Over the next couple of days, Musket Fire will be running an end of year, ‘report card’ feature, that will give a final grade to each positional group for the 2013 season. Up first is the quarterbacks.
Final Grade: A-
Tom Brady was the only Patriots quarterback to take a snap this year, making it fairly easy to give this group a grade. 2013 wasn’t Brady’s best statistical season, but it may have been one of his best. Injuries, jail time, and free agency gave Brady a very limited receiving core, as his main target was a 5’10 college quarterback. But somehow, Brady made it work, leading the Pats to a 12-4 record, and another AFC Championship game.
Brady was also given three rookie receivers to work with, and while they certainly didn’t put together Pro-Bowl worthy rookie campaigns, they all flashed a lot of potential. A big part of that was Brady developing them all year long, and I think it will pay major dividends for the Patriots, in the years to come.
The last reason I feel that Brady deserves an A- grade, is how he carried this team on his back, not only with a mediocre offense, but with a depleted defense, that really struggled all season long. Injuries to Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, and Jerod Mayo hurt the middle of this unit, while Alfonzo Dennard and Aqib Talib were in and out throughout the year. Outscoring your opponents with a limited offense is easy, as long as you have a stout defense. But Brady didn’t have that this year, making his season even more impressive.
When your name is Tom Brady, any year that doesn’t result in a Super Bowl victory is a disappointing one. But this season has to be a little satisfying for number 12, considering that his team really shouldn’t have even gotten to the AFC Championship. Brady deserves a ton of praise for what he did this season, as it will go down as one of the best in his illustrious 13 year career.