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Monday, December 24, 2012
Brady: 'Self-inflicted errors' biggest issue

By Field Yates

Just more than 12 hours after taking the podium following his team's narrow Week 16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasn't much more enthused about the effort when discussing it on his weekly radio appearance on the "Dennis & Callahan" show on Boston sports radio WEEI (click HERE to listen).

Tom Brady
Tom Brady has three touchdown passes and four interceptions in his past two games.
What frustrated Brady most about the showing was unforced errors on offense.

"I think just the self-inflicted errors. That's the biggest problem," he said. "It's the things that we've shown that we're capable of doing and that we just don't do on a consistent basis. If the defense makes a good play, they make a good play, but there was just a few too many times yesterday that we could've done something better that we just didn't really handle as well as we're capable of."

Sunday marked the second straight game in which Brady has thrown two interceptions, as well as the second straight week in which the Patriots dug themselves an early hole. Brady has three touchdown passes and four interceptions in his past two games after having 19 touchdowns and seven picks over the previous seven.

"The turnovers hurt," Brady said. "We had two turnovers in the first quarter [Sunday]; those definitely hurt. When we don't turn the ball over, we're pretty good. When we turn it over, we're not very good. We've got to do a better job protecting the football, and certainly I've got to do a better job protecting the football. That's going to be really critical here coming down the stretch."

Taking the Jaguars (who entered the game at 2-12) lightly was not an issue.

"It was probably our best week [of practice]," Brady said. "We were really prepared, we went down there, we were excited to play. It was just our execution wasn't great in the game, and like I said, when you have a poor first quarter like we did, our first 15 minutes were not very good, and then a team gains a lot of confidence in that -- the team that you're playing -- and then it ends up being a dogfight for 60 minutes, which it really was."

Asked to highlight positives from the win, which Brady was happy to earn, the quarterback started with his defense. The unit forced two red zone interceptions in the fourth quarter, including one in the end zone on the final play of the game.

"I thought our defense really hung in there," he said. "I thought they played great over the course of the entire game. They're continuing to make real critical plays for us. They did a great job."

Looking ahead, Brady talked about both how he was feeling after taking a couple of big hits during the game and the Patriots' playoff scenarios leading into Week 17.

"Yeah, just the normal bumps and bruises," he said of his health. "That's part of football, and that's part of playing this long. Nineteen weeks we play, so you have those little bumps, but I'll be fine."

As for playing the what-if game with various playoff scenarios before the team's regular-season finale against the Dolphins, Brady's focus is solely on his own team. The Patriots could end up as any of the first four seeds in the AFC.

"I don't really care. I could care less," he said. "I would just love to just go out there and play our best football here and beyond. I don't care who we play or where we play or when we play or the time or the place or the opponent, it's about us, and we've lost four games this year, and we were pretty capable of winning all four of those games. If it wasn't for some of our mistakes that we made, we could've. I'm sure a lot of teams could say that, too.

"I have a lot of confidence in our team and what we're doing; I just hope that our best football is still ahead of us," he said.