Tom Brady’s play has been under a microscope in recent seasons. National media members have been calling for his downfall for years. Going into week 13 nothing has changed in this aspect, even though the QB has proven them wrong every year.
Patriots nation has grown accustom to hearing the nonsense from Max Kellerman, Rob Parker and others who annually make fools of themselves. The difference in 2019, however, is that it seems some “fans” are starting to buy into the asinine national hot takes.
These fans need to watch film or realize what’s around the 42 year old future HOF QB. I have personally watched hours of film, and every game again, to see where exactly Tom Brady has gotten worse. The only thing I could find was the amount of throwaways Brady has to skip into the dirt or sail into the sidelines, and it’s by far the most he’s ever done this.
The casual fan or any hater will say it’s accuracy, but the truth is Brady’s getting rid of it purposely to avoid a negative play when nobody can get open. So let’s take a closer look at what’s happening with some examples from Sunday’s loss to the Texans.
Guys not doing their Job
First off, I want to point out that Brady’s not blameless here, yet it has nothing to do with his play or his age. The one bad thing I can say about Brady is he’s clearly losing patience fast. Can you blame him? I can’t.
After losing Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon and even Chris Hogan, the replacements just aren’t doing their jobs. Yes N’Keal Harry and Meyers are rookies, but this is the NFL and we are going into week 13. Things should be progressing, but they aren’t.
Here’s former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky breaking down a play where Phillip Dorsett and Brady were not on the same page. Orlovsky points out exactly what I've been saying all year.
The play above isn’t so much a matter of skill or talent on Dorsett’s end, but more of not “doing his job.” Brady used a hand motion telling Dorsett to run a stop and go, indicated by the finger gun signal you can see in the video above. Phillip Dorsett, however, obviously did not run the correct route. Instead he ran a curl route as Brady launched the ball downfield where Dorsett was supposed to be. That is an example of the receiver not doing his job.
The Texans game is a prime example of what Tom has been hinting at since Week 4, and there are a few examples that represent the issues since then. Here’s Brady’s reaction after another failed play do to lack of execution by a different WR:
Brady has always been great at moving in the pocket and ducking pass rushers, and this year he seems to have gotten even better. This play Brady avoids a sack and rolls right to see that no defenders are behind Meyers. Brady points downfield telling him to keep running which probably would’ve been a huge gain if not a TD. This is something worked on in practice by every team in the league. Meyers decided to stop running, which led to Brady’s reaction seen above. After the loss here’s what Meyers said about the play:
The frustration on Brady’s end isn’t due to lack of effort or guys playing hard, I believe it’s because at times these guys simply just aren’t doing their job.
The interception Brady threw can be blamed on Harry for not fighting for the ball. Harry was against a significantly smaller defender who bodied the big first round pick. Tom did try to fit the ball into a tight window, so I’m not saying Brady has no blame on that play. But Harry can’t let that happen, especially with his size. Harry didn’t seem to have another snap after the interception, which I find crazy on the coaching staff since this team can’t afford to sit a WR due to one mistake.
Another example of failed execution didn’t come from a rookie, but from veteran WR Mohamed Sanu. The Patriots decided to go for it on 4th down, and curiously McDaniels decided to call a pass play, which turned out to be the right call. The problem, though, was once again execution. Sanu did get held before the pass, which the refs clearly missed. Despite the missed penalty Sanu broke free and Brady hit him right in the hands for what should’ve been a huge first down, but he dropped it. Sanu could still be banged up, but he needs to make that catch.
This season has been stressful for the offense, and a lot has to do with roster construction. That falls on Bill Belichick. It’s obvious that between offense, defense and special teams, the latter two were addressed, leaving the offense with little help or depth.
Brady’s talent, skill and arm strength from everything I’ve watched has not diminished . So if he stays here or not, he won’t end his career after a season like this. I’ll take it even further, if he ends up with legit weapons his numbers would skyrocket. I guarantee at 43 years old we’ll see the Tom Brady we’ve come to know, and people will be forced to admit that he hasn’t slipped one bit.
Despite what the media is fabricating, Brady is not phasing guys out. He didn’t sit Harry on the bench, that’s on the coaches. That’s not the hot take though, so the truth goes by the wayside. Here’s how Tom feels about his guys talking on the Greg Hill show Monday morning:
“These guys are trying, I have no problem with anyone’s effort. I love playing with Phillip Dorsett, I love playing with N’Keal he works his tail off. I love what N’Keal is bringing, we’re gaining confidence every week. I love what Jakobi is doing. We’re gaining confidence every week. Gaining confidence in Mohamed.”Tom Brady To WEEI's Greg Hill
Brady explained it takes time, mentioning Edelman and White, two guys he’s played with for years and how confidence grows over time.
The conclusion in my opinion is that the issues this year may not be lack of talent or dedication on the pass catchers part, but more of an execution issue. The good thing about this is that it’s fixable.
Brady and the offense have a big challenge against a high flying KC team this week, and these guys know they need to do their jobs and execute. The Patriots have four games left to right the ship and I believe they will. Tom Brady hasn’t diminished. He’s still throwing just as hard as ever with the same accuracy. This will come down to these pass catchers getting separation, eliminating the drops and fixing the plays I’ve described above. Pats fans there’s no need to freak out yet, these issues can be corrected. I still expect nothing less than an AFC Championship appearance once again.