It must have been a slow news day, because the story trying to be created right now, is that Saturday will probably be Tom Brady’s last game at Foxboro, home of the New England Patriots.
A simple search on Google under “Tom Brady” already yields eight of the first ten articles as Brady “retiring”, or “falling” or “last game” or even leaving to join the Colts next season. To that I say, blah blah blah.
Tom Brady is a gamer. The dude cares about winning more than most players and coaches do in the NFL right now. Yes, he’s in a rut, and the Patriots don’t look good right now, even as a 12-4 squad.
Brady himself however, is still Brady, doing Brady things, even in 2019. Another season with at least 60% of his passes completed, another 4,000 yard season, 24 touchdown passes, which is five less than last season, and only eight interceptions, three less than last year.
The biggest concern isn’t Tom Brady, even at 42-years old- no, the biggest concern is actually the weapons AROUND Tom Brady. Of his 24 touchdown passes, 11 went to well known weapons in James White and Julian Edelman. The other 13? Try Phillip Dorsett (4), N’Keal Harry (2) Josh Gordon (1), Antonio Brown (1), Mohamed Sanu (1), Matt LaCosse (1), Ryan Izzo (1), Brandon Bolden (1), and Elandon Roberts (1).
Brady has lost so much on offense, that it showed this season. His receivers have a difficult time getting open, or are getting double teamed. The running game went from 5th overall last year at over 2,000 yards, to 18th in 2019 with 1,700 yards – from 4.7 yards a carry in 2018, to just 3.8 in 2019.
That’s a HUGE number, and a major reason why Tom Brady, for the first time since 2015, attempted 600+ passes in 2019.
It’s not Brady, it’s what’s around Brady, PERIOD. Look at the offensive weapons, key blockers, and offensive line players he lost from last year’s Super Bowl team, the list includes:
WRs- Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson
TE- Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen
OL- Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle
So for all the “one last cup for the road” talk about Brady, I’m sorry, but I simply don’t buy it. Give the Patriots another season, knowing they can fix some of the wrong of this team, mostly on offense, and let’s see what Brady does next year, while also affording the Patriots a chance to groom either rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham, or draft/sign another passer to eventually take over.
Has this season been frustrating, yes, big time. Probably one of the most frustrating seasons for Tom Brady and the Patriots maybe since 2009 when they finished 10-6 and got bounced by Baltimore in the first round. That team rebounded that off-season with a draft class that included Devin McCourty, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski, and two years later, the Patriots were back in the Super Bowl.
I’m not saying the Patriots are going to repeat that 2010 Draft and eventual success, but they’ve been down this road before. And knowing Brady’s competitiveness, he’s not retiring after a down season like this. This is the same person that emailed his friend back in 2014, that he had “7 or 8 years” left while Peyton Manning had only two. “That’s the final chapter. Game on”. That’s Tom Brady. He’s a gamer, and there’s no way he ends his career like this, with this football team. He’ll be back. He has too. He’s too much of a champion to not give it one more shot knowing he’s only a couple of players away from a possible 7th ring.