Brady says improvement, not magic plays key against Saints
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) It’s not often that teams catch Tom Brady having an off game throwing the football.
He had such a night during the Patriots’ season-opening 42-27 loss to Kansas City, and afterward it prompted the quarterback to call for a complete reset of his team’s mental approach heading into Week 2.
Brady said Wednesday it is too early to tell if the team has discovered the urgency that was missing against the Chiefs. But it’s clear the need to do so will be heightened against a New Orleans team also looking to avoid an 0-2 start.
”Hopefully we can just go play better than we played last week,” Brady said. ”We’re playing a real good team on the road, so it’s going to take a big effort. We’ve got a big challenge and hopefully we can get to 1-1.”
New England has shown an uncanny ability to turn the page following a loss during the Brady era. He is 42-10 as a starter in games following a loss. Since 2003, the Patriots are 42-6 in the regular season after a loss.
Brady entered the opener with a depleted receiving corps in the aftermath of Julian Edelman’s season-ending knee injury. It showed as Brady completed just 16 of 36 passes for 267 yards and no touchdowns without his go-to receiver against the Chiefs.
His passer rating for the game was 70, just his fourth time with a rating 70 or below since 2014. His 44.4 percent completion percentage also ranked last among AFC starting quarterbacks in Week 1.
But the Saints are expecting to see a much different Brady.
”I don’t look much into past games as far as his accuracy,” safety Kenny Vaccaro said. ”He’s been proven in this league for a long time. … You’ve already lost the game if you think Tom Brady’s going to throw incompletions going into a game. It’s just not happening.”
There were some positives for the offense to build on. Danny Amendola caught six passes for 100 yards and Brandin Cooks hauled in three catches for 88 yards in his Patriots debut after coming over from the Saints in an offseason trade.
But Amendola’s status is up in the air this week after he left the game early with a head injury. He didn’t practice Wednesday, listed as having a knee injury as well.
If he is unavailable it will put more of a spotlight on Cooks, Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett, who is still getting up to speed following his trade from the Colts.
”What you are in September is different from what you’re gonna be as the season goes on,” Brady said. ”You’re trying to see where your deficiencies are and you’re trying to make improvements. Obviously what we did the other night is not good enough by any means.”
He said the key will be focusing on improvement first and not trying to find a ”magic play” fix to their issues.
”This team isn’t gonna make it easy on us. We have to go earn it. Just like the last team,” Brady said. ”There aren’t a bunch of easy plays out there … you just gotta make no excuse and go make a play.”
AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report.
More AP NFL coverage: http://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower