In an earlier blog I asked how good was Adrian Peterson but the real question should be how good is Tom Brady? How good you wonder? So good that even though Brady missed the whole ‘07 season with a busted knee, he leads the NFL in passing yards and completions after week one. The numbers are a bit skewed I admit considering Brady had the most passing attempts out of any quarterback in the opening weekend but still, facts are facts.
The New England offense didn’t look all that spectacular in the first few quarters against Buffalo on Monday night but they more than made up for it with two late touchdowns to snatch victory away from a Bills team that they’ve now beaten 12 straight times. Brady was poise and cool throughout the night in New England, missing on a few strikes early but showing a glimpse of what we can expect as the season goes on. The stat line of 39 for 53 proves that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has no concerns whatsoever about Brady’s surgically repaired knee and 39 for 53 proves that Brady has no concerns whatsoever about his ability to chuck it all across the field.
After ’07’s record breaking season, NFL pundits everywhere were expecting fire works on Monday against Buffalo and through three quarters, the Pats just couldn’t get the fuse lit. But all that changed with about 5:25 remaining and the Pats down 24-13. Brady orchestrated an 11-play, 81-yard drive before firing a dart over the middle to tight end Ben Watson that made the score 24-19. After a Buffalo fumble, Brady hurried the team for a 3-play, 31-yard drive with another dart over the middle to Watson that gave the Pats the lead for good at 25-24 and silenced the skeptics who questioned whether Brady could regain his form.
The over the middle daggers were throws only a few quarterbacks in the league can make and Brady probably heads that class. He was cool in the pocket throughout the night and even cooler after the game as he unsuccessfully tried to dodge ESPN sportscaster Michelle Tafoya on his way back to the locker room. For as steady as Brady was Monday night, he may have to be even steadier if the Pats are going to advance this season. New England’s defense was already showing some serious holes before standout linebacker Jarod Mayo left the game with a serious knee injury. Mayo will probably return later this season but Brady is going to have to hold strong to make sure Mayo’s return won’t be for not.
The New England Patriots are far from a perfect team. A so-so offensive line, weak running game and a shaky defense would be serious issues for any other team in the league but how good is Brady you ask? His presence alone puts them in the upper echelon of elite teams with a realistic chance at the Super Bowl.