The New England Patriots have found themselves disappointed once again. After another successful 12-4 regular season, the Patriots fell to the Baltimore Ravens, just one game shy of reaching the Super Bowl.
After the loss, many fans are beginning to panic about the franchise. Despite all of the success and talent on the team, the Patriots have failed to win another Super Bowl since 2004. They have been to the Super Bowl twice since then, but failed to win the Lombardi Trophy, losing to the New York Giants both times.
With the recent loss, fans are also criticizing certain members of the Patriots organization for poorly handling the loss. Wes Welker's wife went on an online rant, criticizing the character of Ray Lewis. People were also upset that head coach Bill Belichick didn't do a postgame interview with CBS.
With all of the criticism around this franchise, one player in particular has constantly been discussed and critiqued more than anyone in the NFL right now.
Brady has now been criticized for not being able to win the big game. With an eight-year drought now going for the Patriots, people are beginning to point a lot of fingers.
Patriots fans understand that Brady is just one man and that the team itself has failed to win another Super Bowl in eight years. However, the media and sports fans alike will continue to say that Brady is unable to win the big one, and that his window to win again is closing fast.
While it is true that Brady is beginning to age, there has been no sign of him slowing down to this point. He is currently 35 years old, but he is continuing to play like he is in his prime. This season, he threw for over 4,800 yards, 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.
In terms of him not being able to win the big one, Brady still has three Super Bowl rings. That's tied for the second most by a quarterback in NFL history. The only quarterbacks to have more are Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana. His five appearances are tied with John Elway for the most by a quarterback as well.
People are also criticizing Brady for dropping out of the Pro Bowl, giving Andrew Luck the chance to play instead of him. This is one that seems like a legitimate reason, since he seemed fine during the AFC Championship Game. However, Brady is just doing what players quite a few players have done over the past few years. Players have called off going to the Pro Bowl, and the amount of effort in the game has continued to decline.
But that's another issue all together.
The thing about the NFL is that it has developed a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality. Fans—and owners—have short memories, and even the most prestigious players and coaches are on short leashes.
It seems silly to be discussing arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history like this, but that's how the NFL is in this generation.
But that won't stop Brady from being Brady.