New England Patriots QB Tom Brady Needs More Offensive Weapons as Injuries Continue to Pile Up
Despite being 6-0 on the season the New England Patriots are far from perfect. On Thursday night in a 35-14 win over the New York Giants the Patriots offense once again was shown as a unit with a lack of weapons. When the Patriots signed Antonio Brown earlier in the season many wondered why they would take the risk on a troubled player. That reason has become abundantly clear since Brown’s dismissal.
QB Tom Brady has caught some heat for back to back poor outings but the 42 year olds recent struggles are a product of the Patriots roster. New England has a receiving core that is banged up with Phillip Dorset, Josh Gordon, and Julian Edelman all dealing with various ailments. Then in the backfield Rex Burkhead has been banged up, two full backs in James Develin and Jakob Johnson out indefinitely, multiple injuries on a make-shift offensive line, and a tight end position that is non-existent. All of this has set Brady up for failure this season.
You have the First Takes of the world claiming that Brady has fallen off some type of cliff but in reality the lack of weapons around him are the real cause of New England’s problems. Brady targeted Edelman a season high 15 times on Thursday night including a first quarter pass that was nowhere near its intended target and was intercepted. Brady started to target rookie wideouts Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski throughout the game and found some success in doing so. But even if the two rookies step up the Patriots offense needs more.
“They’re getting better,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick when asked about Olszewski and Meyers increased role. “They just have a lot of ground to make up relative to receivers, experienced receivers like Phil and Julian , guys like that.”
New England has adapted well thus far
That more could be fixing the offensive line with a blocking tight end or another lineman to help get the running game going. Or it could be adding a possession wideout or a catching tight end to aide Brady in options to throw at. Either way, New England needs help. Up until now they haven’t faced any real competition and have been able to adapt mid-game to what the defense and ultimately what the roster throws at them.
January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Up until this point any adversity the offense has faced has been masked in the eliteness of the defense and the brilliance of Josh McDaniels who has made in-game adjustments to get the football moving downfield. The question is can that continue throughout the season and more importantly in the playoffs at the end of the season. The goal with having Brady is to win another Super Bowl. New England’s defense can carry the Patriots that far and the confidence in Brady to pull off a game winning drive or be a game manager is rather high. But the question is what if they can’t carry the offense, what if Edelman and James White draw double or triple coverage and Brady turns the ball over like Thursday night?
Ultimately, the Patriots need to go out and add onto their roster. At the moment the Patriots currently have roughly $3 million of cap space available with the Antonio Brown dead money hurting them quite a bit. But contracts can be moved, restructured, or erased in the NFL so that shouldn’t stop the Patriots from making an impact move. My money is on the Patriots bringing in a mid-tier wideout and a solid pass catching tight end like an Austin Hooper in Atlanta. Have to think that they will continue to use Ryan Izzo in the blocking game and figure things out internally on getting the running game going.
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