|Tom Brady on whether this Patriots offense has an identity||10.21.12 at 10:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — People were beginning to wonder whether or not Tom Brady still had the “clutch gene.”
The Patriots and their veteran quarterback this season have either been comfortably ahead of opponents entering the final few minutes or have struggled to hold a lead and found it necessary to fight for survival.
Brady’s critics were silenced for the time being on Sunday night, as the Brady of old led a 12-play, 54-yard drive that set up the game-tying field goal at Gillette Stadium Sunday in what would become a win over the Jets.
Shaking off Week 2 memories of a missed potential game-winner was Stephen Gostkowski, who hit a 48-yard field goal to put the Patriots ahead in overtime. New England’s defense forced a fumble on the Jets’ rebuttal, and The Patriots climbed back above .500 with the 29-26 victory.
After the game, Brady said that he hadn’t paid much attention to those questions being asked about his whether or not he could still lead a game-winning drive.
“I haven’t turned the TV on in a week, so I don’t know what anyone said,” Brady said. “But it was good to win that game. It was a tough game. It always is against the Jets. It’s nice to pull out a close one, so I’m glad we did that today.”
He said that the offense executed better on the last two drives, which ended in the game-tying and game-winning fields goals. The two prior drives ended in punts after six and three plays, respectively.
“It really wasn’t our best day of execution in terms of assignments — we have to nail those things down,” he said. “A lot of those inconsistencies, you don’t score points, and we didn’t score as many as we needed to. And those last couple of drives, we moved the ball better. I wouldn’t say they were great drives, but they were good enough.”
Good enough for the win was good enough for Brady, who admits it’s tough to say what the identity of this offense is yet. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and depending on the week, as Brady said, an offense’s identity could change drastically.
“I think you continue to go do the things you’re doing well,” Brady said. “You’d love to figure those things out in spring camps, but it really doesn’t play that way. You have some teams that you play and situations that you face and players that are healthy or not healthy, and schemes that you run. And you boil it down to what you’re good at. It’s only October.”
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