During his weekly radio interview, Tom Brady admitted that the Patriots offense could have done more even though it put up 30 against the Panthers. But he also implied that he felt as though he had two opponents at times on Sunday: Ron Rivera's defense and Jerome Boger's officiating crew.
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“Yeah, I mean they called it pretty tight on us yesterday," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan show. "I’ve watched the film a bunch of times. We just didn’t get the calls. I guess they got the calls and we didn’t get them. I don’t know what to say."
The Patriots were docked for two offensive pass interference penalties -- one each on Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola -- as well as two hands-to-the-face penalties on Stephon Gilmore. In all, they were flagged seven times for 55 yards. The Panthers were flagged once for 33 yards on a pass-interference call that was made when Gronkowski was contacted down the field.
The Gronkowski offensive pass-interference penalty seemed to be handed down after minimal contact. Amendola's was more obvious because of the amount of contact, but it seemed as though the defender cut off Amendola mid-route.
Brady clearly didn't love either call.
"Gronk is doing what he’s got to do to get open. There was such minimal contact and the ref just felt . . . they were cued up ready to throw it," Brady said. "It is what it is. We didn’t get it. We overcame that one and the one to Danny, we didn’t overcome. Danny is just trying to get across the guy's face. The guy kind of contacted him, Danny is trying to shed him on his route. I don’t know what they can do more than that."
Brady indicated that there's a history of Boger's crew calling things closely while working Patriots games. Since 2007, Boger’s crew has consistently thrown more flags for more yards than the league average.
“Again, they were calling it tight on us," he said. "From previous [games], that crew has called much more penalties on us than the other team. We just have to figure out how to play and tighten it up. If we don’t get the calls, we don’t get them, we still have to go out and play better than we’ve played. It’s just about us doing our job better, all of us. And we can. It’s not like that was the best game we could possibly play and we lost.
"I think we all know we can play better and if we play better we’ll win. It’s got to be done, just not talked about. That brings more urgency to everything we’re doing. The meetings, the practices, the games. We can’t let up for one second. We have to keep pushing each other to be at our best. Hopefully over the course of the next three months we can rise to a much higher level than we’re at high now."