New England Patriots: Evaluating AFC East quarterback competition

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New England Patriots

Tom Brady #12 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

New England Patriots and their AFC East rivals: who’s leading at the quarterback position with Tom Brady in Tampa.

For nearly 20 years, there was no question, none at all, about who was the top quarterback in the AFC East of the National Football League. It was No. 12 from the New England Patriots.

In addition, there was no question in many of those years about who was the best quarterback in the AFC and who was the best quarterback in the entire NFL. It was No. 12 from New England. The G.O.A.T. and the winningest quarterback in Super Bowl terms, ever.

For New England, it was a very, very nice place to be. Knowing that you could build your team around a consensus star year-after-year was an enviable position to be in. Having decided not to keep that situation is quite perplexing and has been the topic of many a conjecture.

I have written that a chain of events led to the departure of that, as I have called him, greatest of “safety valves”, Tom Brady. In my opinion, many of these events were predicated upon New England’s leadership’s disrespect to this once-in-a-generation (or more) player. A poor decision, indeed.

So, it was a nice, comfortable situation for New England for almost two decades. Unfortunately, now, due to their own negligence and lack of discretion, that clear and unassailable advantage now resides in Tampa Bay.

With No. 12 gone, the playing field has changed dramatically. The answer to the question, “who is the best quarterback in the AFC East?”, was no contest. It was just conceded essentially every season since about 2001 to New England.

I’ve been exceedingly clear in pointing out that the most important position on the football field is the guy who runs the offense, the quarterback. No rocket science there, just fact. If you have the best, you have two legs up on anyone else.

So, it seems appropriate that we should take a little more serious look around the AFC East to see who’s going to compete for the top quarterback spot. Since it’s now up for grabs, the exercise in 2020 now has greater football significance.

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