NFL news of October 16, 2002

Tom Brady was on his way home from Gillette Stadium late Sunday when he realized he had reached another unexpected milestone in his football career: He had lost three games in a row for the first time in his life. It was a strange feeling for the Patriots young quarterback, and the noise that was still ringing in his ears made it even more unsettling.

The Patriots, 3-0 and so full of promise just 15 days ago, were now tied with the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL standings. The defending Super Bowl champs will now have to win at least seven and maybe eight of their remaining 10 games just to sneak into the playoffs. Teflon Tom Brady, the Super Bowl MVP and the toast of Patriot Nation for nearly a year now, was tasting boos for the first time.

“I think I’d have been booing, too, right up there with them,” Brady said. “If you play bad in this town, you’re going to get booed. You lay an egg and they’ll boo you every time.”

It has unraveled so quickly for Brady that he now finds himself embroiled in a quarterback controversy with a friend and former teammate who was traded away six months ago. Steve Grogan has always said the most popular player in town is the backup quarterback – who never looks as good as when he doesn’t play – but in New England these days there is a new twist to the old adage.

— Gerry Callahan, The Boston Herald “No question about it; Brady, not Bledsoe, answer for Pats”

Brady has yet to lose three games in a row again since that stretch in 2002 and has lost three games or less in five seasons.

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