total of 11 points (and that includes a seven-point loss to San Fran) and people were getting prices on bagpipe players for the team’s inevitable graveside service every week.
 
Fans want to boo? Hell, boo. They bought the ticket, sat in the traffic, got cavity-searched on the way in and bought the $10 beers. Don’t like the way the entertainers are performing that day? Let ‘em know.
 
Booing as a rejection of a performance is one thing. But I don’t get the feeling that’s the feeling among vox populi.
 
This is booing for the direction of a team that ain’t all that bad, a team that inevitably figures things out as the season goes along. As such it seems shortsighted, spoiled, moronic, entitled, whiny, over-privileged and vapid.
 
The team the Patriots outscored 24-0 in the second half of Sunday’s 27-17 win was, of course, Miami. The Dolphins were a vogue pick to unseat the Patriots in the AFC East. They’ve lost four straight. The Jets, who knocked off New England last Sunday and spent the week explaining how tremendous that was for everyone? They lost 49-9 to the Bengals and are now 4-4.
 
The Steelers team coming in next week is 2-5. They’ll be missing the playoffs for the third time in five years and the second year in a row. The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens? They’re 3-4 and three wins out of first in their division.
 
Broncos look good. Colts look good. Bengals look good. Chiefs look good. A Super Bowl appearance for any of them would break droughts dating back to 1998, 2009, 1988 and 1969, respectively. And there have been a few lean years mixed in there for all those teams in the not-too-distant past.
 
Pointing that out in relation to the Patriots’ recent history is like screaming into a well.
 
Which is what Brady seemed to realize as he said with a measure of exasperation, “We’re 6-2. We’re at a decent place in our division. Would we love to be 8-0? Sure. So would every other team in the NFL. We’re 6-2. We’re fighting through it. We’ve got another big one this week and then we’ve got a bye week after that, so we’ve got to put everything we can into this week and try to get to 7-2.”
 
At the halfway point, the Patriots are on pace for a 12-4 season. This despite spending six games without Rob Gronkowski, all of them without Aaron Hernandez, all of them without Danny Woodhead (or a serviceable third-down back to speak of), all of them without an experienced outside receiver and six of them without Shane Vereen (and counting).
 
Brady’s numbers, to put it bluntly, suck. The aforementioned personnel losses explain part of it. The rest can be explained because he’s unsure who will be open when, how to best deliver the ball, whether blitzes will be picked up and whether these receivers thrust into prominent roles are mentally capable of doing them. And somehow, the Patriots have forgotten that it's legal to throw the ball inside the numbers this season.
 
It’s Beethoven being asked to conduct his Fifth Symphony to a bunch of first-graders playing kazoos. After they ate a pack of crackers. Or course his numbers suck.
 
As for the hand boo-boo? Wake me when I see a pass wobble or his velocity suffer.
 
Until then, I direct you to the 30-yard touchdown throw to Rob Gronkowski that got waved off by penalty. You don’t make throws like that with a hand encumbered by a serious owie.
 
One aside from Sunday that did strike me funny was Bill Belichick’s review of No. 12.
 
When Brady’s going well and being canonized instead of crucified, Bill Belichick acts like Brady’s the backup long-snapper.
 
“Yeah, well, everybody’s working hard. He’s in that group.”
 
Sunday, knowing the boos and the lack of stats and the frustration Brady is dealing with is probably piling up, Belichick went out of his way to laud his quarterback.
 
“I thought he made some really good throws today and he ran well too, showed some open field running,” Belichick joked. (Yeah, joked). “I think Tom had a good week of practice and he made some key plays for us today, like he always does.”
 
Asked again about his 8-yard scramble, Belichick said, Well, one thing about Tom, he’s a smart player, he knows when to run. The only time he runs is when there’s a whole lot of space. He made a great decision there … As usual, a great decision by Tom.”
 
The throws?
 
“I thought he had plenty of good throws today,” Belichick said.
 
Strap it on for a week of, “What’s wrong with Brady?” and “I saw this happen with Bledsoe.” sponsored by people who’ve been watching good football so long they don’t remember what bad football really looks like.
 
From the guy responsible for the football region’s abject misery, Tom Brady, there is this: “We’re 6-2. I know a lot of people are frustrated, but to be 6-2 is not bad. We’ll just try to win next week and get to 7-2. That's what we’ll try to do.”