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Brady’s Age – And Other Random Thoughts

Even the most casual of football fans is probably well aware that Tom Brady is now 40 years old.  It is mentioned several times during every broadcast and highlight show.  After the first five games of the 2017 season, Brady is showing no sign of that age catching up to him.  He still has the arm strength to throw a bullet into a tight window over the middle, and the touch to loft a floater over a defender on the sideline.  His decision making and field vision are still at the elite level.  Brady has adjusted to the loss of Julian Edelman and is spreading the ball around to multiple targets.  At 40 years old, Brady is an early season MVP contender.

Other Random Thoughts

Offensive line:  The offensive line has had difficulty providing protection for Brady in the first five games of this season.  Brady has been hit more times in five games this year than he was in 12 games played in 2016.  Without Brady, this Patriot team would likely be 2-3 or even 1-4 instead of 3-2.  His sheer presence on the field is what is keeping the Patriots as a viable Super Bowl contender.  The offensive line needs to play better to protect the Patriots’ most valuable asset. 

Defense:  Patriot fans should not get too excited by the play of the defense on Thursday night against the Buccaneers.  Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston missed wide open receivers on several occasions, especially in the first half.  Had he converted on those throws, the game may have taken on a very different complexion.  The defense still allowed Winston to throw for over 300 yards, the fifth time they have allowed the opposing quarterback to do so in as many games this season.

Penalties:  One of the marks of the Patriots during the Belichick era has been they rarely make mental mistakes in key situations to beat themselves.  This season, the defense has been flagged on several third and fourth down plays for roughing the passer, hands to the face and neutral zone violation penalties which are indicative of a lack of focus.  These penalties have extended opponent’s drives when they should have been off the field.  The Patriot defense cannot allow their opponents more opportunities to score.  That lack of discipline is one of the more troubling developments of this season’s team.

Thursday Night Football:  The Thursday Night Games are notoriously bad.  Three days is simply insufficient time for players to recover and for teams to implement games plans.  The NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Can it be so greedy that it needs to subject their players to this abuse for an inferior product?  Unless the league can figure out a way to schedule these games around a team’s bye week, they should limit the Thursday games to Thanksgiving Day only.

Follow Bill on Twitter @BTravers_BSoT. 

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