Tom Brady had Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen in the same lineup for the first time all season when he suited up against the Carolina Panthers. Who cares if he was going up against one of the top defenses in the NFL? Brady would be Brady, and the New England Patriots‘ offense would roll. Well, that was definitely not the case.
Brady’s 2013 campaign has been riddled with inconsistency, and most of that had to come from the fact that the players around him were getting hurt. However, nobody is supposed to make excuses for elite quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers had been dealing with plenty of injuries to his pass catchers. Drew Brees has very similar weapons to Brady, and yet, has been way more consistent.
That’s the word of the day: consistent. Brady has been anything but that so far this season, and has really been exposed against some of the better defenses in the league. He was atrocious against the Cincinnati Bengals and in his first outing against the New York Jets, and his performance against the Panthers had you wanting more.
The stats were good against the Panthers, as Brady went 29-of-40 for 296 yards, one touchdown pass, and one interception (at the end of the game). But he only was able to help generate 20 points. There was a key fumble right by Stevan Ridley that did not help matters, but some of Brady’s missed throws did hurt.
His inability to get the ball downfield consistently is certainly frustrating. It came into play on the final drive of the game, where Brady had about a minute to drive 80 yards. He missed his throws on several out routes toward the sideline, throws which would have saved some time they were completed; there was just no getting the ball deep for Brady. He had Aaron Dobson open quite a bit, but yet again failed to get on same page as his rookie wide receiver.
There is still plenty of time left in the season, but any objective observer cannot say that Brady is an elite quarterback right now. Elite quarterbacks are mostly consistent, but Brady has been far from that this season. He’s not a lost cause, however, as he’s still better than most quarterbacks in the league. Maybe things will change if the guys around him can stay healthy, but right now, there are no excuses for Brady’s up-and-down play.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.