Found October 15, 2013 on Boston's Bettah:
Baltimore_ravens_v_e13d

Lost in the excitement of the last second victory over New Orleans on Sunday was the fact that the New England Patriots made quite an effort to become the league-leader in dropped passes by the end of the day. Mere plays before the unicorn and show pony creating miracle touchdown throw to Kenbrell Thompkins, two dropped passes made it appear as if the Patriots would not get it done. Yet they did, and everything is wonderful in New England and the Patriots grand experiment with turning over the receiving core to the young folk is going to work and there is no reason they can not be the best team in football come December. This all does not hide the fact that three of the top-five leaders in drops in the NFL are Patriots players. Aaron Dobson and Thompkins have six and Julian Edleman, who had a drop just before the Thompkins game winner has five. That is not good. One of my Twitter followers, a Pittsburgh fan, posed the following question on Monday afternoon: @BosBettah_Benti do you see NE trading for a WR? How about a pick for Emmanuel Sanders? — Pete Abbate (@peteabbate) October 14, 2013 With the Patriots most sure-handed receiver Danny Amendola leaving the game with a “head-injury” (read: concussion) and suddenly no timetable on the return of Rob Gronkowski, it suddenly appears to be a legitimate question. Do the Patriots go out and get someone to help Tom Brady out just a little bit? The biggest complaint of this season so far has been that the fan-base believes that Bill Belichick is “wasting” the last great years of Tom Brady with a bunch of rookies and no-name pass catchers. Considering Brady restructured his contract to make it easier for the team to go out and sign a Mike Wallace or re-sign Wes Welker, it was sort of a slap in the face that the Patriots did not even spend the excess money to make any part of the team better. Saying that drops are all the offensive problems of the team is only looking at the surface. Tom Brady could easily be better as he has missed plenty of throws that were easy for him in the past. One play on Sunday during the third quarter stands out. Given ample time and a free Julian Edleman streaking down the seam, Tom Brady misfired and over-threw what would have likely been a game clinching touchdown. Maybe he is used to having gargantuan hulk Rob Gronkowski there to catch the ball, but I am also not sure if Gronk would have caught the ball either. That play was all on Brady. That is not the only throw he has missed. There have been plenty of those this year. Some of them are not really on him either. The drop by Edleman on second down and four on the final possession was a low thrown ball, one thrown low because Tom Brady could not step up in the pocket due to poor protection from his offensive line. Outside of adequate run blocking, they have been less than expected in 2013. There have been numerous times this season where Brady has simply gone down to avoid forcing throws because a free-rush from the defense gave him less than desirable time to throw the ball. Many of these bad balls that have been dropped have been made more difficult because Brady can not make the throw within the pocket as given. Given everything, the Patriots pass-catching options seem to be the least of their worries. The offense has other problems, and that does not even begin to discuss the poor play-calling from former genius disciple Josh McDaniels, who has caused Patriots fans to postulate how to get Bill O’Brien to come back. While it may be nice for the Patriots to go out and get someone like Cleveland’s Josh Gordon or Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders – someone they have previously shown interest in – it simply is not the Patriots MO to go out and make a mid-season trade before next weeks deadline. Improvements have been shown by the teams receiving core, and a healthy Rob Gronkowski can only help open up the middle of the field. With an improved, maybe even “e” word level defense, in tow, there is no reason to think the Patriots can’t at some point be one of the NFL’s top teams. For three quarters on Sunday, they outplayed an undefeated New Orleans team in all aspects except pass-blocking and only began trailing when Drew Brees went into super-Brees mode and the Patriots failed to execute. There were more positives than just the game-winning drive. In fact, there were enough to make me think the Patriots will be just fine as the season progresses.

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