FOXBORO -- Something's bugging Brady.
In the wake of a 34-3 Patriots win, the source of his angst might not be obvious. But rewind farther, back to when New England entered the break up just 10-3 on the reeling Chiefs, and you'll find it.
"Obviously the first half we didn't do anything," he said after the game. "I don't think it could have gotten much worse than what we did in the first half. But I thought we came out strong in the second half and took control in the third quarter. It's good to get a win at home after the loss to the Giants in their last home game."
He never smiled in reflection of how "good" a win it was.
Brady completed 8 of 16 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown through two quarters. His first drive of the game went three-and-out. The next showed improvement -- five plays before the punt. Brady's third drive ended when he fumbled after a sack.
"Execution," he lamented. "We just sucked in the first. If you can't complete a pass, you're not going to move the ball. Can't run it, can't complete a pass -- we just didn't do anything."
He's not exaggerating.
Gaps closed on BenJarvus Green-Ellis before he could even look for them. The offensive line not only struggled to create space for the backs, it also couldn't give time to Brady; he was sacked three times on the night. The number isn't great, but zoom out and it's downright ugly.
Brady has been sacked 19 times in 10 games. In 2010, he was taken down 25 times in the entire season. The year before it was 16.
Keeping the quarterback upright is not the problem, but it is a problem. The pressure encourages New England's slow, sputtering offensive starts -- a consistent trend now for the Patriots. Look at the game log: Three-and-out to start against the Jets last week, 20 total points scored in the loss to the Giants, 19 against Pittsburgh in that loss, the 20-16 win against Dallas was pulled off in the final minutes.
While an uphill battle isn't overwhelming against an AFC West bottomfeeder like Kansas City, it couldn't be won against Pittsburgh's stifling defense (three sacks of Brady). Is the Patriots QB looking beyond the regular-season schedule? Probably not. But, at this point, winning the games they're supposed to isn't going to satisfy him.
The Patriots haven't won a playoff game since 2007. Brady wants that streak snapped and he needs the offense to improve before the Patriots are faced with it.
"We're going to need to play better than we did offensively tonight if we want to start making some serious improvements down the stretch," he said. "We're 7-3. I don't think we're really where we hoped to be at this point."
Sometimes, the win's not the only thing.