For Tom Brady, this year has been one of the most frustrating seasons of his career. His statistics have dipped. The offense has been in disarray for much of the year. For long stretches in 2019 he has looked like a 42 year old on his last legs.
Brady’s numbers this year have been particularly unimpressive since Week 6 against the Giants. He went nine weeks without eclipsing a passer rating above 100. Now obviously, the entire offense as a unit has struggled for much of this campaign. However, one of Brady’s greatest skills is getting the most out of any offense.
The Buffalo Bills were coming into Gillette Saturday with their sights set on first place in the AFC East. The Patriots needed Brady to raise his game. And, like he has his entire career, Brady performed when New England needed him to.
Brady was meticulous from the first snap. He was incredibly efficient, completing 26 passes out of 33 throws. His 78.8 completion percentage was a season high. He passed for 271 yards after back to back games with under 170 passing yards. Brady’s touch on the Matt LaCosse touchdown was superb. He looked like the Tom Brady New England fans have been watching for 18 years.
Not to mention, Brady was tremendous at spreading the ball over the field. Here are the stat lines for the wide receivers, running backs, and the tight ends.
Julian Edeleman: 5 receptions, 72 yards, average of 14.4 yards per catch, long of 30
Jakobi Meyers, 3 receptions, 25 yards, average of 8.3 yards per catch, long of 15.
Mohamed Sanu: 3 receptions, 24 yards, average of 8 yards per catch, long of 10.
N’Keal Harry: 2 receptions, 21 yards, average of 10.5 yards per catch, long of 12.
Rex Burkhead: 4 receptions, 77 yards, average of 19.3 yards per catch, long of 31.
James White: 4 receptions, 24 yards, average of 6 yards per catch, long of 9.
Sony Michel: 1 reception, 5 yards.
Ben Watson: 3 receptions, 15 yards, average of 5 yards per catch, long of 7.
Matt LaCosse: 1 reception, 8 yards, 1 touchdown.
Brady was in a good rhythm with his receivers. Throughout the season there have been problems with Brady and his receivers getting on the same page. Saturday, they were in sync.
Obviously, the offense has facets they need to improve on. They had two costly offensive pass interference calls. Not to mention, they managed only two touchdowns in a game when they had 414 total yards. Brady and the offense will need to find a more consistent way to come away with drives ending in touchdowns.
With this win the Patriots clinched the AFC East. With a victory over Miami in Week 17 the Patriots earn a first round bye in the playoffs. If Brady and the offense can find some momentum from this performance, they will be a tough out in the postseason. This is not a New England offense that can roll out of bed and hang 35 points. That is clear. However, the Patriots have a chance to obtain their 7th Lombardi Trophy with Brady and the offensive performing as they did Saturday.
Story by Chad Jones
Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones