Patriots' win total set at 9 following Brady departure
The New England Patriots are in the early stages of life without Tom Brady, in what represents the most significant change this offseason for the NFL’s most recent dynasty.
Brady is joining the Tampa Buccaneers, so the Patriots will go through the daunting process of finding a new starting quarterback.
With a level of uncertainty at the most important position, along with the departure of other key players in free agency, the Patriots’ regular season win total is currently nine at BetAmerica.
Patriots Regular Season Win Total
Brady isn’t the same player he used to be, which is expected at his age. Yet you can argue Brady, 42, is still a more reliable option at quarterback than a number of the other available options.
The Patriots can try to replace Brady with one of their two back-ups on the roster — Jarrett Stidham or Cody Kessler. Or they could look at free agency or trade for an experienced quarterback. Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton are potential targets.
The other option is selecting a quarterback of the future in the draft. Depending on which prospect they like the most, it may require trading up in the order.
If they go that route, it would signal a rebuild of the offense, which would make the Under look like a far more attractive option. The odds on the Under are currently +100 at BetAmerica.
Then again, it’s not like the AFC East is stacked with powerhouses. Given the general state of the division, winning more than nine games is still possible, even with the changes in New England.
How have the Patriots fared in the past without Brady?
Between 2001 and 2019, it was rare for the Patriots to take the field without Brady, but the most notable exception was in 2008.
Brady suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 and missed the remainder of the season, which forced Matt Cassel to take over at quarterback.
Cassel was a decent replacement. He threw for for a career-best 3,693 yards, as well as 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He finished the year with a 10-5 record as the starter.
The Patriots finished the year with an 11-5 record but just missed out on the playoffs.
Tom Brady was the greatest athlete in the history of team sports.— Obnoxious Boston Fan (@realOBF) March 17, 2020
He was allowed to walk without a shot.
Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft will carry this with them forever - rings and all.
I hope he wins another five Super Bowls.
The Patriots failed him miserably. pic.twitter.com/5OKOsD7pge
The last time the Patriots went any extended time without Brady was the start of the 2016 season, when he was suspended for the first four games.
Brady returned in October and the Patriots won the Super Bowl in February.
Patriots did all right the last time the torch was passed
The Patriots started the 2001 season with Drew Bledsoe as their No. 1 quarterback. By the end of Week 2, the torch had been passed to Brady, but there wasn’t much choice.
Bledsoe was injured on massive hit from New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, which forced Brady — the sixth-round pick from the 2000 NFL Draft — into action.
The rest is history.
I was on sideline the day Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe in 2001. Frantically rifled thru my notes to pluck a tidbit about this 6th rd pick out of Michigan.— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) March 17, 2020
Incredible legacy he's built. For him. For the Pats.
New chapter. But Tom Brady's not done writing his book just yet.
Brady’s stats weren’t particularly amazing that year (2,843 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in 14 regular-season starts), but New England still posted a record of 11-5, and Brady helped lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl title and earned a Pro Bowl selection.
A Hall of Fame career was born that week against the Jets. The Patriots went on to win six Super Bowls. That has set a standard nearly impossible to reach for anyone brought in to replace Brady.