The trend of the NFL this week has been a Tom Brady bash-fest. After the Chiefs gave the Patriots a good and proper beat down on Monday Night Football, Brady became the object of ridicule. “His skills have diminished, he is not what he once was, is the Tom Brady era over”, were all talking points after the KC game. Brady has been untouchable for most of his career. Early success and Super Bowl wins gave him a pass on any criticism for a bad game here and there. Even when the Pats were not playing well, he was never blamed on ESPN and the like. That tide seems to have turned and I’m not sure it is warranted just yet.
If any other quarterback in the NFL had the team of receivers that Tom Brady has at his disposal, they would file for unemployment. Not many QBs could keep their jobs as starters with guys like the Patriots have on staff to try and catch the ball. Julian Edelman is the top wideout for the Patriots and I would have started this sentence with, “no disrespect to…” but I have no choice but disrespect Edelman. I am sure he is a nice young man, but the fact that he is the top receiver on the Pats roster shows just how bare the cupboard is for Tom Brady. Edelman would not start on most other teams, at least in America. I am sure there would be a starting role for him in Canada somewhere. But this is the NFL where teams have guys like Roddy White, Jordy Nelson, and Dez Bryant. Tom Brady would hire Aaron Hernandez to kill for a wideout like the names mentioned. But Hernandez is in a cage and unable to complete such a mission, so Brady is stuck with Edelman, a patchwork Gronk, and guys so anonymous that no one would ever ask them for an autograph.
Sure Brady has made due with some ho-hum receivers in the past. But there was always some talent there. This year is different. The guy was no weapons that could scare even the Jaguars secondary. In the past he had decent players that stepped up and made plays. He of course had one of the best receivers ever in Randy Moss at one point. He had Wes Welker until the team, in all its salary cap wisdom, let him walk away before last year. I don’t want to gloss over the fact that Gronkowski‘s injuries have been a big part of the problem on offense. Those things just happen in football and sometimes they happen to a key weapon like Gronk. Aaron Hernandez being an alleged serial killer is not something that most teams expect either. Those two guys together should have set the table for Brady and the Patriots to be in the title hunt at least until the quarterback turned 40. Those dreams are over as Hernandez rots in a jail cell and Gronk just tries to stay on the field.
I know Tom Brady can’t be great forever. Father time is undefeated at like 80 million and 0. The golden boy may not be what he once was and quarterbacks can fall off fast. But when you don’t supply any players to throw the ball to, I don’t know how Brady can be judged so harshly. Some pundits say that since Brady has done well in the past, that he should be doing fine with these jabronis. That is bad logic since this crew of wideouts doesn’t compare to guys he had in the past. If we could do one of those stupid switcharoo moves like Hollywood likes to churn out every few years in the form of a movie, I’d like to see what Tom Brady would do in Denver with their receivers. Put Peyton in New England and see what happened. Brady would be on an explosive offense and Manning would be getting called washed up.
Sure, great quarterbacks should make average receivers look good. But the Patriots would need to upgrade their wideouts to average first. What Brady has been given to work with is asking for a miracle.