Brady copes with bad knee in win over Jets: 'I'm happy the week is over'

Brady copes with bad knee in win over Jets: 'I'm happy the week is over'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Brady said he never considered sitting out Sunday's game against the Jets, but it was apparent that he wasn't himself at MetLife Stadium as he dealt with a balky knee. At least not until his team's final scoring drive to win the game. 

He finished 30-for-50 for 286 yards and two touchdowns to pick up his 200th-career win, 22-17, but there were throws he missed that he usually doesn't. And the elusiveness he's shown since returning from a four-game suspension to start the season was not there to help him avoid taking some shots from his opponent's aggressive defensive front. 


"I wasn’t hitting the ones that were there early, and we just couldn’t make enough plays to stay on the field to put pressure on those guys, and we need to do a better job of that," he said. "But I can certainly do a better job."

In all likelihood, his knee was partly to blame. He missed Patriots practices on Wednesday and Thursday, and though he returned to the practice field on Friday, he still required extensive treatment in order to get himself in shape to play. 

"I’m happy the week is over," Brady said. "It was a long week . . . I think everybody is battling through different things. You just do the best you can do. It’s a long season. Every week starts fresh again. I’m glad it’s over, and I’m glad we won."

The week was in some ways a short week in that players had last Monday off after beating the Niners. Then they had a shortened day on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving. With Brady out for two days of on-the-field work, his usual preparation time was condensed. 

"There was a lot of time I wish I had spent on the practice field that I was spending getting treatment," he said. "So I’d rather have more time to prepare mentally and on the practice field than do what happened, but that’s the way it goes. You’re not going to practice every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I mean, you’d love to, but it’s probably not the reality for most guys in the league. It was Thanksgiving week, kind of a different week in itself, but I had the chance to get out there on Friday and run around a little bit and the coaches put me in." 

Brady wasn't the only one dealing with some physical limitations in New Jersey. Rob Gronkowski left the game in the first quarter with a back injury and didn't return. Chris Hogan (back), Julian Edelman (foot) and Martellus Bennett (ankle, shoulder) were all questionable coming into the game, and Bennett appeared to aggravate an ankle issue that's bothered him since Week 5 when he was tackled early in the third quarter and briefly came out of the game. 

"Everybody’s going to try and do different things, and I try to just show up and do my best," Brady said. "I don’t think everybody’s feeling great this time of year so just do the best you can do and I’ll try to do the same this week."

Bill Belichick lauded Brady's toughness, particularly his mental toughness, in being in a position to play this weekend and lead the team to a go-ahead drive late in the fourth quarter by completing 6-of-9 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown to rookie wideout Malcolm Mitchell. 

"Tom worked hard this week," Belichick said. "As he said, I think a lot of guys, it's Week [12], so I don't think anybod's fresh as a daisy . . . It's a grind. You've got to fight through it. 

"Tom's got great mental toughness. So do a lot of other guys on the team that are dealing with something, too."

It's something the Patriots will need as the season wears on and the "bumps and bruises," as Brady put it earlier this week, continue to pile up.

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

The Patriots have made a trade with the Raiders to acquire receiver and special teamer Cordarrelle Patterson, according to a source. The deal, first reported by Pardon My Take, is an interesting one because it lands Patterson with the team that passed on the opportunity to draft him back in 2013. 


Bill Belichick dealt the No. 29 overall pick to the Vikings that year in exchange for four selections, including a second-rounder and a third-rounder. The second-rounder became Jamie Collins, and the third became Logan Ryan. The Patriots also took Josh Boyce with a fourth they received in the trade, and the fourth pick (a seventh) was traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for LeGarrette Blount. The Vikings took Patterson. 

Patterson's career to this point has been a mixed bag. One of the top athletes in the 2013 draft, the Tennessee product never quite panned out as a go-to No. 1 receiver. He has not missed a game in five seasons, but he has never cracked 600 offensive snaps in a single season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has turned himself into more of a gadget receiver as well as one of the game's best special teamers. 

Here's what the Patriots are getting in Patterson . . . 

TOP-TIER SPECIAL TEAMER: Patterson has solidified himself as one of the NFL's best kick-returners. In five seasons, he's ranked as the top returner in terms of average yards per return three times. He's never been outside of the top 10 in the league in that category. Last year he was sixth in the NFL with a 28.3 yards per return average. Patterson has also become a highly-effective gunner on punt units, a role he thrived in once he embraced it, and he has kick coverage experience. Patterson has not been a punt-returner. He has just one punt return under his belt compared to 153 kick returns. Patterson has been named a First-Team All-Pro twice for his work in the kicking game. 

INCONSISTENT RECEIVER: Patterson has never been able to take his explosiveness and translate that into consistent production offensively. He's not thought of as a precise route-runner, and he has a reputation as a "body-catcher." Yet, because he's so dynamic with the ball in his hands, offenses in Oakland and Minnesota have found ways to get the ball in his hands. He'll align in the backfield, take reverses and catch screens just to try to get him the ball in space where he can let his natural abilities take over. If he gets a crease, he can create a chunk play in a blink. 

THE COST: Patterson is in the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason. He has a base salary of $3 million and a cap hit of $3.25 million. The Patriots will be sending a fifth-rounder to the Raiders and getting a sixth-rounder back. (As an aside . . . The Patriots have used one fifth-round pick in the last six drafts. It was spent on long-snapper Joe Cardona. Why are they constantly dealing fifths away? Inside the Pylon's Dave Archibald did an interesting piece on that topic about a year and a half ago. The gist is that a) there's a significant drop-off in your chances of finding a star in the fifth compared to the fourth, and b) the talent in the fifth round, by some metrics, hasn't proven to be all that different from the sixth or seventh rounds.) 

THE FIT: Patterson is a relatively low-risk acquisition because of his cap hit (which on the Patriots slots him in between Shea McClellin and Chris Hogan) and because of the draft capital required to nab him. Trading for a player like Patterson as opposed to signing another team's free agent has the added benefit of not impacting the compensatory-pick formula. Patterson also fills a few needs. His abilities as a kick-returner will be more than suitable with last year's primary kick returner for the Patriots, Dion Lewis, out of the mix. What Patterson can do as a gunner and in kick coverage will also be useful with Johnson Bademosi now elsewhere. There's also a chance Matthew Slater plays in a different city in 2017, in which case Patterson's contributions as a gunner and in kick coverage could be critical. With Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Hogan all established in the Patriots offense, Patterson won't be expected to take on a heavy role in the Patriots offense. However, if he can pick up a new system, perhaps he could take on a role as a No. 4 or 5 wideout who benefits from plays designed to get him touches in space. Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt -- now alongside Patterson -- will all be competing for time in New England's offense. Former Patriots coaching assistant Mike Lombardi seems to believe it's unlikely Patterson contributes offensively


Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

The Patriots have acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson in a trade with the Raiders, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry confirms.

Pardon My Take, a podcast by Barstool Sports, first reported the news.

Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reports the Patriots sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland and received a Raiders' sixth-rounder along with Patterson.

More to come...