Good, But Not Great


The 2018 New England Patriots, at 8-3 going in to Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings, haven’t been the typical model of consistency and execution. Week to week we haven’t been sure which version of the Patriots we’re going to get on the field, with some games being more difficult to watch than others, but in typical New England fashion, they’ve managed to grab hold of the division lead and don’t appear to have any challengers stepping up to take it.

One thing that’s become ever more apparent as the weeks go on is that Tom Brady is creeping ever closer to the end of his career. I know that’s obvious for his age, but the performances week after week have just made it all the more apparent that Father Time is in fact catching up to him. Having said that, Tom Brady still sits in the top half of passing performers in the league with 3,031 yards, 19 TDs, and 7 interceptions. Not bad, but not exactly Brady-like either.

Josh Gordon has been getting more and more comfortable in the offense each week, Rob Gronkowski is back healthy and drawing heavy coverage, and Julian Edelman has been the pressure release valve for Brady as always. Situational players like Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and Cordarelle Patterson need to take advantage of any opportunity afforded to them this season. Each has shown flashes, but again appear to lack the consistency to make them trusted weapons for Brady.

At this phase of his career, Tom Brady needs to be able to rely on skill players. And at this point in the season, the Patriots don’t have a receiving target in the top 25 performers at the position. No receiver is over 600 yards on the season, and their top performer, running back James White, has 567 yards and 7 TDs. I certainly wouldn’t consider the weapons at his disposal to be subpar, but they haven’t been getting the separation needed this season to be a standout in the offense either. 

Now having said all that, this is still a team destined for the playoffs. That certainly is not in doubt with the AFC East being what it is. But their struggles this season highlight the fact that they are not ready for the spotlight of the main stage of Super Bowl LIII. 

Will Bill Belichick be able to make his adjustments to be able to compete with the top competition the NFL has to offer this season? Time will tell, but as for me, my hopes aren’t high for this year. And who knows how many more we have with Brady at the helm.



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Boston Sports Syndicate: Good, But Not Great
Good, But Not Great
Boston Sports Syndicate
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