The New England Patriots are now 10-2 after falling to the Houston Texans on Sunday night, but quarterback Tom Brady is not panicking. The offense is not performing at the level of consistency that he would prefer, but his team still has an opportunity to secure a playoff spot in the coming week. That's much better than being a two-win team with nothing to play for beyond draft positioning.
"We're not 2-10. We're 10-2," Brady explained during a weekly appearance on WEEI's The Greg Hill Show, saying that his receivers are working hard and that getting better is a long process. This was the third straight game in which the 42-year-old completed fewer than 60 percent of his throws and finished with a passer rating shy of 90.0. He was also seen getting after the receivers on the sidelines throughout Sunday's game.
"I think everyone's working hard and we're trying to do the right thing," Brady said. "There's some good effort out there, guys are doing the best they can do, in my belief. We're working hard and trying to do the right thing. Sometimes it's been good and other times we obviously have work we still got to do. That's just part of playing football."
As Brady continued to explain, the biggest goal for the Patriots right now is to find some semblance of consistency throughout the final four games of the season. They no longer have the top spot in the AFC playoff picture after this loss and now sit just behind the Baltimore Ravens. Although they can still secure a bye week during the Wild Card round by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and every other opponent on the schedule.
The struggles on offense are certainly a concern for Brady, especially after the primetime battle with the Texans. This is a team that was expected to produce on a weekly basis due to some of the talent on the roster, most notably the short-term option in Antonio Brown. Now, however, Brady believes that some of these expectations should be changed, especially due to the various injuries and roster moves.
"I think the expectations for our team often are at a very, very, very high level and I understand that, but at the same time I think there are realistic expectations with our circumstances incorporating different elements and players and injuries," Brady said.
This may not be the NFL's leading offense like it was back in 2007, but the Patriots still have one of the league's best defenses. Pairing that with a well-coached special teams group means that New England will be competitive every week. Brady and his receiving options just have to produce when they can, something of which he is well aware.
(Photo Credit: Tim Warner/Getty)