CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 6: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots yells to get the attention of Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated New England 13-6. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
A week ago, the Patriots scored 6 points against the Bengals and lost their first game of the season, and Tom Brady has one of his most ineffective outings in recent memory. On Sunday, New England hosts the high-powered Saints and Brady concedes that it'll take more than a couple field goals to hang with a team that's averaging 32 points a game in its last three outings.
“I just want us to score points, so whatever it takes to score points, that’s what matters,” Brady said, via Boston.com. “I think you let your emotions get into it and feelings and so forth -- I mean realistically, you have to come up with a plan. We have to figure out how to score points.
“I said after the game, we’re not going to win many games scoring six points. So, if we score six points this weekend, we probably won’t win. We’ve got to do a lot better than that.”
Complicating matters: In addition to the Saints' offense, their defense is allowing just 14.6 points per game. This fact isn't lost on Brady.
“I think we’ll try to put together any drive at this point to score points,” the quarterback said. “Long, short, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to score touchdowns. This defense really forces you into some long drives. I don’t think they’ve given up many big plays this year. They have played from the lead a bunch, which is why they probably have a lot of sacks, interceptions, and have been ahead in a lot of these games.
“We’ve got to try and score quickly, methodically, whatever it takes, because they have a good offense, they have a good team, they play well on special teams. We are going to have to play a very well-rounded game.”
One thing that might help: the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has been sidelined all season after undergoing arm and back surgery this summer. Whether this is the week that he makes his debut remains a mystery and we likely won't know until Sunday afternoon just prior to kickoff.
On Thursday, Gronk offered this assessment, which sound a lot like is comments the previous two weeks.
"It's basically nothing new," he said, via ESPNBoston.com. "I mean, I'm just working hard every week, working hard out at practice, and nothing's changed, we're day by day, like we've been from the very beginning. …
I'm just doing whatever the coach asks me to do, out at the practice field with my teammates, [whatever] they ask me to do, just to help the team out to my max ability," Gronkowski added.
Brady, meanwhile, will throw the ball to whomever's on the field. He's not going to get caught up on one player, no matter how good he is.
"We've kind of talked about it a lot the last five weeks," he said. "If [Gronkowski is] there, he's there. If he's not, he's not. We're going to try to go win anyway."