|Deion Branch on M&M: ‘We’ve got to get it straightened out’||10.22.12 at 12:30 pm ET|
Patriots receiver Deion Branch joined Mut & Merloni with Troy Brown Monday morning to discuss the Patriots’ victory over the Jets on Sunday. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Sunday marked another shaky fourth quarter for this Patriots team, although it ended with an overtime victory.
“We just didn’t play a complete game,” Branch said. “And this is what’s been going on. We’ve got to get it straightened out.”
Branch said that the important thing is that the Patriots got the win, although clearly there is a lot of room for improvement.
“This is the NFL, man. Regardless of how you win, we’ll take the ‘W,’ ” Branch said. “But we all know there are some things that we’ve got to tighten up. We know we haven’t played our best football. And we’re still hanging in there, pulling out the games. This isn’t a position we want to be in. But we want to make sure we are peaking at the right time.”
Asked what the Patriots are doing to improve, Branch said: “Overall, we are working on a lot of different things. We are trying to get better. That’s one thing we are trying to do. That’s the flow of the game. Most importantly, converting on third down when we need to. … Overall, we’re trying. We’ve got to remember, every week we are getting every team’s best. Unfortunately, that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Branch broke down the Patriots’ performance Sunday and said the team needs to perform well throughout the game to avoid the need for last-minute drives.
“It’s a combination of everything,” Branch said. “What we’ve got to realize as well, if we take care of business in the early part of the game, we wouldn’t put ourselves in those positions. We come out and play the first half and it was pretty good. Third quarter, kind of hit a stalemate. It kind of put us in that position that we were in. We had plenty of opportunities in the game to kind of put that team away and we didn’t. … We put ourselves in a position where our backs were against the wall and we put our best football out on the field to drive down and get the field goal and tie the game.”
Added Branch: “Across the board, there are mistakes made throughout the game. But it still goes back to us taking care of business in the early portion of the game. There were plenty of opportunities before we even put ourselves in that position, the four-minute drive, that we could have ended that game, and we didn’t. We didn’t take advantage of it.”
Looking ahead to next Sunday’s game in London against the Rams, Branch said it’s important for the Patriots to show progress.
“We’ve got to continue working,” Branch said. “Taking it one day at a time. This week’s game against the Rams is going to be totally different. The game plan is going to be different. This team here is probably a little bit more balanced than what we’ve been seeing in the past. … This team is real good on both sides of the ball. I think for us, we’ve just got to continue progressing and not go backwards.”
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On the Jets’ game plan: “They did a great job. I think coach [Rex] Ryan did a great job of scheming and trying to put the guys in the right position to make the plays. At the same time, I think we did a great job of adjusting to what they were doing. … We did a pretty good job of executing early in the game. I wouldn’t say we did in the latter part. That’s something we’ve got to correct. Keeping that same attitude from the beginning to the end.”
On the Jets’ complaining about Patriots substitutions: “If our opponents are waiting on us to see who we’re running in the game, that’s not our fault.”
On the upcoming game in London and keeping younger players focused: “Excited, man. It’s going to be a great game. We’ve got a football game. It’s not a vacation. … I think with the curfew that will be established early, that coach [Bill] Belichick will make sure it doesn’t get out of control.”
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