Oddly, for a game that featured Tom Brady on the field and Mark Sanchez on the sideline, there was nothing attractive about the New England Patriots-New York Jets matchup Thursday night.
There were dropped passes all over the place, punts galore and a bit of a fourth-quarter fracas on a yucky, rainy night in Gillette Stadium. The Patriots managed to win, 13-10, but the performance, particularly by his receiving targets, infuriated Brady, who showed everyone that he felt like Rembrandt in a finger-painting class.
The targets of his anger were the targets of his passes. And Brady has a slew of them, with Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead permanently gone and Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and running back Shane Vereen recovering from injuries. Geno Smith passed for 29 more yards than Brady, but he threw two of his three interceptions in the fourth quarter.
If there’s any sort of a bright side for New England, it’s that the Patriots have worked through kinks in September and clicked in December before. But Brady was as publicly furious as he’s ever been Thursday night, cursing about receivers who were “[expletive] wide open.” Not once did he target a tight end. The imprecision was stark: Brady’s 48.7 completion percentage was his lowest since 2009 and his 52.7 completion percentage over the first two weeks is his lowest since 2006 (via ESPN Stats and Information).
At least one observer, former Jets quarterback Joe Namath, was in his corner, though.
Ok, just got home from the airport and I’ve got the game on. Looks like Brady is frustrated with his young wide receivers. And I’m glad.
— Joe Namath (@RealJoeNamath) September 13, 2013
“I’ve got to do a better job with my body language,” Brady said afterward. “I can definitely improve that. I wouldn’t say that’s a real strong point of mine right now.”
Call it really tough love. He called his young receivers “great kids” and admitted he might have “unrealistic” expectations. The Patriots, it should be noted, are 2-0 with two AFC East wins after playing two games in five days.
“We have a long way to go, so no one is coming to rescue [us] and save the day,” Brady said. “We’ve just got to fight through it. We’ve got to work harder and do better and try to be more consistent. Hopefully we can score more points.”
H/T SB Nation for the GIF