Despite a 12-4 regular-season record and an 11th straight AFC East title, 2019 wasn't a year to remember for the New England Patriots.
The offense sputtered for most of the year due to a variety of factors. For one, the Patriots were without their starting center, fullback, and left tackle due to injury. And outside of veteran Julian Edelman, Tom Brady didn't have many trustworthy options at wide receiver. These struggles led to New England failing to clinch a playoff bye and losing to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC wild card game.
But how much of the blame should Brady get for New England's failed 2019 campaign? The six-time Super Bowl champion often earns the benefit of the doubt as the "G.O.A.T.," but should he be getting more flak for how the Patriots' season unfolded?
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That's the topic debated on the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, where Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, Jeff "Cap" Capotosto, and DJ Bean take sides in the debut of the "Wanna Fight About It?!" segment.
Bean and Capotosto argue that Brady deserves more blame for 2019, while Curran and Perry take the side that it wasn't Brady's fault. The four panelists had 30 seconds apiece to state their cases.
Cap went first, mentioning how Brady led the league in a rather unattractive statistic.
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in the history of the world. No one's arguing that. But last year, do you know what I saw? I saw Drew Bledsoe. And before Drew became a four-letter word for you, he was a very good quarterback when everything around him was perfect. And that's what happened with Brady.
When everything was perfect, he was fine. When anything went wrong, he couldn't get out of the pocket. He couldn't move in, he couldn't scramble out. Look, 40 throwaways last year. 40 throwaways. Led the league by a mile. And that's plays that were just lost plays. Missed opportunities. And everyone wants to blame to the receivers for not getting open and the offensive line, but a lot of those are on Brady.
Curran fired back by pointing out the lack of weapons at Brady's disposal all season long, as well as the lack of pass protection.
What we saw is the Patriots hitting critical mass. They just kept taking little pieces of support away from Tom Brady over the years and in 2013, and 2006, and 2015 he was able to ride on without it. Well last year when you took away the greatest tight end of all time and the blocking tight end and the fullback and the center and the left tackle, and you didn't give him anybody at wide receiver because you had Gunner Olszewski and N'Keal Harry...
For the full debate, you can listen to the podcast above at the 27:45 mark.
Also in the new episode: The financial reason why the Patriots are happy to be rid of an elite quarterback, interviews with Lions, Giants and 49ers insiders, and much more.