Theismann: I Dont See Much Drop-Off In Brady

The Patriots will finish with more than four losses for the first time since 2009, but don't blame Tom Brady, Joe Theismann says

Reiter Than You
December 19, 2018 - 8:35 am

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The New England Patriots (9-5) have lost back-to-back games and will finish with more than four losses for the first time since 2009.

Is 41-year-old Tom Brady responsible for New England’s relative struggles this season?

Maybe, maybe not.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Tom,” Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann said on Reiter Than You. “I think Gronk has not been a very big part of the offense.”

Indeed, Rob Gronkowski has 45 catches for 658 yards and a career-low three touchdowns in 11 games. He had two catches for 21 yards in a 17-10 loss in Pittsburgh this past Sunday.

Brady needs more from him.

“When I was in broadcasting, I did a statistical analysis of Tom’s throws,” Theismann said. “He completed 73 percent of his passes inside the numbers and 53 percent of his passes outside the numbers. They added Josh Gordon to this offense, but that’s not really where Tom hung his hat. He hung his hat on (Julian) Edelman and (Danny) Amendola and Gronk in the middle of the football field. I still believe that Josh (McDaniels) calls the game that way. I think Sony Michel is going to help them going into the playoffs. New England knows what it needs to do.”

What it needs, above all else, is more production from its skill players.

“I just don’t see a lot of drop-off in Tom,” Theismann said. “I see a change in the people around him once again. But I also see the tight end position becoming not as productive. At the end of the last game, he tried to force the ball into Gronk a couple of times. Most of the time it’s worked; it’s not working now. But I don't think it’s Tom. I think the people around him now have not been able to be the impact players that they were in the past.”

The Patriots close the regular season with home games against the Bills (5-9) and Jets (4-10). Sunday’s kickoff against Buffalo is slated for 1 p.m. ET.