If there was ever any time for Tom Brady to pull his magic for the New England Patriots, it would be in this playoff run. There have been so many injuries to this team that Brady will have to be near-perfect for the Patriots to win it all.
It is not the number of injuries of that have occurred on offense but rather the quality of players who went down. Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL and was serving as the No. 1 option in the passing game before he tore his ACL. Not only that, but Gronkowski was making everyone around him better.
Then there is Sebastian Vollmer, who is definitely much less heralded than Gronkowski. The truth is, however, that Vollmer is one of the best right tackles in the league when healthy. His pass blocking on the edge was key to keeping Brady upright.
Now Brady has to play without his top receiving threat and a stud right tackle. That means that he has to be at his best. Believe it or not, that involves not forcing anything. Turnovers will kill this offense, and Brady has to avoid any sort of setbacks to be able to keep this unit functioning.
Another thing that Brady has to do is avoid staring down Julian Edelman. Edelman has emerged as an excellent wide receiver this season, but Brady does tend to target him a lot. Opposing defenders will be wise to that and will likely bracket Edelman. This is when Brady must trust his younger wide receivers.
There is no doubt that Brady has played much better in the final 10 games of the season, and he will need to continue that form for the Patriots to have any shot. Things will be tough as the offense will likely struggle to score touchdowns, but Brady will have to be patient and not force any throws. Avoiding mistakes will be crucial to winning in this postseason.
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.