Tom Brady and the Patriots are off to an uncharacteristically bad start.
The team is 2-2 and is coming off one of the worst losses in the Belichick-Brady era losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 41-14 on Monday Night Football. The Patriot’s struggles were also shown in Week 3 as they barely defeated the winless Oakland Raiders 16-9 at home.
Though, there are no reasons for Patriot’s fans to worry about making the playoffs since the Patriots have easily won their division 11 times in the past 13 years and the rest of the teams in the AFC East are also struggling this season. However, there is reason to believe the Patriots will not perform well in the playoffs.
On Monday Night, Brady was just 14 for 23 against the Chiefs with two fumbles, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and only 159 passing yards. Brady was also 1-7 on passes down field and was sacked twice.
Brady’s performance indicated that the New England offense needs a lot of help in order to compete in the AFC. However, Brady’s performance cannot be the entire blame on the outcome of the game or on the season. He needs help.
The Patriot’s offensive line has struggled ever since they traded away Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After losing a veteran in Mankins, the offensive line has become very inexperienced with two starting rookies-- Brian Stork at center and Cameron Fleming at right guard. The inexperience can be seen week in and week out due to a collapsing pocket that doesn’t give Brady a lot of time to make a decision. The offensive line has also affected the running game as all three New England running backs rushed for a combined 75 yards on Monday.
Brady also doesn’t have the weapons he needs for the Patriot’s to become a serious threat in the AFC. Tight End Rob Gronkowski isn’t his old explosive self due to injuries the past two seasons and has a drop percentage of 7.4% this season, the worst of his career. Wide receivers Brandon Lafell and Danny Ammendola have been extremely unsuccessful at getting open all season. Only wide receiver Julian Edelman has proved to be Brady’s dependable option but Brady needs more than Edelman.
Some skeptics believe that the Brady era in New England is over. When asked about a possible quarterback change, Belichick gave a blank stare of idiocy to the crowd of journalists.
At the end of the day, Tom Brady is Tom Brady. He still knows how to win football games. He is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and can make average players into good players even at age 37. That being said, he is 37 and is nearing the end of his career. Tom Brady has done all that he can to help improve this team even by taking a big pay cut to allow the Patriots to make key acquisitions on the defensive side of the ball by signing defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and star corner back Darrelle Revis. But he still needs help from the offensive line and the receivers in order for the Patriots to reach their full potential.