The New England Patriots had what can be aptly called a “disappointing game” Sunday afternoon after narrowly beating the bottom-feeding Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16. Tom Brady knows that the team needs to do better if they want to put together another deep playoff run, and Brady himself was somewhat disappointing (he was actually average) against Jacksonville.
Brady said, “I think it’s the self-inflicted errors,” said Brady. “I think that’s the biggest problem. I think the thing is that we show that we’re capable of doing that, we just don’t do on a consistent basis … There was too much up and down for us yesterday. That’s the frustrating part is to have opportunities like that and really not take advantage on either play, so what should be good gains end up being interceptions or incomplete passes … Those are the ones that we have to make.”
Two of those self-inflicted errors were interceptions, with one of them being the fault of a pass-catcher and the other a relatively poor decision from Brady. The Pats fumbled the ball a couple of times and had two interceptions (one off of a dropped pass) in Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. The sentiment being echoed by Brady is that the Patriots are a great team, but they are beating themselves up by committing turnovers. In a way, the Pats biggest enemies are themselves. I mean, you can point to turnovers as the clear reasons for three of their four losses this season.
Danny Woodhead continues to play clutch football, and he added another touchdown after finding the end zone against the Jaguars shortly before the half. His 14-yard reception to tie the game up 13-13 was perhaps the most important touchdown of the game, because it came just before half-time.
Brady has always been willing to heap well deserved praise upon Woodhead’s shoulders, and he did just that. He said, “He’s had a great year. He’s a great player and he’s got so much poise back there and he’s really improved since the day he got to our team. He’s a great Patriot … It’s always about trust and dependability and Woody certainly has that. You trust that he’s doing his job and he’s so dependable. He’s in the right place and he makes the right play and that’s what football is all about.”
That was one of my favorite quotes of the year, and those reasons illustrate why Woodhead is one of my favorite players in the league.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.