We’ve learned a great deal about this Patriots team from week three where they matched up against a potential playoff team with one of the best defenses in the league. This team is starting to come together, but beneath the surface lies holes in several areas of the Patriots offensive line and defense. The good news? Tom Brady still has the reins to this team.


Let’s start with Twelve. Tom Brady continues his MVP run at age 40. Yes, it’s only been three weeks, but is it ever too early when we’re talking about Brady? He continued to make history this past Sunday. Earlier this season, he became the all-time leader for most games with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game. This Sunday? He set the record for most games with FOUR touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, now with 22 such games. He seems to be getting better and better as he ages, rather than declining. Checking out this beautiful pass, 40-year-old Brady puts the ball in the only spot where the WR can catch it.

To top it all off, he currently leads all quarterbacks in: total yards, yards per game, touchdowns, touchdown to interception ratio, and 40+ yard completions. The last one is the craziest to me. A 40-year-old QB leading the league in 40+ yard completions? This is unheard of. And he leads the league in all these stats despite a 267 yard, 0 touchdown week one performance. Not to mention Brady recording his 50th career fourth quarter/OT comeback.

The Archer

Speaking of comebacks, Brandin Cooks had himself a feast.  Cooks showed why he could be the biggest off-season move in the entire league. Brady and Cooks are still developing chemistry. Despite that fact, he recorded a game with 131 yards, 26.2 yards per catch, two touchdowns (one of which was the game winner), and a two-point conversion. Cooks looked unstoppable, and he was at exactly the right places at exactly the right time.

Gronk Spike

Gronk is Gronk. He played even better than his solid numbers show. Making crucial conversions, pushing through multiple tackles in the game-winning drive, becoming the fastest TE (and third fastest player only behind Jerry Rice and Randy Moss) to get 70 career touchdowns, and his solid performance from week two proves that Gronk is back to his solid self.

Gronk spikes are not a welcoming sight for the rest of the league, and it seems as though Gronk will be spiking all over teams on a weekly basis, once again.

The Bad News

However with all the great things that are happening for this Patriots team, there are some serious hiccups that will hopefully be addressed by players returning from injury. First of all, the offensive line needs some serious improvements. Brady needs to be protected, and this O-Line can’t do a great job vs serious teams. Houston’s Watt-Clowney-Mercilus combination is extremely deadly. The Patriots simply could not run the ball, Brady got hit far too many times, and they gave up a strip-sack for a touchdown. The Chiefs with Justin Houston and Chris Jones both in the top six in sacks, and the Raiders with Khalil Mack could pose serious threats as well.

The defense is also in dire need of improvement. Butler played every snap vs Houston and had a decent day, so he could be improving. That would provide some serious, necessary help in the Patriots secondary. Also, the return of both Hightower and McClellin is crucial. With their return and Butler’s improvement, this Patriots defense could pose a serious threat. Until then, Brady will just have to work his magic.