View Full Version : Boston Globe: Brady never caught his second wind

Bob Dole
11-28-2005, 07:11 AM
By Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff | November 28, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Last season, Tom Brady's best football, statistically speaking, came in the second quarter.

He had a 102.4 quarterback rating, better than in any other quarter. He threw 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions, and generally it was a quarter you could expect the Patriots to begin to pull away from their opponent. Things have changed.

This season, Brady's second-quarter statistics are his worst.

He's thrown for three touchdowns and three interceptions. In yesterday's 26-16 loss to the Chiefs, Brady managed 3 points in the second quarter and threw one of his two first-half interceptions.

He finished with four picks. After yesterday's 4-for-12, 73-yard performance, he's now 56 for 108 with a 69.4 passer rating in the second quarter.

The last time Brady had his worst passer rating in the second quarter, the year was 2002, when the Patriots went 9-7 and finished out of the playoffs.

During yesterday's second quarter, the Chiefs extended a 7-0 lead to 19-3 by the half. And by that point it became a second-half game of catchup.

''There are plays I'd like to have back," Brady said. ''You'd always like to throw it right in the middle of their numbers. You'd rather have the ball batted up in the air and incomplete rather than having guys having fair catches for interceptions. That's part of playing quarterback. I never like throwing a pick. Some day they're catches, some days they're picks.

''They pressured us pretty good. They got us off the field on third down. We didn't execute on third down. They were playing a lot of man coverage. We had a hard time finding a guy throwing it and catching it. It put a lot of pressure on our defense by not doing a whole lot out there."

Brady's quarterback rating at the half was 15.

He overthrew Troy Brown on third and 9 with 13:09 remaining in the second quarter and the ball was intercepted by Greg Wesley at the Patriots' 48 and returned to the New England 25. Fortunately for Brady, the Chiefs had to settle for a 20-yard field goal.

Earlier, Brady overthrew Deion Branch, and the tipped ball landed in Wesley's hands and led to a field goal.

''It was tough, you know," said Brady. ''It's tough when you play a good team and it's not very good."

Brady was at a loss to explain the excess air under some of his early passes.

''You know, they're high. You just throw it and the ball's a little high and it led to a few interceptions for those guys," he said. ''But you have to keep trying, throwing the ball to the open guy and hope you can connect with a few. You don't get scared away by it. You just try to make the throws. They made plays and we didn't."

Brady didn't have great protection, but it wasn't horrible either. He was sacked three times.

''Yeah, I did [have time to throw]," said Brady. ''They have a good D-line but I thought the guys held in there pretty good. Played tough and played hard. Fought 'til the very end and made a few plays there at the end. I'm just going back there throwing and doing the best I can.

''Those guys hang in there and they play hard and they play tough and that's what I expect of them and that's what they expect of me. I'm going to stand in there whether I have three seconds or five seconds and try to find the open guy, throw it, and hopefully we can catch it, make yards, and score points. Too many times today it just wasn't there."

There was a second-half renaissance, but it was appropriately described by Brady as ''too little, too late."

After the Chiefs went ahead, 26-3, Brady led the Patriots down the field swiftly for a score, hitting Daniel Graham for 15 yards, Tim Dwight for 18, and mixing in some carries by Patrick Pass, who scored from 1 yard out to make it 26-10.

The Patriots forced a Larry Johnson fumble, got the ball back at their 22 with 14:58 remaining, and again Brady started to make things interesting, connecting with Branch for 20 and 16 yards and Dwight for 20 before spotting Christian Fauria for a 1-yard TD pass. The 2-point conversion pass failed, keeping it 26-16.

With 5:46 remaining, Brady tried to pull off a fourth-quarter miracle but Wesley again picked off an overthrow. The Patriots' final drive ended in another Brady interception, this one by Sammy Knight.

''I just think we were executing better," said Brady of the second-half resurgence. ''We just didn't execute very well in the first half. It was all across the board. We didn't throw it very well, we didn't run it very well. Everyone needs to be better and we did some better things in the second half. Similar to Denver, you're just down so many points and you just have to be perfect. We certainly weren't perfect today."

Brady complimented the defense for holding the Chiefs to field goals four times in the first half, and was disappointed the offense couldn't support it. When asked whether there was more to shoulder with Bill Belichick being out most of the week after the death of his father, Brady said, ''I wouldn't say so. He was back on Friday. He has high expectations for us and we really haven't played up to his level. That's why we're sitting here 6-5. We need to make improvements."

He also acknowledged Kansas City's defense has improved this season.

''Yeah, it's a different defense," Brady said. ''They made some good plays out there. They have some good players and we just didn't play very well."

the Talking Can
11-28-2005, 07:36 AM
"They were playing a lot of man coverage."

and McCleon wasn't* playing...coincidence?

* uh, yeah..not "wasting"

11-28-2005, 09:35 AM
"They were playing a lot of man coverage."

and McCleon wasting playing...coincidence?