New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady faced a ton of criticism in the second half of the 2019 NFL season as his offense failed to consistently move the ball, score points and help the team win games against elite opponents.
Brady himself didn't play at an MVP level. Although it should be noted he still posted solid stats, finishing with 4,057 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. These numbers are pretty good for a 42-year-old quarterback. Let's not forget Brady also reportedly dealt with multiple injuries throughout the season, which surely had an impact on his play.
With a longer offseason to prepare for 2020, one Pro Football Hall of Famer is optimistic about Brady's ability to bounce back next season and keep playing at a high level.
"Tom and I have had conversations over the last, probably, two or three years after the season was over. I just felt the need to tell him my opinion. I felt like his game had not declined one bit," Brett Favre recently said an interview with TMZ.
"I feel the same way this year. I hear lots of people, so-called experts, say that his age is catching up with him. I didn't see that. I saw a quarterback still able to do what he normally does, but the cast around him was not up to par. ... I didn't see any decline in his arm strength. He's not a mobile quarterback, even in his prime. To say he's not moving as well as he once did, that's ridiculous. He never moved well. You protect him, you get guys open -- how many times did we see Tom frustrated this year because guys weren't on the same page? You know in previous years, guys were on the same page because he wasn't showing that frustration. I think his game is as good as it's ever been. His cast, I don't want to say it's not as good, I just think it's inexperienced."
Brady is able to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when his contract expires in March. It's also possible he and the Patriots could work out a new deal before the start of free agency.
The Patriots tried to surround Brady with enough offensive weapons last season. They spent money on Antonio Brown, they used a first-round draft pick on a wide receiver for the first time in Bill Belichick's tenure as head coach, etc. It just didn't work out for a variety of reasons. Brown was released, injuries hit the wide receiver and offensive line positions hard, and perhaps the most glaring issue was a lack of production at tight end following Rob Gronkowski's retirement.
Brady is still talented enough where the Patriots would be wise to bring him back and make another bold attempt to put as much talent around him as possible. The Patriots, with Brady, would again be a top contender in the AFC, but they need to be more explosive offensively to compete with high-scoring rivals such as the Baltimore Ravens and reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Brett Favre gives strong defense of Patriots QB Tom Brady's ability at age 42 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston