Pats fans, please follow me @StevenViner1 and I will follow you back. Oh and I ALWAYS answer questions!

The Patriots good health lasted about as long as Bill Belichick contemplating a rap career.

Not only was I on board for the 19-0 train, I shoveled the coal, I was the conductor, I wore a silly little hat to collect tickets. Of course, a prediction like this is predicated on good health. You can’t lose a top-five player for the year and expect to achieve perfection. Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Dont’a Hightower, Trey Flowers — all irreplaceable in some way.

A Jule lost from the crown

When GQ Edelman went down with a torn ACL, a mass celebration erupted amongst Patriots Haters. They did their white-boy dance to Abba’s Dancing Queen like a drunk uncle at a wedding. They whiffed on their nerdy high-fives. They grabbed the ball that they took home every time the game didn’t go their way, and went back out to do what they always do … play by themselves. When they were kids, mom tied a pork chop around their neck so the dog would play with them. Mom would say to these ass-clowns, “You don’t need friends, Little Joey. I’ll be your friend!” Pathetic. These people are losers. Because let’s face it, that’s what losers do—they root for the Express train known at the Patriots to get injuries.

Let me tell you what I am not all aboard on—the Patriots’ fans mantra of “Next man up.” Unless a clutch-gene-injected-27-year-old-big-testies Wes Welker walks through the doors at Gillette Stadium, there is no replacement for Edelman. So who could possibly try to make up for Julian’s production? The answer is not Tom Brady, and it is not a wide receiver.

Being Brady’s Brain

The #1 reason why Brady is the best quarterback in the league against the blitz is his mind. His ability to read the defense pre-snap, and ultra-quick decision making after the snap make blitzing him as useful as Johnny Manziel attending church. The best slot receiver in NFL history, Julian Edelman, was reason #2. No one in the NFL gets open as quickly as #11. He’s Brady’s fail safe.

When the defense and coverage challenge Brady, he simply looked to Jackrabbit Julian, and waited the .002 seconds it took for him to juke away from his defender before tossing a strike for the first down. Brandin Cooks is physically the closest to emulating Edelman’s ability, (Cooks’ shuttle times at the combine were exceptional) but he’s not a slot receiver. Danny Amendola is a good slot receiver who does nothing but catch big passes in big games, but he can’t shake defenders the way Edelman could. Hogan and Mitchell are terrific receivers, and Dorsett is as fast as Cooks, but there is a difference between fast, and quick.

It’s why every receiver who runs a 4.2 forty is not a success. Straightaway speed is great. But if you can’t cut on a dime, and run precision routes, you better stop by Walmart and pick up a spatula to flip burgers, because you won’t last in the NFL. It won’t be a player who replaces Edelman, but playerSSSSS. (Plural.)

Who will make up for the loss of Edelman? Nate Solder, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, and Marcus Canon.

Five for the cost of, well… five

Brady’s brain and quick release along with Edelman’s ability to get open in the blink-of-an-eye had covered up for the Patriots offensive line’s deficiencies. When one of the Buddha-bellies whiffed on a block, it went unnoticed by Brady, consistently getting rid of the ball before the pass-rusher destroyed him. I know this from my obsession with re-watching Patriots games several times and focusing on line of scrimmage play. Brady bails these guys out … a lot.

But there’s hope.

In 2016-2017, the O-line showed incredible improvement over the previous year. So, if the O-line has to take another step forward, and give the G.O.A.T. quarterback a consistent, extra second to survey the field.  Give their new deep-threat toys a chance to get open, and the Patriots should survive without Edelman.


Look for a drop in the Patriots’ 3rd down conversion numbers from last year, but the total points to rise from more big plays. IF the big boys up front can build a Great Wall of Foxboro around TB12. Patriots Haters may want to leave the basement and head upstairs, see if mom bought any more pork chops for Fido across the street, because it’s gonna be another loooooong winter outside of New England.

If the O-line doesn’t step up, the New England Patriots Express could get derailed, and lose a game or two. Bye-bye 19-0. Guess Patriots fans will have to settle for a sixth Super Bowl Championship with a 17-2 record. Bear down, Pats fans. Tough times are ahead … tough times indeed.

Pats fans, please follow me @StevenViner1 and I will follow you back. Oh and I ALWAYS answer questions!