Following last Monday’s humiliation at Arrowhead Stadium the New England Patriots and Tom Brady in particular have come under a lot of criticism. Last week was one of Tom Brady’s worst ever performance in the NFL with the future hall of fame quarterback finishing the game sitting on the sidelines looking deflated and just pure angry.
But you see this is when Tom Brady always brings out his best, right in the face of adversity. We all know this fairytale story; drafted as the 199th pick in round 6 back in the 2000 draft to then go on and move up the depth chart from 4th string quarterback all the way to beating out the well established Drew Bledsoe and then go on to new unthinkable heights as Brady made a massive contribution to the Patriots dynasty that won 3 Super Bowl titles in 4 years (2001 season, 2003 and 2004)
Since then he has only furthered his legacy making two more Super Bowl’s, winning MVP awards in 2007 and 2010, most playoff wins as a quarterback with 18 playoff wins among many other records so yes the list is endless. Now I or any other NFL fanatic could sit here all day praising Tom Brady’s abilities but after last Monday’s blowout defeat to the Chiefs the question is that is there any more magic left from Tom Terrific?
|Tom Terrific has it all to prove again starting with tonight
Well I say yes there is but there are definitely more concerns around this Patriot’s offense now then there have been over the past decade. 2nd year wide-out Kenbrell Thompkins was released yesterday which leaves the receiving core with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Brandon LaFell along with special teams specialist Matthew Slater and undrafted free agent Brian Tyms who remains inactive.
Edelman is a fantastic receiver but when your best receiver is a former high school quarterback that says it all. Amendola was supposed to be the second coming of Amendola but the realistic scenario happened with him being a flop. Dobson has a lot of potential but injuries have haunted him over this first quarter of the season and I personally feel like LaFell is building up a good rapport with Brady albeit rather slow; he was one of if not the only positive from last week’s loss in Kansas.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski remains Brady best and most reliable weapon in this offense as he is a superstar when healthy but unfortunately he’ll take time to get back to his best. Brady is not surrounded with the weapons that Peyton Manning has right now in Denver but Colts fans from the past will say Brady had better weapons at his disposal when the two use to face of years ago. That debate is for another day but one things for sure Tom Brady is a man who is known for making average receivers look good.
Sadly for Brady you can’t do that when you have a depleted offensive line and the play-calling is terrible. Josh McDaniels was using Vereen as a 3 down back last week which was horrible as every Patriot knows his skills come off screen and trick plays. While I have criticised running back Stevan Ridley in the past there are no denying this young mans talents; he finished last season with 10 touchdowns in the regular season and 2 in the divisional round playoff win against the Colts.
The Patriots need to establish a running game to take the pressure off Brady as at the moment opposing defenses are not afraid of the passing game and a talented group like Cincinnati will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing New England tonight. Despite 9 out of 10 people ruling the Patriots out tonight I personally think they will bounce back and win tonight as the Pats defense has so much talent and will put in a much better performance than last week which will provide a platform for the rest of the team to believe again.
Brady may not have the weapons that everyone believes he deserves but that can’t be changed and the Patriots just need to get on with it. Once the team has a offensive line that is starting together regularly then they’ll hope that in time it will come good. Many people will be choosing the Bengals to walk in to Gillette stadium and win tonight but I remember last season when the 4-0 Patriots walked in to Paul Brown Stadium against the 2-2 Bengals with all the praise in the world being heaped on the Patriots only for them to lose 13-6 in a game which was contested in monsoon like weather.
A year later and now the tables have turned with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick saying in his press conference that “They [The Bengals] have a lot of good players. They’re well-coached. They’re tough, they’re physical, they’re explosive. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a team that’s as complete as they are.” so yes tonight will be a heavy challenge but the turnover in who is the top dogs in the NFL is what makes it so exciting to watch. That is why Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots deserve so much credit for the level of consistency they have shown for over the past 10 years. They thrive off adversity and will take it head on when it’s right in their face, some people say good things can’t last forever well I think tonight will prove otherwise and whether it’s ugly or pretty the Patriots will move on to 3-2 and leave the Bengals at 3-1 come the end of Sunday Night Football.
Prediction: Bengals 24-27 Patriots