Despite win, Brady not pleased

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Despite win, Brady not pleased

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.

No rhythm.

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.

Kraft on Brady: He's willing to play 'six, seven more years'

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Kraft on Brady: He's willing to play 'six, seven more years'

PHOENIX -- Robert Kraft drew some scoffs from the media horde surrounding him on Monday when he relayed Tom Brady's intentions for the remainder of his playing career. 

"As recently as two, three days ago, he assured me he'd be willing to play six, seven more years," Kraft said. "At the level he performed, there's no one that would be happier than I . . . and our fan base."

Brady put together an MVP-caliber season in 2016 at the age of 39, and he figures to be one of the best at his position during his age 40 season. And judging by his comments during Day 2 of the league meetings here, Kraft wouldn't be surprised if Brady could keep things going well into his mid-40s -- unprecedented as that would be.

"In some ways, you think about, I think there's one player at the age of 40 who had one good year. Favre for the Vikings. But he didn't do so well before," Kraft said. "I think Tommy's sustained excellence is just unbelievable. It's a lifestyle. He's in training now. It's not like he's stopped. He works out.

"I remember after our first Super Bowl in [2001], going down to the training room in the old Foxboro Stadium, three days after we won, and he's in there with the music blaring, working out.

"He's really dedicated and the thing that's amazing about him, to this day, he hasn't changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people, but also in terms of how he works out. The only thing that's probably changed is how he eats, his diet. I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it."

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, with crunch time coming in the NHL.

*Jack Todd says that the Hall of Fame needs to reserve a spot for Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov. Is he Hall of Fame material, or Hall of Very Good material?

*The playoff streak is coming to an end for Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Red Wings finish out a lost season.

*Thanks to PHT writer James O’Brien for providing the kind of relaxing hockey moment that any dog lover could appreciate.

*Boston College standout Colin White has signed an amateur tryout deal with the Senators, but it remains to be seen if the entry level contract is coming.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mitch Melnick offers his hot takes about the Canadiens after a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

*The US men’s hockey team may join the women’s team in boycotting the world championships if there isn’t a resolution soon.

*A group of longtime Leafs writers share some of their best stories from the press box

*In the shameless interest of self-promotion, here’s my hit with Toucher and Rich this morning talking about riding the hot hand with Anton Khudobin.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers wonders if a lopsided loss will snap the Blackhawks out of their malaise.

*Sidney Crosby fires back at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk after he called the NHL star a whiner recently.

*For something completely different: getting to know new CSNPhilly.com baseball analyst John Kruk, who we all should know pretty well at this point.