New England Patriots: A journey through the first 8 games of the season

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with Tom Brady
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with Tom Brady /
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FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 29: Tom Brady /

40 is the new 27

If there was one shining member who has done no wrong this season, it would be Tom Brady.

The 40-year-old quarterback is playing better than he did 10 years ago. Brady has beaten father time better than any other professional athlete in history (Gordie Howe aside) by putting up monster numbers and helping the Patriots to a 6-2 record.

He leads the league in passing yards (2,541) and yards per game (318). Brady also sits at 2nd in quarterback rating, only behind Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs.

In Week 3 this season Brady had another signature comeback. He marched the Patriots 75 yards with 1:36 left in the game. With 26 seconds remaining, Brady tossed a 38-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks in the side of the end zone. Moments like this solidify why Brady is the greatest to ever do it, and he builds on his resume each and every week.

The odds haven’t been great for Brady early on, his favorite target, receiver Julian Edelman has been sidelined since Week 3 of the preseason with an ACL Tear, and he’s not coming back this season.

With Edelman down, the Patriots have rolled out three primary packages of receivers. The most common being a Trips Left and Single X formation, with Cooks on one side and Hogan and Amendola lined up on the other.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski typically lines up on the same side as the Trips set, by doing so it allows two things to happen. It leaves Cooks alone with separation on his own side of the field and the ability to go one on one with the corner. It also makes the other side of the field chaos for defenses.

Three receivers placed on one side of the field forces the defense to have to commit extra coverage, which typically comes in the form of an outside linebacker. The linebacker is no match for a great tight end in Gronkowski, and if they commit a safety as well to Gronkowski, it leaves open space on the outside of the field. Other packages used including the Five Wide, and the Trips wide left. The offense has come to be the teams selling point and can singlehandedly win ball games in the future.