Is There A Future In New England Without Tom Brady?
Do I dare say it? Is the beginning of the end of the Brady, Belicheck tandem?
They are arguably one of the best quarterback/coach tandems in the history of the NFL. But one has to wonder and one thing has always remained. Many players have come and gone, but the mainstay has always been Brady and Belicheck. And it's always ok as long as we have Brady and Belicheck. Well that’s what we say in New England anyways.
After 4 weeks New England is 2-2. You may think to yourself, what’s the big deal, no time to panic and the season’s still early, right? Well the real panic started with Tom Brady himself, after a win nonetheless against the Minnesota Vikings. After a convincing win, Brady seemed upset that the offense didn’t do more and seemed distraught during the press conference. But the real problems started in week one against the Miami Dolphins, and if you want to delve even deeper it really started in the pre season.
You see New England drafted a quarterback this year in the draft, which raised a lot of eyebrows. His name is Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo was drafted in the second round, 62nd overall in this year’s draft. They already had a backup to Brady, in Ryan Mallett who was only drafted in 2011. But New England near the end of the pre-season decided to trade Mallett to the Houston Texans, and promote Garoppolo to Brady’s backup. So a quarterback who just gets drafted ends up being Brady’s backup. This is kind of strange if you ask me. Obviously they’ve seen something in Garoppolo to make this move.
Ok, this is Tom Brady we are talking about. Is New England thinking of a future without Tom Brady? I say yes and they have to. Let’s look at the facts. Brady is 37 years old, pretty much near the end of his career and the Patriots are obviously looking towards the future when Brady can no longer play, or should I say when the Patriots decide to trade him. Did I just say that, and will the Patriots ever trade Tom Brady? Who would ever think such a thing?
We all would like to think Tom Brady would stay in New England until he retires and that might be the case. But the fact is and the reality is that they could very well try to make a deal for him. Even Joe Montana got traded after his great career, so don’t think for one second it couldn’t happen to Brady. When it comes right down to it, a football team is a business. I know we don’t like to think like that , but the writing is on the wall. And if a team isn’t winning they don’t make money and when they are losing revenue, changes take place no matter what the cost even if they are the New England Patriots.
It's no secret the Patriots offense is a mess right now, starting right in week one. After a great first half putting up 20 points, New England put up a goose egg in the second half and Miami scored 23 unanswered points winning 33-20. In week two the Patriots won 30-7 against the Minnesota Vikings, but Matt Cassel gave up 4 interceptions, and the defense scored on a blocked field goal attempt. Pretty much the defense won this game, scoring a touchdown and putting the Patriots in great field position to score their two touchdowns of the game. The offense only managed 2 field goals in the second half.
In week three the Raiders came into Foxboro, and again Brady and the offense sputtered only putting up 19 points. But the Raiders only scored 3 field goals and the Patriots won 16-9. Week Four against Kansas City was probably one of the worst games the Patriots played in recent memory. The Patriots had no answer offensively or defensively for that matter and were down 17 points after the first half. The second half was no better, and the Patriots lost 41-14. The second Patriot touchdown came with 7:33 left in the game after Belicheck sat Brady and put Garoppolo in. Garoppolo was 6/7 with 90 yards.
So Brady sat and his replacement was put in. In all fairness the game was out of reach anyways. This is important. I have seen Brady come out of games when they are winning big, but I don’t think I have ever seen Brady get benched when they were losing. The biggest complaint so far this year has been the offensive line. Brady is a sitting duck out there and there is no protection. Brady has no time to throw the ball and has been sacked 9 times already this year.
Ok is it time to panic? I don’t think so, not yet, but the real test comes this week when the Patriots take on the Bengals at home on Sunday night. This will be the best team they have faced so far and while many questions remain this will be their biggest game to date.