Father Time remains undefeated and Tom Brady is looking like his latest victim.
Bill Belichick was right.
The New England Patriots’ coach knew Tom Brady’s end was near. Belichick was ready to move away from his future Hall of Famer in the best interest to the organization long term.
But Pats’ owner Bob Kraft fell in love with the past, with Brady. Now the Patriots are both stumbling and stuck.
Just like the New York Giants and Eli Manning. It was time there, too, to get a franchise quarterback for the future. They whiffed.
It was a mistake. The same with pretending that Brady wasn’t human and, somehow, was going to play well until he was 45 just because he ate kale and wore UGG boots.
Well, the proof is overwhelming.
And it’s not just woeful stats, but the eye test as well. Brady ain’t Brady anymore.
In fact, he’s what just about every other QB becomes in time – not nearly what he was.
Even Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon shouted out Brady’s decline a week ago. “The numbers are starting to show a deterioration is coming,” Moon told Bleacher Report.
Enter Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Brady was bad. He had 279 yards with one touchdown and a really bad interception that hurt the Pats in the fourth quarter. His QB rating was 89.9.
When reporters who cover the Patriots full time say that Brady’s interception halfway through the fourth quarter was one of the worst decisions not only of the season – but possibly his career – you have to take notice and respect it.
Tom Brady … ? (Via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/pOW0v1PRss
It appeared, according to reporters covering the game, that Brady was trying to throw the ball away, but couldn’t get enough on the throw and it wound up being a pick.
It was Brady’s first red zone interception since 2016.
The numbers get uglier. The Pats scored a season-low 10 points. They had the ball in the red zone twice in the fourth quarter and came away with NO points.
And the numbers for Brady are worse. Brady has just as many interceptions in the fourth quarter as TDs this season – four.
After Sunday, Brady is now the third-worst QB in the red zone in the NFL this season. By the way, Rob Gronkowski has just two red zone catches ALL SEASON.
The Pats – who finished with a road record of 3-5 – have now lost back-to-back games in December for the first time since 2002 when Brady wasn’t able to get the Pats to the playoffs.
Sorry, Pats’ fans in denial. This wasn’t just a bad day at the office.
Oh, no. This isn’t a fluke game. This has been happening all season. This has turned into present day Brady, at age 41.
During a three-game stretch, starting in late October, Brady had exactly just one TD. Somehow, the Buffalo Bills held him to no TD’s on Oct. 29th. And the one Brady got in that drought was a late touchdown against the Packers on a defensive mix up that left a receiver wide open.
That’s it. For some, it’s shocking. For some, it was going to happen.
Before the season, on both Undisputed and The Herd on Fox Sports 1, I tried to tell fans that Brady’s decline was coming this season. And nobody wanted to hear it. I was called simply a hater.
I even brought stats to back up my argument. Nobody wanted to see them.
This season, Brady has 24 TDs and nine INTs. Last year at 40, Brady had 32 TDs and and just eight picks.
Brett Favre fell off the same cliff. At age 40, Favre has almost identical numbers as Brady. He had 33 TDs and just seven picks. But at 41, Favre 11 TDs and 19 picks.
Granted, Favre’s fall was bigger. Still, there’s no denying the Brady has fallen off from his MVP season a year ago.
And yes, despite Brady’s decline the Pats are still 9-5. But they haven’t clinched the AFC East yet with two games to go.
The fact remains that a lot of great quarterbacks were sent packing before the Father Time fall, including Joe Montana and Brett Favre.
Belichick knew this time was coming. He was always a guy that believed in getting rid of a guy one year early rather than one year too late.
This is why Belichick didn’t want to trade away Jimmy Garoppolo. He was supposed to be the Pats’ future QB to replace Brady.
Now, the Patriots are stuck with old man Brady.