Tom Brady

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Brady sees room for improvement from undermanned Patriots after win over Bears

John Tomase
October 21, 2018 - 4:15 pm

No Rob Gronkowski from the start. No Sony Michel well before the finish.

No problem for Tom Brady.

The ageless Patriots quarterback has always been one to make do with the weapons at his disposal, and Sunday against the Bears was no exception. His favorite target and all-world tight end missed the game with a bad back. His explosive rookie running back left with a knee injury in the first half. None of it mattered as Brady threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-31 road victory.

"There were a lot of those adjustments that were probably challenging for Josh (McDaniels), especially, as the play caller," Brady said. "I give him so much credit, never to lose his poise. Gronk was just not feeling up to it and Josh kind of manipulated everything with the game plan that he needed to do in order to put us in a position to do well. Losing Sony was tough. We all hope he's OK. He's doing a great job for us."

The game was a mess on both sides, and the Patriots did not start well. They fumbled a kickoff and a punt and only recovered one of them. The Bears opened an early 17-7 lead.

But with Chicago counterpart Mitch Trubisky alternately airmailing and underthrowing his frustrated receivers, it was only a matter of time before Brady took control of the game. He did so by leading the Patriots to 31 of the next 38 points. He threw a pair of touchdowns to James White and another to Julian Edelman.

It wasn't a perfect day. Brady threw an interception on a pass tipped away from James Develin, and the Pats nearly allowed the Bears to overcome a 14-point deficit in the final five minutes before stopping them a yard shy of the end zone on the game-ending Hail Mary.

"I still think we can do a lot better than we did today," Brady said. "We're going to have to keep getting better every week. I don't think it's next week or the week after that, but we need to make improvements.

"You just don't know when your number's going to get called. And everyone seems to be making plays. We've just got to do it more consistently. We're able to move the ball and score points and I think the turnovers are frustrating because we talk about them all the time. We just haven't corrected them yet. If we do, it's going to be great."

Brady commended receiver Josh Gordon, who converted a huge fourth-and-1 by leaping over a defensive back to corral a pass, and later delivered a 55-yard catch and run inside the 3-yard line.

"I had him matched up on the 1-on-1 and he just went up and got it and made a great play," Brady said. "We're just going to keep developing our confidence in one another and he's making great plays when I throw him the ball and he's just got to keep doing that."

All things considered, Brady won't complain about the Patriots being on a roll. They've now four straight.

"It came down to about one yard, but I think for us to get a win on the road is something that we've been talking about, something we needed to do," he said. "We played a little bit better today. I think there's still a lot of things we can do better."

Added Brady: "To be 5-2 after starting 1-2 is a great place to be."

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