Tom Brady concerned about offense
Tom Brady voiced his concerns about the New England Patriots' offense despite a battling 17-10 road win over the Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of Super Bowl LII.
The Patriots moved to 9-1 as their defense shut down the Eagles on Sunday to produce a different result to when the teams met on the grandest stage of all in February 2018.
It was a key win for Brady's men as they bounced back from the 37-20 loss in their previous outing against the Baltimore Ravens, their main challengers for the number one seed in the AFC.
Offensively, though, the Patriots are yet to hit top gear, with Brady going 26-for-47 and 216 yards against the Eagles.
Indeed, their only touchdown of the night came with a trick play when wide receiver Julian Edelman delivered a 15-yard strike to Phillip Dorsett after collecting a lateral pass from Brady.
An excellent display from the defense, who sacked Carson Wentz five times and recovered a fumble to help the Pats battle out of a 10-0 hole late in the second quarter, typified their season so far.
But Brady is aware the offense must buck up its ideas, even if pointing out there is room for improvement while sitting at 9-1 is a position the rest of the NFL would love to be in.
"They are doing a great job and keeping us in every game," Brady, who was visibly dejected for much of his media conference, said of his side's defense.
And of the offense, he added: "Up and down, that is what it looks like to me.
"Probably [can] do everything better. I don't think it matters what I think. It matters what we do."
The Patriots are now converting under 50% of their redzone drives into touchdowns in 2019.
"I think that's right, practice and execution [will be key]," said Brady.
"But it's good to win. To go on the road and win is always tough. They all count the same. Anytime you go on the road and beat a good team is a good feeling."
As well as throwing his TD, Edelman was the Patriots' top receiver with five catches for 53 yards.
Zach Ertz had nine grabs for 94 yards but the Eagles dropped to 5-5 after their offense stalled entirely in the second half, Wentz ending the game with passing figures of 20-for-40, 214 yards and one touchdown.
Edelman said: "They’re a good football team. Good coaching staff, good players, [we were] coming on the road, they had a bye week to prepare, just like us.
"We knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle. It was good to come out of here with a win."
Asked if his touchdown pass went exactly as it had been drawn up in practice, he replied: "Not necessarily! But we got the play in and made a play.
"It was good to get it, good to execute. We've been practicing that play for a little while. It's fun to throw sometimes."
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Head coach Bill Belichick seemed more optimistic than Brady after the win.
"It really was a good team victory for us," he said. "I am really proud of the way our guys competed. They just went out there and competed for 60 minutes.
"I know we didn't get off to a great start, but we just kept battling and made plays in all three phases of the game. We played played some good situational football and made plays that we needed to make to win."
For the Eagles, another home game next week, this time against the in-form Seattle Seahawks (8-2), just became a lot more important.
"The guys are disappointed," said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
"They are frustrated. They understand we are a better football team then what we played. As coaches, we have to coach better. We understand that. We have to play better. We didn’t make enough plays.
"I thought the defense really kept us in this football game for the most part. Then, offensively, we failed to execute. That’s something that the guys really pride themselves on, we all do. Just not enough plays there."
Elsewhere, the San Francisco 49ers (9-1) won a thrilling home game 36-26 against NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals.
The Oakland Raiders won 17-10 at home to ensure the Cincinnati Bengals remain winless on the season, while the Los Angeles Rams were also victors in front of their own fans, defeating the Chicago Bears 17-7.
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Lamar stars for Ravens
Lamar Jackson strengthened his case for the NFL MVP award as he threw four touchdowns to give the Baltimore Ravens an emphatic 41-7 home win over the Houston Texans.
It was a game billed as a battle between two of the main quarterbacks challenging Russell Wilson for the top individual honour in the shape of Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but it quickly became a one-sided affair.
Both teams have postseason aspirations but on this evidence the Texans (6-4) have plenty of work to do as the Ravens easily moved to 8-2 to boost their hopes of claiming a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Dual threat Jackson completed 17-of-24 passes for 222 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, adding 86 yards on the ground from only nine attempts.
Mark Ingram caught two of Jackson's TD throws, while tight end Mark Andrews also had a score to go with his team-leading 75 receiving yards.
Jackson had earlier found Seth Roberts to get the Ravens rolling, while Gus Edwards added a 63-yard rushing score, helping him to a total of 112 from just eight carries.
The Ravens led by 14 at the half and 27 by the end of the third quarter, as Watson struggled to 169 yards through the air, going 18-of-29 for no touchdowns and one interception in one of the worst nights of his young career.
Eighty of those yards went to Watson's favourite target DeAndre Hopkins, who had seven catches.
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A 41-yard fourth-quarter run from Carlos Hyde ensured the demoralised Texans avoided a shutout but provided little consolation.
Rampant AFC North leaders the Ravens travel to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 12.
The Texans, who lost first place in the AFC South because of this defeat, have a short week before hosting the divisional rivals who have just overtaken them, the Indianapolis Colts, on Thursday in a pivotal contest.
Other early games on Sunday including the Buffalo Bills beating the Miami Dolphins 37-20 on the road, with Josh Allen throwing three touchdowns and adding another on the ground.
The Colts, buoyed by the return of Jacoby Brissett , won 33-13 at home to divisional rivals the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose QB Nick Foles was making his own injury comeback, albeit a less happy one.
An amazing comeback from the Minnesota Vikings saw them recover from a 20-point halftime deficit to win 27-23 at home against the Denver Broncos and move to 8-3 for the season.
Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr, with Dalvin Cook rushing for a score.
Elsewhere, a shock result saw the Atlanta Falcons, who had also surprised the New Orleans Saints with a road triumph last week, win 29-3 at the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers QB Kyle Allen had a miserable day with four interceptions, while Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley ran riot with eight catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.
The New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Saints also claimed Week 11 victories, beating the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively.
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