USA Today Sports

Please, for the love of God, stop throwing the ball to Tom Brady

Alex Reimer
November 12, 2018 - 9:32 am

Next time Josh McDaniels thinks about sending Tom Brady into the flat for an ill-fated trick play, he should remember the wise words of Gisele Bundchen. Her husband cannot “f— throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.” 

Brady belongs in the pocket, where at the moment, he’s having more than enough trouble evading defenders. The last two times he’s gone out for a pass, the results have been disastrous. 

The image of Brady stumbling to the turf with the football in his hands serves as the perfect symbol for the Patriots’ 34-10 loss to the Titans Sunday. The GOAT looked slow and clumsy all afternoon, whether he was yanking the ball into the dirt on a seemingly routine third down attempt to James White or failing to avoid the blitzing Logan Ryan on a Hail Mary pass. With all of the punishment Brady took during the game –– he sacked three times and hit on six more occasions –– it was egregious for McDaniels to send him into harm’s way on a trick pass from Julian Edelman early in the fourth quarter. On the bright side, Brady fell before Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard could slam his full bodyweight into the quarterback’s shoulder. Small victories.

The doomed play was a recall from Super Bowl LII, when a wide-open Brady dropped a pass from Danny Amendola in the second quarter. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles went on to catch a touchdown pass later in the game, much like Marcus Mariota was on the receiving end of a toss from wideout Darius Jennings in the aftermath of Brady’s embarrassing tumble.

In last week’s win against the Packers, McDaniels relied on two trick plays –– a long pass from Edelman to White and then an Edelman reverse –– to get New England’s sputtering offense going. While those play calls are testaments to McDaniels’ creativity, they’re also troubling signs. The Patriots’ offense, led by the best quarterback ever, is now relying on trickery to put points on the board. Brady has thrown only one touchdown pass over the last three weeks. 

The Patriots have lots to fix entering the bye week, including Brady’s newfound penchant for only targeting his top three receivers –– Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and White. He has more than enough to worry about when it comes to throwing the football. The woman is always right.