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Patriots fans boo, Tom Brady struggles, where are the 6-2 Patriots headed?

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

There was booing in New England.

Before the second half comeback, as the Patriots headed in for halftime trailing 17-3 to Miami, the fans were not pleased and they let the team hear it.

New England rallied to win 27-17, thanks in part to a bad illegal batting call in the fourth quarter when the Dolphins trailed by only three points, and improved to 6-2. Maybe the booing was a sign that the fans are spoiled after 10 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins. Ask fans in Tampa or Jacksonville how they'd feel about a 6-2 team right now.

But the problem is, everything is not OK in New England, where the bar is set very high every season.

The defense has lost linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, perhaps the team's two best defensive players, to season-ending injuries. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer was carted off the field with what looked like a serious leg injury on Sunday.

And then there's quarterback Tom Brady.

[Photos: Fired-up fans during Week 8]

He says nothing is wrong with his right throwing hand, but it's obviously injured. Many fans took a screen shot of his swollen hand being shown on television Sunday and posted it on Twitter:

Between injuries to his top targets and now an injury to his hand, Brady is having a down year. He has been one of the NFL's elite players for years, but this season he ranks 15th in passing yards, 30th in completion percentage among quarterbacks with 100 attempts, 17th in touchdown passes with just nine, and has a 74.9 rating that is lower than guys like Houston's Matt Schaub, Tampa Bay rookie Mike Glennon and Jacksonville's Chad Henne. Brady's season isn't going to get much better if his right hand feels as bad as it looks.

The Patriots' record is just fine at 6-2, and it's impressive they've won six games considering all the issues they have worked through so far this season. But if some fans are a little restless, perhaps it's because they understand the Patriots are going to have to play better to keep up this pace.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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