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If you ask Tom Brady, yes. Yes, it can.

ProFootballTalk
“I hope so. I hope we make improvements,” Brady said, via the Boston Herald. “There’s still a lot of football left. We’re 5-3 so that tells you we’ve been a little bit up and down. It hasn’t been terrible. It hasn’t been great and we have a lot of room for improvement, so we’ll see how that goes over the course of the next eight weeks. I’m not going to make a bunch of predictions. We’ll leave that to you guys. We have to go out there and do it. We have to go out there and earn it. That’s part of why we play. The enjoyment of playing is to go out there and do something about it, not just talk about it.”

Of course, other than Tom Brady, only a Patriot fan would complain about the Patriots top ranked offense.

A unit that is leading the league in scoring (32.8 pts/g) and yards (440.8 yds/g). Also, one that is fifth in passing yards (291.1 yds/g), first in completions (210) and fifth in rushing (149.6 yds/g). Most importantly, the Patriots have scored 28 touchdowns on offense, which is first in the league. That one is really the most important stat (why do touchdowns for defense and special teams count in favor of the offense in these statistics? It makes no sense.)

So why would Patriots fans say that the offense could be better? Well, because we watch every game - not just look at the box score afterwards.

This offense has obviously been the best in the league, but it's been inconsistent too.

It's had a couple of forgettable performances (Arizona and Seattle) and has had other moments in games that have just been downright frustrating. This of course is speaking to their inability to close out games.

I won't go into those moments in the Ravens, Broncos, Seattle or Jets games when the Patriots had a lead, and the offense suddenly froze when it mattered most in the four minute drill. We all know about the late game troubles.

Patriots fans see the wasted opportunities for this Patriots offense at times. One that comes to mind is in the first half of the Jets game. The Jets were essentially gift wrapping the game for the Pats but the Patriots couldn't get the wrapper off. It's a sequence that's exemplary of the problems Brady is undoubtedly referring to when he says he hopes they make improvements.

-The Patriots go up 14-7 with 4:11 to go in the 1st quarter.

-The Jets get the ball. Go three and out.

-The Patriots get the ball back and punt.

-The first offensive play for the Jets after the punt, Sanchez fumbles out of bounds in the end zone. Safety.

-Patriots get the ball due to the safety. Go three and out.

-The Jets get the ball back and Mark Sanchez throws an interception to Alfonzo Dennard.

-Patriots end up punting but a penalty on the Jets gives them a fresh set of downs.

-Patriots go three and out.

-Jets drive down to kick a field goal, It's a six point game at the half 16-10.

This is the kind of thing that Tom Brady is talking about when he says the offense can improve. It's not unique to that Jets game either. There are plenty of examples of the Patriots offense being unable to capitalize on key opportunities and execute at key moments.

They have to become more consistent and need that killer instinct to put teams away. Give the Jets defense all the credit in the world in the example above. However, you're telling me that when the Patriots offense gets four chances to score off Jets mistakes and they end up getting nothing, that that's all on the Jets defense?

We can attribute a lot of this to the fact that the team just simply is not healthy. Rob Gronkowski has a hip and back issue. Hernandez has his ankle. Brandon Bolden has a knee injury and Logan Mankins has missed the last two games.

The theory is that, as they get healthy, they'll become more consistent.

The Patriots offense may be number one in the NFL, but don't tell me it's fine how it is. Certainly don't tell Tom Brady that.

Mike Saver 11/02/2012 01:34:00 PM Edit
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