Patriots

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.

Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

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Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

While being away from home isn’t uncommon for the Patriots - just think about all those Super Bowl trips - Tom Brady believes each excursion takes on its own feel, its own flavor and - eventually - its own meaning.

Back in 2014, the Pats went from playing in Green Bay and losing to the Packers straight to San Diego for a week on the West Coast prior to a rousing victory over the Chargers. That week, many players said in the aftermath, helped propel the team to great heights,.  You’ll recall, that season ended in grand fashion, a triumph in Super Bowl 49 over Seattle, at the time - and maybe still - the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“I think all these experiences are pretty unique,” Brady said Friday from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy. “That was a very unique experience. This is different.”

Brady spoke about the number of stops the Pats have and will have to make on this trip - from Denver to Colorado Springs then on to Mexico City Saturday before a Sunday night return to Foxboro and their own beds for the first time in 10 nights.

“When you’re on the road like this, there’s less to do,” he said. “You know my family is not here, my kids aren’t here. There’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house. It’s just being at home and now it’s being here and trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

Brady quickly smoothed over any possible ill-will at home - why make Gisele mad? - smiling and saying “I didn’t mean that so I’ll take it back.”

Kidding aside, the 40-year old signal caller seemed pleased with the work the Patriots have put in during this long trip. A week of team-bonding can’t be a bad thing, especially for a group that seems to be hitting it’s stride both on and off the field. There’s the five wins in a row and also a locker room that has a better understanding of one another than it did during the first month of the season. But Brady is not ready to make any grand proclamations. That just wouldn’t be his style.

“I think it’s still work in progress,” he said of team chemistry. “You look at still adding a player like Marty (Bennett) last week. Things are always changing and evolving. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing well and after 8 or 9 weeks, you start to figure those things out. Now we have to work hard at those things, try to really own them, and use them going forward to try and win the most important games. We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one. Hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”

Brady said he’s been fired up for this game with the Raiders south of the border ever since the schedule was released all those months ago.

“I’ve never been to Mexico City,” he said. “It’s been a game you kind of look forward to. We’re playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. It will be very memorable. I think everyone is excited.”

Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

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Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

The Patriots will be without center David Andrews on Sunday when they play the Raiders in Mexico City. Andrews, who hasn’t all practice all week with an illness, is one of four Pats listed as out on the injury report released Friday.

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Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, who didn’t play last week against the Broncos is also out, along with wide receiver Chris Hogan and special teams captain Matthew Slater. Offensive linemen Ted Karras and Joe Thuney each took reps at center so one of them will likely start in Andrews’ absence. LaAdrian Waddle filled in for Cannon and performed well last week vs. Denver. 

Here’s the full injury report for the Patriots and Raiders: