Patriots Gridiron News: At least Bill Belichick believes in Tom Brady

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady /

While the NFL world is writing off Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, head coach Bill Belichick believes in his team and quarterback.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t exactly known for making poor plays in key situations.

However, on Sunday, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback threw an uncharacteristic interception in the red zone with his team in position to either go ahead in the game with a touchdown or draw closer with a field goal.

Though he was trying to throw the ball away, Brady admitted following the game it was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened.  But, it is a decision he made on the next drive that has fans and critics questioning Brady’s judgement on the field.

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With the Patriots again driving to tie the game, Tom Brady started launching passes into the end zone.  On one play, it appears James White was open for a check down play that would’ve at least gotten the team a first down.  With no timeouts in the game, it would’ve been a risky play considering there was just 26 seconds left in the game, but the team could’ve had an opportunity to spike the ball and attempt to tie the game while closer to the goal line.

While it’s easy to second guess following the 17-10 loss, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t take the bait when asked about his quarterback’s decisions.  Instead, he defended Brady and praised his decision making.

"“Tom’s a very experienced quarterback in our system, very experienced playing against our opponent, Pittsburgh, last week,” Belichick said in his conference call.  “He has excellent judgement and decision-making abilities and so, again, when the play is called, the ball is not supposed to go to anybody unless it’s a screen pass or something like that.  We’re not trying to throw it to one guy.  All the questions about why don’t we throw to this guy – because there’s five guys out on the pattern and we’re going to try to do what’s best on that play.”"

Typically, Tom Brady’s judgement is not up for debate.  But, with his age, the spotlight is shining ever so brightly on every decision and every mistake the 41-year-old quarterback makes.  With questions of his decline, it is good to hear his coach both defending and praising his capabilities on the field, especially after the tension-filled offseason they have had.

Perhaps the scrutiny Bill Belichick went through following Super Bowl LII that seemed to divide the coach and quarterback is the same scrutiny that is binding them once again.  As history has proved, when these two men are doubted, the New England Patriots bond together.

In 2007, following Spygate, the team ran off to an undefeated season after Belichick was labeled a cheater.  In 2016, after Brady served a four-game suspension for Deflategate, the team went on to win the Super Bowl.  Now the coaching and quarterback play is being scrutinized for different reasons, but perhaps it is the rally cry a 9-5 Patriots team need to turn an inconsistent season into a season to remember.

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Brady to the Pro Bowl

On Tuesday night, the NFL announced its 2018 Pro Bowl players and on that list was Tom Brady.

With his 14th career Pro Bowl selection, Brady was only one of two New England Patriots players to make the list.  That is the fewest number of players the team has had on the list since 2008.

The other player was cornerback Stephon Gilmore who has certainly been the team’s best defensive player this year.  While this has certainly been a down year for Brady, it is evident that he is still one of the top quarterbacks in the AFC, if not the entire NFL.

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Kansas City Chiefs young quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers were the two other AFC quarterbacks to get Pro Bowl nods.