It’s now been a few days since the Patriots season opening 21-11 win against the Miami Dolphins. I’ve had some time to stew on what I watched and I have to say, I’m excited to see what this season will hold.
Let’s address the elephant in the room right away: Tom Brady. From the ages of 21-39, I watched number 12 dress up in the nautical blue and silver. I watched him work what can only be described as miracles week in and week out and in the biggest games on the biggest stage. But, I was ready to see Tom Terrific leave for another team or retirement. His attitude with the Patriots the past 5 years had been poor. Refusing to participate in off season workouts. Refusing to put the work in with new receivers. Loss of accuracy and arm strength. So, I was not upset to see Tom go.
What I saw on the field this past Sunday reminded me of something I saw 19 years ago. During the second game of the 2001 season, Drew Bledsoe was hit by Mo Lewis out of bounds and suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest that not only almost ended his career, but ended his life. Enter Tom Brady.
That 2001 season, New England was a ground and pound team that opened up the more famous ‘deek and dunk’ passing offense that’s more of running game than full out aerial assault. They removed on methodical moving the ball downfield whole their defense stopped the opposing team from scoring.
I fully believe this 2020 team is closely related to how that 2001 team played. Good veterans. Solid defense. And now, in Cam Newton, New England’s has not only a replacement for Tom Brady, but another player who can do more than one thing. Brady was a prototypical pocket passer. With Newton, he can stand in the pocket or scramble to find his receiver or run downfield.
Remember this: Newton has only been on this team for a month. And yes, I know week 1 was Miami and this week is Seattle. This team may not be exciting to watch every week, but don’t sleep on them. I think they are going to end up surprising a lot of you.
Written by: DJ Parker