Did Patriots spoil their fans?

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
3:20
PM ET
It's reaction Monday in the NFL. And despite another New England Patriots' victory, they are not getting favorable reviews.

The New York Jets were one of the biggest underdogs of Week 7 and nearly upset the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots escaped with a 29-26 overtime victory, and fans are not happy with their performance.

New England quarterback Tom Brady told WEEI radio in Boston Monday that the team’s longstanding success may have spoiled some fans expecting easy wins.

"I don't think you just flip a switch," Brady said. "I wish it were that easy, and maybe there were times when it did look that easy. Maybe we just spoiled some people in the meantime because it's hard to win, man. It's hard to win."

Most expected New England to steamroll the Jets. The fact that it didn’t happen and New England allowed 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter adds to the case that these aren't your usual Patriots. New England is a team built on being clutch and winning close games. But this season things seem to fall apart for New England when the pressure is on.

On the other hand, Brady is right: New England got the tough win and that’s all that matters in the standings. But there are some genuine concerns, particularly its pass defense and play in the fourth quarter, that make you wonder if this year's Patriots are closer to "average" than "elite."

New England has the easy part of its schedule upcoming against the St. Louis Rams (3-4), Buffalo Bills (3-4) and Indianapolis Colts (3-3). This is an opportunity for the Patriots to pad their record and round back into form before making another playoff run.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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