Tom Brady: Time for Patriots to hit the accelerator

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As the 2017 NFL season approaches its midpoint, the New England Patriots find themselves in a true fight to win the AFC East. It’s a rare season for New England when they don’t have a comfortable lead en route to a division title.

That cushion isn’t so comfortable this season. At least not yet. But quarterback Tom Brady knows it’s time for the Patriots to begin to separate from the pack.

We’re close to the midway point; this is when we really have to hit the accelerator,” Brady said Wednesday, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “That’s what the good teams do. … To get to 6-2 would be huge for this team.”

Since 2003, the Patriots have won the AFC East in 13 of the last 14 seasons. The only year they missed the postseason was in 2008 when they lost a tiebreaker for the division with the Miami Dolphins at 11-5. Matt Cassel spent nearly the entire year at quarterback after Brady was lost to an ACL injury in the team’s regular season opener. Over that same time frame, they’ve won the AFC East by at least two games in the standings in 11 out of the last 14 years.

The Patriots are 5-2 with the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills a half game back at 4-2 and the New York Jets two games behind at 3-4.

New England faces the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, who have won three straight games including a pair of games on the road against the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders.

This may be the most flawed Patriots team in years given the struggles the defense has had through the first seven weeks of the season. But with Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm, they’re still more than capable of leaving the rest of the AFC East in the dust.

19 responses to “Tom Brady: Time for Patriots to hit the accelerator

  1. Rare? No, its common for Pats not to have a comfortable lead at this point!! Thru week 7, Brady’s Pats were ahead by more than 1 game in just 3 of his 16 seasons as starter:

    Behind = 2001, 2002 (+ the Brady-less 2008)
    Tied = 2010 (with Jets)
    Half a game ahead = 2005
    1 game ahead = 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017
    2 games = 2015, 2016
    5 games = 2007

  2. Not good news foe the rest of the AFC

    Sure the Pats are flawed, but the AFC is pretty flawed as well. They picked a good year to have struggles with defense.

    Chiefs Steelers Raiders have all looked good at times, but not good enough to win the 1 seed or beat the Patriots in Foxboro. Hate the Pats but it’s theirs to lose, as usual.

  3. Couldn’t stand the clamoring for how this team was “done” and was easily going to fall to 2-3 or 3-4, etc. soon. I kept reminding everyone how many times the pats have started slow and gone on to toast the entire league. There’s no reason it wont happen again. I said it when they were 2-2 and I’ll say it now, I will not be surprised one bit if this team finishes 14-2.

    As a Bills fan of 24 years, I know all to well what Brady / Belichick are capable of doing year in and year out, regardless of when, where or how. They will get it done.

  4. Rare? No, its actually very common for Pats to only have a 1-game lead at this point! In Brady’s 16 years as a starter (i.e. not 2008), thru week 7 the Pats were ahead by more than 1 game in just 3 seasons (2007, 2015, 2016) and actually behind in 2 seasons (2001, 2002).

  5. Couldn’t stand the clamoring for how this team was “done” and was easily going to fall to 2-3 or 3-4, etc. soon. I kept reminding everyone how many times the pats have started slow and gone on to toast the entire league. There’s no reason it wont happen again. I said it when they were 2-2 and I’ll say it now, I will not be surprised one bit if this team finishes 14-2.

    As a Bills fan of 24 years, I know all to well what Brady / Belichick are capable of doing year in and year out, regardless of when, where or how. They will get it done.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Ive been saying basically this on other forums as well. I dont know about 14-2. I have a feeling they arent done dropping dumb games yet. But they will hit 12 wins without much trouble.

    But I think the most interesting thing in this article is Brady saying the good teams hit the accelerator. The Bills need to do the same. The Bills have a string of VERY winnable games against not so great defenses before Thanksgiving. If they can string together some wins in that stretch, the AFCE will be VERY interesting come December when the Bills have 4 division games, 2 against NE.

  6. boltson says:
    October 26, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Brady will spend a lot of time on the ground, Pats will go 5-3

    —————————————————————–

    That sounds good, but Brady usually WINS games when he “spends a lot of time on the ground”, and his QB rating actually goes up when he is blitzed. Better to drop back in coverage and clog the center of the field. Also- Brady only cares about winning, not stats, and he is perfectly happy to do delayed handoffs or let running backs take the stage (like doing outside runs) if that is what it takes to win- unusual for most QB’s of his status.

  7. I’m starting to hate tom Brady as much as I hated Joe Montana…

    Please retire Tom so the league (and especially the AFC East) can have a little bit of intrigue. You, sir are a master of your craft.

  8. Rest of the season should be fun 🙂 All Conference opponents.

    Chargers – hot team. Also belongs in San Diego but I digress.
    @ Broncos. Always a tough place to play no matter how good or terrible the Donkeys are
    Oakland @ Mexico City right after Denver.
    And then the entire AFC East gauntlet with the Steelers in the middle.

    Can’t wait!

    🙂

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