Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who finished the evening with 324 total yards, one touchdown and one interception, completing 24 of 33 attempts, told the Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI Radio this morning that the Patriots made the win a little "tougher" than it needed to be.
There's no doubt the New England prepared to the fullest for Sunday's game. Head coach Bill Belichick said, in a recent interview, last week's practice was the best the Patriots have had all season. And who could forget Brady saying he wasn't joking around anymore?
"Sometimes, you're just tired. You don't have to go out there and put on a happy face. It's an important week. We're going to work out a lot that week. Getting in a 4-5 in the morning from Oakland, then it's a dead sprint until the next game. Sometimes you're a little out of gas, you got to conserve energy," Brady told WEEI.
Despite Brady throwing for more than 300 yards, the Patriots balanced their offense yesterday, running the ball 52 percent of the time, compared to 31 in Week 1 against Miami, reported the radio hosts. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, or The Law Firm, racked up 126 yards and two TDs in 27 carries. Green-Ellis put New England on his back late in the fourth quarter, helping to run down the clock during a 6 minute and 12 second drive, which resulted in a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
"The Jets were focused on stopping the pass," said Brady. "There were some one-yard gains. They're a tough, physical front, they've got some good run-stopping linebackers, there's a lot of movement on defense and they're slippery up front…It gives everybody confidence to know we're capable of running the ball effectively."
One of the biggest questions leading up to Sunday's contest was whether or not Jets corner Darrelle Revis would match up against Wes Welker, one of Brady's most reliable receivers. Welker did seem get stranded on Revis Island–caught one of two passes for three yards–but No. 83 managed to gain 124 yards or five receptions. His longest came on a 73-yard reception, which was cut seven yards short of the end zone.
The Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport reported it took Revis 41 yards to catch Welker.
"Hell yeah, he'll take heat," said Brady about Welker getting caught. "Are you kidding me? That should've been an 80-yard touchdown. That'll motivate Wes. he'll be doing sprint work this week."
A couple more quick hits from the Dennis & Callahan interview with Brady:
On changing the play twice and the protection once before Deion Branch's TD catch:
"We were trying to get aligned the right way and get the play called. I have options down there. Billy (O'Brien, the offensive coordinator) gives me options every week to take advantage of what I see. That was an important play. We couldn't scored more in the red area, and that was one situation that was good. There were other situations, quite a few penalties hurt us. A lot of guys played really tough. They were feeling under the weather and battle through it. Guys were less than 100 percent and they sucked it up."
On the Patriots defense:
"Our defense really rose to the challenge. They were challenged all week by our coaches, and it was great to see them get off the field on third down like that. I wish, offensively, we could've taken advantage of it. We only had one touchdown, maybe a field goal. We could've done a lot better."
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