I absolutely LOVE hearing and seeing people talk about how much of a decline Tom Brady has been on the last few years. Last year being the most obvious. Really? I didn't want to write about this, but I've had just about enough of this garbage. Here's why:
While I will say last year wasn't one of his best season's on paper, let me start by saying his supporting cast this past season was? Really? Julien Edelman, I truly believe was the next version of Wes Welker. Maybe even a little better. He's a little shiftier, quicker, and a little more athletic the Welker. Outside of that, what did you have? Amendola was actually supposed to take over Welker's role, but was injured in his first game and was not healthy all year essentially forcing Edelman to become that guy. Edelman was targeted a ridiculous 150 times, catching 106 of them for a little over 1,000 yards thus earning himself a new and deserving contract. They could not let him walk because of what is on this roster. Three rookie wide receivers in Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, and Josh Boyce. Really? Thompkins played better then most would, but a lot of people didn't know he was an undrafted free-agent. Yes, undrafted. Has the mold of a Chad Johnson, but certainly cannot play like Chad Johnson, dropping too many balls. Aaron Dobson was supposed to be the stud rookie, drafted in the second round, to be their homerun hitter. Hurt and inconsistent all season long. Josh Boyce, invisible. As much as I like his ability and agility, just wasn't happening last year. No tight ends to throw to until Rob Gronkowski came back to only get hurt again. Aaron Hernandez is gone. Running back issue's all season long(fumbles and injuries). A struggling and oft-injured offensive line. I think you see my point. Not a whole lot to play with.
Not having a lot of protection to keep him off the ground, not having ample time to throw, very inconsistent play all around led to this so called slip in play. I'm sorry but if you put Tom Brady in Denver last season, it is a given that he breaks his own record for passing touchdowns, record for yardage, maybe on his way to a Super Bowl. Put Peyton Manning in New England, Drew Brees in New England, Aaron Rodgers in New England, and tell me that they have better years then what Brady did this season.
All off this doesn't add up to any of you? You're all meaning to tell me that throwing for 25 touchdowns with that disasterpiece of talent, isn't Elite worthy? Top-5 worthy? Really? Some people really need to think about what they say, do some research before trying to convince everyone and Brady's mother that he is not the Quarterback that he used to be. I honestly think that last year was one of his most trying and successful years to date. To play with a team like this, to lead them to the AFC Championship game with a chance to play for a Super Bowl is an off year, I think I'll take my chances with that year in and year out. At least I'll know that mean team will be battling for conference championships every damn year.
Lets look at this so called slip in play over the last 5 season's and try not to laugh:
2009 - W-L 10-6, 28 TD 13 INT, 4398 yards, 65.7% Comp (Comeback player of the year after missing 2008 season, Pro Bowl)
2010 - W/L 14-2, 36 TD 4 INT, 3900 yards, 65.9% Comp (2010 NFL MVP and Offensive POTY, Pro Bowl)
2011 - W/L 13-3, 39 TD 12 INT, 5235 yards, 65.6% Comp (Pro Bowl, 2nd most passing yards in single season)
So tell me what the problem is here? The decline in completion percentage? Really? Have I not discussed the drop in talent around him? You don't think that makes a difference? I again go back to what other QB's have for talent around them.
Aaron Rodgers had James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley for a little, Jarrett Boykin. Pretty Solid.
Drew Brees had Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, Marques Colston, Robert Mecheam, Kenny Stills, Ben Watson, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas. Again pretty solid. Brady would have had success with that.
Peyton Manning? Don't even get me started. Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, Andre Caldwell, Jacob Tamme, Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno. Really? Pats would have been Super Bowl bound with that.
You know how Brady's season would have been if he had Jay Cutler's receivers? Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett with a side of Forte? Come on!
Even Colin Kaepernik's receiving core of Boldin, Crabtree, Davis, Gore, Hunter is a better group of people to work with then what Brady had.
Now, I'm most certainly not knocking on them as they did what they could learning a complex offense, but it's not something that anyone of the above Quarterbacks had to deal with. A lot of confusion on the offensive end led to a lot of video of Brady being frustrated and miserable on the sidelines, which made scoring touchdowns with what he had feel that much euphoric. Yet, there are still people out there that consider Brady, at 37 years old, to be declining. While I will agree that father time is undefeated, there is not a noticeable drop of in Brady's play. He's been consistently GREAT his whole career actually. The decline has been the talent around him this season. These people base Brady's struggles or whatever they were, on what happened on the field with offensive core. No. Stop it. Now. They look at Brady now and say he's losing it, he can't hit WR like he used to, he's losing it. NO! STOP IT. The talent around him fell off. If Brady had Manning's season, you would all be saying that he is the greatest QB to ever live. Those people need to learn to get off whatever bandwagon they came off of.
Now that Brady has a little more to play with this year, I fully expect a better year from Brady from a completion percentage standpoint for sure. I wish they would have done a little more, but at the end of the day, Brady and the Patriots will be there at the end of the year and all the bandwagoner's will say he's a top 5 QB again.
Sorry ladies and gents, Brady is still the best quarterback in the NFL.
Tell me different. Please try me, I'm begging you...