There couldn't have been much more of a contrast between what the New England Patriots offense showed in Week 7 vs. how Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers performed.
The Patriots tallied a mere 241 yards of total offense as quarterback Cam Newton tossed three interceptions, and Jarrett Stidham filled in to add one more. The lifeless effort resulted in a 33-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Meanwhile, Brady thrived with 369 passing yards and four touchdown passes in a 45-20 thrashing of the Las Vegas Raiders.
The glaring difference? The Bucs have weapons, the Patriots do not.
Perhaps Brady had good reason to be frustrated in New England despite the win-loss record after all. Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed in a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"It's obvious how much Tom Brady covered up," said Curran. "People would complain last year about why is Tom so mopey, they're 8-0. Why is Tom kicking rocks? Why is he mean to Jakobi Meyers? How come he's so disinterested in helping the younger players? Why is he always so pissed off? It's because he knew that the talent around him was so insufficient, that they were not going to be able to make a championship run.
"The Patriots finished 12-4 with Tom Brady and a cast of characters that probably was worse in some ways than this Patriots team is right now. You look down in Tampa where that team finished 7-9 and is now 5-2. You've got a guy who threw 30 picks and 30 touchdowns in Tampa (Jameis Winston) and the guy who's there now has 18 touchdowns and four picks. Cam Newton's got two touchdowns and seven picks. ... It is astounding to me how much Brady covered up from 2017 on."
Perry notes how much Brady accomplished with his two best offensive weapons at far less than full strength.
"Even in 2018, you did have [Julian ] Edelman who is better than what we see now but you can't say he was at the height of his powers," Perry said. "He was coming off a torn ACL in 2017. So you turn Edelman into what he became that year in a Super Bowl MVP ... that AFC Championship game you're working with a less-than Rob Gronkowski throughout the course of that year where even Gronk knew he wasn't himself and was sad and had to be encouraged every step of the way because Brady knew Gronk at 50 percent was probably better than everything else they had."
"Meanwhile, the head coach (Bill Belichick) is working to wear the kid down," Curran added. "He tried to trade him in April. I mean, these are the disconnects that I look at in the recent history of the Patriots and say 'Bill, what are you doing? You're trying to run off your best players. For what? For this?'
Also discussed on the new episode: Cam Newton has a bad case of the yips, so now what? How can Josh McDaniels switch up the offensive game plan? Why can’t Jarrett Stidham take advantage of his opportunities? And how much blame does Bill Belichick deserve for the lack of offensive weapons?