As we head into the fifth week of the NFL season, the New England Patriots are eager to get Tom Brady back on the field. After getting shutout by the lowly Buffalo Bills in their last week without their All-Pro quarterback, the New England Patriots were left feeling deflated. Now sitting atop the AFC East with a 3-1 record, the Patriots are in prime position to win the division once again. Since Tom Brady was suspended for his role in the Deflategate scandal, the Patriots resorted to using second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in his place.
Garoppolo performed well in his first two career starts. He was pristine in his first game, beating the Arizona Cardinals, who many believe are the best team in the NFC, while throwing for 264 yards with no interceptions. Garoppolo seemed in control the whole game and didn’t get rattled by Arizona’s top-ranked defense. He even led the Pats’ game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, which was very Tom Brady-esque. In his second game, Garoppolo was hot with three touchdowns, but injured his shoulder in the second quarter and was ruled out for the rest of the game. Rookie Jacoby Brissett played the rest of the game and led the Pats to a win 31-24 over the Dolphins. With Garoppolo banged up, Brissett started week three and played a large role in blanking the Texans 27-0. The Patriots’ dominance throughout the first three games without Tom Brady means that the AFC East, as well as the rest of the league, should be deathly afraid of the Pats this season.
Although the Pats couldn’t find their offense in week four and lost 16-0 to the Bills, Patriots fans have been counting down to week five for the return of the franchise’s hero. Tom Brady is 39 years old, the typical age of retirement for quarterbacks, but Brady, however, has shown no signs of slowing down. He finished last season with 36 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, demonstrating his ability to make the right passes and reminding people just how infrequently he makes mistakes. He led the Patriots to the AFC Championship, but couldn’t overcome the Broncos and their top-ranked defense. Taking over a 3-1 team, Tom Brady is in perfect position to lead his squad back to the playoffs.
Without their premier quarterback for the first four games, the Patriots didn’t seem to fret. Without the best tight-end in the league, Rob Gronkowski, the team went 2-0. Now with both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkwoski back on the field, they pose a threat to all defenses regardless of the caliber. Wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola will now get more, better quality passes with Tom Brady’s return. Running-back LeGarrette Blount, who is already having a great season, will get more running opportunities because defenses will be trying to hinder the Patriots’ dangerous passing attack.
After getting suspended for what many football fans believe to be a poor reason, Tom Brady is back with a vengeance. He served his suspension, he’s heard all the deflated football jokes, and now he’s ready to shut his critics up. Facing a weak Browns defense in week five, Tom Brady will put up big numbers, especially now with a chip on his shoulder.