Well, here they are again. After eight weeks, the Patriots are 5-3, just as they were last year. Easy to say that Tom Brady and Friends should be 8-0 considering their three close losses, but they're not. They're 5-3. Not perfect, but still good enough for first place in the AFC East.
Brady made his weekly call in to WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Show on Monday to explain that the Patriots are what their record says they are.
"We're at where we really deserve to be," Brady said. "I don't think we've played any better than our record. We don't deserve to be anything better than we are. Look, every team can go, 'Wow, without these plays we could be undefeated.' Every team can say that. But we're not, and there's a reason why. It's not like we've played great football over these last eight weeks. There is a lot of improvement we need to make. There is a lot of things we can do better. We need to get some guys healthy. We have to get everybody moving forward and make a big push here in the second half because this is where the best teams really start to show themselves."
The Patriots seemed to make their push early with a 45-7 drubbing of St. Louis in London on Sunday.
"Thats what were hoping every week," Brady said. "We played pretty well. I thought all the guys contributed. The guys were really focused. We had a good week of practice there and went over there and executed against a good team, a team that beat Arizona and beat Seattle. They have quite a few good players on their team. It just wasnt their day and we capitalized on some of their mistakes. It ended up being, certainly not an easy game, but in the second half it was well under control."
Brady was 23-for-35 for 304 yards and four touchdowns against a normally-stout Rams pass rush. He credited his tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer for keeping him clean.
"Phenomenal job on two guys who can rush, who can really do the job, and guys that are really the heart and soul of their defense," Brady said of Rams ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn. "Nate and Sebastian have done that all year. Ive never had to worry about the defensive end or a pass rush. Its just something Ive never really had to think about. It seems like we play good ends every week, and they really step up to the challenge. They did a great job."
Now the Patriots go into their bye week. Time for some rest, right? Actually, no, not really.
"There's not much of a break, to tell you the truth," Brady said. "It's hard when you play quarterback to get away from of it. I'll talk to Josh McDaniels 50 times these next three days and then we practice on Thursday and I'm not sure what we have planned after that. This is still football season. This isn't mid-February, so I'm still thinking about what we need to do better, what I need to do better, my role on the team and things I can improve on."