It has finally happened. For the first time in NFL history, a team has found a way to make Tom Brady look like the 6th round draft pick that he has spent such a long time pretending not to be.
After enduring (and enduring really is the only word that can be used to describe how Brady must have felt after the play-off against the New York Jets) a torrid evening in which he seemed to be sacked in every other play, Brady has finally been shown to be nothing but human.
Brady spent most of the game trying to find a man who was free downfield before subsequently seeing every route or option blocked off by a superb Jets defence that was able to track the receivers to the point Brady was forced either to throw the ball away or risk ending plays lying on the deck with a Jet having sacked him. Although this tactic has been attempted many times before, the fact that it was so successful at highlighting Brady’s limitations when faced with the problem of running with the ball shows that he is a man who is only as good as defences let him appear. The Super Bowl predictions suggested the Patriots would do better, but their achilles heel was exposed.
However, while this blueprint for success was successfully demonstrated by the Jets, it’s worth noting that they still failed to stop Brady throwing for touchdowns and were also able to force the Patriots to look for the big plays through their offensive team finding gaps in the Patriots defence. Anyone looking to place Super Bowl 2011 bets should remember that the Jets didn’t look totally solid.
With Brady, and with him the Patriots’ strategy, having been ruthlessly exposed, the Patriots know that they have plenty of work to do to bring about improvements to their offence before next season starts.