Tom Brady has lost three games in a row just once during his 22 years in the NFL. It's probably safe enough to bet your mortgage that he doesn't want that to happen again.
Count the New York Giants in on that bet. Everyone on that team has been around long enough to the point where you don't doubt Brady when he's coming off of a loss; albeit two losses in a row.
"Tom's going to respond," Giants defensive coordinator Pat Graham said Thursday. "I don't know anybody that's more competitive, more serious about the game and on top of that he's a great person. I mean, if they won by 20 touchdowns or if they lost, it doesn't matter. If he's playing the New York Giants on Monday night, that's where his focus is and it's laser focus. If you had a chance to be around him, it's laser focus, truly. To be around one of the best to ever play the game and just see that focus – I mean, I remember practicing against him – it just makes you have to raise your level as a coach because he'll take advantage."
Graham has witnessed Brady's post-loss success firsthand. He was the Patriots linebackers coach when they were shellacked by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football by a score of 41-14 back in 2014.
"We lost to Miami – we were up by 17, we lost to Miami – then, we came back, and we beat Minnesota, then we beat Oakland, so we were 2-1," said Graham. "Then, we lost to Kansas City, we were 2-2 and we were the worst team ever to play football and somehow, we figured it out."
Certain Giants players, such as Logan Ryan, have echoed Graham's sentiments. They know what they're getting into when the Bucs-Giants matchup kicks off on Monday Night Football and they know that they're going to have to be prepared to the fullest if they want to come out with a win.
"People crack me up when they say, 'Oh, he's coming off of a loss. How is he going to come?'," Ryan told reporters Thursday. "This guy, anything can set him off in terms of wanting to win. I think he's best off a big win, he's best off a big loss. Anything motivates this guy. He prepares really hard, so you have to do the homework and really be willing to accept the test and the challenge.
"We're playing against the greatest of all time, in my opinion. He has weapons that he has to distribute the ball to and facilitate, and those are the matchups that we have to challenge and contend with. Everything about him – his resume is impressive, so it's going to be a tough challenge. I think it's the greatest challenge in football playing him and it's a lot of fun."
The Giants were prepared for Brady and the Buccaneers during last year's Monday night contest and it showed. The Giants had a 17-15, fourth quarter lead until a Daniel Jones interception keyed the Bucs' comeback win.
Listening to Ryan, it sounds like the Giants learned their lesson and realized they cannot let up at any point during the upcoming matchup, whatsoever.
"They won the game at the end, so he made enough adjustments to win the game," said Ryan. "We played a good game last year, but we didn't win the game. All he cares about are wins and losses, that's all I care about. We've got to find a way to win the game in the end. But it'll be a good challenge. Like I said, it'll be a chess match. PG [Pat Graham] knows him well, (Head Coach Joe) Judge knows him well, but he's as old as our coaches, so he knows the game well, too. It's really just a go out there and do the best I can do, do my job, lead the guys and hopefully get the game close in the fourth quarter and then finish the game."
Expect the Giants to be prepared once kickoff rolls around. Whether or not the preparation translates into a victory remains to be seen, but there's no doubt New York is expecting the Bradiest of Bradys on Monday night.
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