Patriots

Tom Brady has to be better … and fast

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

FOXBOROUGH – Make that eight straight games with a sub-100 passer rating for Tom Brady, this one a 19 for 36, 169-yard stinker against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In a career full of Michelangelos, this one was a Fred.

Try telling that to the AFC West champion Chiefs, who spoke after knocking off the Patriots and ending a run of 21 straight home wins here at Gillette Stadium.

“They're the Patriots, at the end of the day, and they've got (Brady) back there,” said Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor, who had one of three Kansas City sacks on the night. “Whenever you've got 12, whenever you've got Belichick, and whenever you've got that logo on the helmet, you know they're going to come with it. And every team had better respect that about them.”

After 18 seasons as the starter, 40 playoff games (30-10), 14 Pro Bowls and six Super Bowl rings, Brady, at 42, faces a monster challenge with this New England offense.

Can he and the Patriots do enough to beat teams like the Chiefs with a line that has struggled mightily at times, including last night, receivers that disappear for long stretches and a running game that has shown little to no consistency over the first 13 games?

Like it or not, whether he's grousing, happy or as he was last night postgame – dejected – it's on Tom Brady to make this offense acceptable.

Aesthetically and mathematically, Brady