FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Tom Brady is worried more about his play than his body language.

The New England Patriots quarterback has gotten off to a slow start as he adjusts to the loss of David Givens and Deion Branch, his two top receivers from last season.

With his numbers down and his frustration level rising, Brady has found his on-field demeanor being scrutinized by media and fans.

In Sunday night’s 17-7 loss to the Denver Broncos, Brady screamed at officials from the sideline, hung his head after three-and-outs and lay facedown on the field for several moments after his last-gasp, fourth-down throw fell incomplete.

“I guess that’s something that’s been brought up quite a bit,” Brady said of the scrutiny. “I think I can be an emotional person, as you guys have always seen. It’s just poor performance by our offense, and I feel like I’m the leader of that.”

Although the Patriots (2-1) have the league’s eighth-ranked offense through three weeks, they are only 18th in scoring and have been serenaded with boos in both home games. They play at unbeaten Cincinnati on Sunday.

They trailed Buffalo 17-7 at halftime in the first game of the season and needed a late safety to pull out a 19-17 win.

They spotted the Broncos a 17-0 lead before Brady completed all 10 of his passes on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

Brady is still adjusting to life without Givens, who signed with Tennessee as a free agent, and Branch, who was traded to Seattle a week into the regular season after a long contract holdout. Brady is 20th in the NFL in passer rating, and his 53.3 completion percentage is well below his career average of 61.9 entering the season.

Three of his top four receivers are in their first year with the team, and free agent Reche Caldwell, rookie Chad Jackson and ex-Raider Doug Gabriel, obtained in a trade, are not yet in sync with the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Yet Brady blames himself for the loss to Denver.

“Go watch the film,” said Brady, who threw for 320 yards against the Broncos but attempted a career-high tying 55 passes. “It was certainly not the receivers’ performance as to why the passing game wasn’t great this past weekend.”

Brady said he feels fine physically, although he acknowledged that there are “periodic times throughout the season when I rest my arm for a day.”

He said his body language hasn’t been an issue with his teammates, noting, “I think this is more of an outside-the-team type of thing than an inside-the-team type of thing.

“Like I said, I think we’ll improve everybody’s state of mind and body language and all the other psychological stuff that Sigmund Freud probably talked about many, many years ago if we win football games.”

AP-ES-09-27-06 1812EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.