New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had a MVP caliber season this year and with recent injuries suffered in the Patriots passing game, they will need him to continue that performance level. Injuries have been a constant problem for the Patriots all season and with the news that wide receiver Julian Edelman is out for the year that means they’ll need Brady to step up even more.
Injuries have been a problem for the Patriots all year. During the offseason the Patriots lost two Pro Bowl linemen when Matt Light retired and Brian Waters decided not to play this season. Making matters worse for the Patriots front line is that the two returning starters, Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer, suffered injuries which have hampered them all season and have kept them out recently.
While the injuries and absences of the offensive line have been bad, the injuries and losses to receivers have been worse. Tight end Aaron Hernandez was injured in week two and is just now getting back to his past performance level. After switching receivers Greg Salas and Deion Branch between the active roster and practice squad, both are now gone. Salas was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles during the last switch and Branch went down with a hamstring injury, convincing the Patriots to cut ties with the veteran.
Now the Patriots are without two of their most important receivers. All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski has missed the last two weeks with a broken forearm that was suffered during an extra point attempt after he had been taken out for offensive plays against the Indianapolis Colts. Edelman has been a pleasant surprise for the Patriots taking his game to a new level. But in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win in Miami, Edelman suffered a broken foot and is now out for the season.
More than ever the Patriots need Brady to play at a MVP level. The only main receivers he has from the beginning of the season are Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, and Hernandez. With Hernandez still attempting to get fully healthy and Lloyd being a non-factor, that leaves just the Patriots four-time Pro Bowl receiver Welker.
If there is a quarterback in the league that could be trusted with this tough task, it would be Brady. Throughout his career he’s won two MVP’s, five AFC championships, and three Super Bowls. With a defense prone to giving up big plays and the offense missing most of their starters, Brady wouldn’t be blamed for a lack of production for the remainder of the season. But if one quarterback could still make this injury-prone team the league’s leading offense, it’s Brady who is just the type of person to take the recent bad luck as a challenge.
Making things harder for the Brady’s offense is that two of their final four regular season games will be against two of the best defenses in the league, in the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. Then in the playoffs, assuming the Patriots get passed the first round, they’ll be matched up against one of two more great defenses in the Baltimore Ravens or Denver Broncos. The Patriots are looking at a tough path with a minimal amount of weapons on offense putting them in need of MVP performances from Brady.