Tom Brady lit up opposing defenses this year. The Patriots did not.
NFL fans started to see the cracks in the New England Patriots offense last season. Tom Brady “took a step back,” and aside from Julian Edelman’s career year, there wasn’t much to write home about. Their attack was as flat as it gets, which fully explained their late-season collapse and embarrassing playoff performance against the Tennessee Titans.
Then came 2020. The Patriots may not have had the worst offense in the league, but they probably should have. If not for Damien Harris bursting onto the scene and Sony Michel rediscovering his explosiveness, fans might have stopped watching after Week 5.
Cam Newton, though faced with a ton of obstacles and road blocks, was terrible. The receiving corps was quite literally the worst unit in the NFL. The Pats’ starting tight end was Ryan Izzo. Rookie Devin Asiasi didn’t catch his first pass until Week 17. Julian Edelman missed most of the year.
But it’s not like this was really anything new. This is what Brady struggled with in 2019. He only had Edelman, and there was really no creativity to the offense. All TB12 had to do was move down south to fix that.
LED THE NFL in completions on throws over 20 yards in a completely new offense. In 2019, Brady was 24th in the league with his passing attempts down field, averaging 7.4 yards, and 23rd with an average completion of 5.6 yards. That’s an indictment of the Patriots’ offense and skill position talent, not Brady’s ability to play quarterback.
And fans somehow thought Cam Newton, who was coming off major shoulder surgery and played in only two games in 2019, would be able to get anything done … in one of the most complex offensive systems in the league?
Oh yeah, another thing … how complex can it really be if it’s not dynamic whatsoever? There was no creativity to create more opportunities for the struggling skill players.
Fully not a Brady problem. It’s a Josh McDaniels problem. It’s a scouting/drafting problem. It’s a cap space problem.
So sadly, when you’re watching Brady play against the Washington Football Team on Saturday night, just wonder what could’ve been if the Patriots had granted his wish by paying him a bit more and exploring some outside-the-box ways to bring in offensive weapons.