As of right now, the Patriots sit at 10-2 and are the third seed in the AFC behind the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals. If the Patriots win out the rest of the way, they'll have guaranteed themselves at least a bye week in the playoffs because the Broncos and Bengals go head-to-head in a couple weeks.
Of course that seems like an enviable position to be in, but the Patriots have lost two straight games and look like more of a mess offensively than we've ever seen in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. Yes, they put up 28 points last week, but it was a struggle to get there.
Brady isn't panicking just yet.
During his weekly appearance with WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Morning Show, Brady said the following:
“We’re going to have to play, certainly, a hell of a lot better (next Sunday in Houston) than we played (Sunday versus Philadelphia,” Brady said in his weekly radio interview Monday morning. “That’s what we’ve got to focus on. You know, 10-2 is obviously not terrible. It’s not where we would have liked to have been two weeks ago. But our whole season is ahead of us. We’ve just got to make some corrections and understand the issues that we’re facing and try to do a lot better and go out there and play a lot better than we’ve played the last couple of weeks.”
Brady placed a lot of the blame for the loss to the Eagles on himself, but 33% of his passes were dropped by his receivers and he was pressured over 30 times.
Of all the targets Brady is missing, Julian Edelman may be the one he misses the most. His release rate of the football has gone down significantly since Edelman left the Week 9 match up with the Giants due to a broken foot.
Tom Brady's average time to throw: 2.13 with Julian Edelman healthy (Fastest in NFL) 2.65 without (8th slowest)— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 7, 2015
This graph, courtesy of Reddit, gives a more detailed look at just how much Brady is struggling without his primary weapons.
Brady himself has at times made questionable decisions with the football, but much of that has to do with the fact that no one can get open. That's going to need to change in a hurry if the Patriots don't want to fall further from getting a bye week in the playoffs.
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