FOXBORO — For all those who think all of the Patriots have a “one-game-at-a-time” mentality, Tom Brady  provided an exception to the rule on Wednesday.
Realizing several weeks ago that this would be a very short week against two outstanding NFL teams, he decided to take advantage of the long break between their Thanksgiving rout of the Jets and their Dec. 2 division-clincher over the Dolphins. Instead of looking ahead to Miami, he stole a little time and looked three weeks down the road.
“After our Thursday night game against the Jets, I tried to do a bunch of work on the Niners,” Brady said Wednesday. “So I put a couple of days in there and actually after the game on Monday night, I felt like I just had to watch their most recent game and I was caught up. So, you try to take advantage of a little extra time, a little planning. [I] probably wouldn’t have done that 10 years ago.
“It’s probably most important for the quarterback position. I don’t think the receivers are necessarily doing that. They study what they need to study. I kind of have my own routine and preparation. A lot of guys prepare differently. I know Matt Light , who we honored at halftime last week, didn’t watch much film at all. He said it screwed him up. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with, so there’s something to be said about that too.”
How hard is it for Brady to look ahead to a particular game, but also stay focused on the next game?
“I’ve done it before, so you just kind of close the chapter and then move on and focus all of your attention on Houston,” Brady said. “We had eight days to do that, which was good. And certainly we had extra time with Miami too, so it was just part of time management.”
Brady knows he’ll need every advantage he can get against a defense that is ranked second in the NFL in total yards (275.2), rushing yards (90.8) and passing (184.7). And at 14.2 points allowed per game, no one in the NFL has been better.
“It’s speed, they play well together, they’re physical, they stop the run, they rush the passer, they can cover, they create turnovers, they play well in long yardage situations, they’re good in the red area,” Brady said in summing up the Niners D. “They do everything well. Like I said, they were in the NFC Championship last year and had a great season. They’re off to a great start. They won some really tough road games ‘ at New Orleans is tough, they won that one; at Green Bay is as tough as it gets, they won that one. So they can win on the road. They’re a very good team.”