ESPN's Jaworski pans Brady performance

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ESPN's Jaworski pans Brady performance

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

It didn't take an expert's eye to see that Tom Brady was off his game against the Jets in the AFC semifinal.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Ron Jaworski confirmed the historically unflappable quarterback was rattled, saying Brady saw "ghosts" in the 28-21 loss.

Jaworski was on WEEI's Big Show to discuss what he saw when he analyzed the tape from the Patriots-Jets game. He spent the bulk of his time discussing Brady's surprisingly ineffective performance.

"I went to the tape, and there were some plays on the field that Tom Brady did not see," Jaworski said. "I think Tom began to play a little bit fast and -- the term I use -- he began to see 'ghosts.'

"I think there were some opportunities, particularly early in the game," Jaworski continued. "On a key third-and-3, you have Danny Woodhead coming out of the backfield in the flat and Tom doesn't throw him the football. It's a play Tom's probably seen 50 times this year and completed 50 times, and for some reason he didn't throw the football. I don't know if he got spooked by the interception (earlier in the game) or what, but he did leave some plays on the field."

Brady finished the game 29-for-45 for 299 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

Jaworski insinuated that the Jets defensive pressure made Brady uncomfortable to the point where the quarterback missed chances to complete longer passes down the field.

"I think Brady had a poor game," Jaworski said. "I've always said Tom is one of the mobile quarterbacks in the game. I'm not talking about runaround quarterbacks. . . He's always been really good at moving in the pocket, those subtle little movements in the pocket left or right to compress and allow those receivers to uncover. I just felt those times he had opportunities, he kind of flinched. There was a perception of pressure (from the Jets defense) and at times it wasn't there."

The Jets didn't do anything exotic on defense, Jaworski thought. In fact, the Jets disclosed their game plan in the week leading up to the game, and they were still effective in stopping Brady and company.

In the days leading up to the game, Jets linebacker Bart Scott told Michael Kay of ESPN Radio that their defense struggled during their regular season game in New England (a game the Patriots won, 45-3) because they didn't "funnel" the Pats' offense to the middle of the field.

Well, according to Jaworski, that's exactly what they did on Sunday.

"They seemed to funnel everything back to the inside," he said. "All the defensive backs were shading to the outside, they brought a safety down into the robber position, funneling things to the middle."

That created congestion for the Patriots' offense and seemed to perplex Brady.

Discussing when the Jets' Drew Coleman sacked Brady in the second quarter, Jaworski said, "It's a blitz Tom's seen 1,000 times in his career. You just have to see it, know it's coming, and get the ball out of your hand . . . He's gotta get the ball out of his hand and he didn't, which made it even more confusing for me."

Patriots fans know the feeling.

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

FOXBORO – Back in March, Eric Weddle batted his eyes longingly at the Patriots. The two-time All-Pro safety’s time was done with the Chargers and he wanted to spend his NFL autumn with a team that had a chance to win it all. 

He didn’t land in New England, but he didn’t too badly, winding up with the usually competitive Ravens.  

On a Thursday conference call with New England media, Weddle confirmed that there was mutual interest expressed. 

“Obviously, I was interested,” he acknowledged. “I have nothing but high regard, respect and admiration – and envy, quite honestly – of the success of the New England Patriots over the years. Obviously, battling them in my career, it’s always been a great game. I love the way they play, love the foundation, love everything about it. It was definitely on my radar. There were talks both ways, it just didn’t end up [working out].”

The numbers massed at the position with Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played a role in the two sides not being able to reach accord, according to Weddle. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin [McCourty] is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Weddle’s New England attraction apparently wasn’t love that bloomed late in his career. Toward the end of his conference call, Weddle said, “I’m still wondering why they just didn’t draft me in ’07; I could have been still playing there now.”

As reporters puzzled for a moment trying to recall the 2007 first-rounder, Weddle chipped in with the answer: “[They took] Brandon Meriweather.”

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

FOXBORO - The Patriots got a desired outcome Thursday night when the Chiefs handed the Raiders their third loss of the season. 

The 21-13 loss dropped Oakland and KC into a tie atop the AFC West at 10-3 but the Chiefs, by virtue of beating Oakland twice this season, have the divisional tiebreaker. Oakland went from the top seed in the AFC to the fifth spot.

More importantly around here, the Patriots now are in position to win out and claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed. 

Prior to the Raiders loss, Oakland would have been the top seed if both they and the Patriots won out.  Now, the 10-2 Patriots have a leg up on the rest of the conference. The Raiders’ road stays tough. They are at San Diego and Denver and host the Colts. 

The Chiefs have a more favorable close to the season with home games against Tennessee and Denver before their season finale at San Diego. 

The Patriots’ road over the final four is no picnic though, beginning with the Ravens and at Denver before the last two hosting the Jets and traveling to Miami.