T is for Team, not Tom

If you are a Patriots fan, like me, you have to be a little worried, if not downright panicky over the loss of Tom Brady.  Do you feel like withdrawing your emotional investment in this team?  Comfortable with the thought of Sarah Palin at the helm, I mean Matt Cassel at the helm?  Well, I’m not, but time will tell.  I have not been terribly impressed with his performance so far, but the Patriots are 2-0.  Cassel has looked tentative at times; lost at others.   He doesn’t appear very athletic, though he moves better than Brady.  He lacks the patience and confidence in the pocket and the accuracy to throw on the run like say a Brett Farve.  However, Cassel seems to be gaining confidence as a leader.  While I don’t know what his teammates really think of him, he does have the unwavering support of the coaching staff.  I still think they should go after a veteran quarterback, but Belichick could very well be trying to make a point that the T is for Team, not Tom.

Relax.  Don’t sell your season tickets just yet.  Here are some numbers that might make you feel better.    The Pat’s defense is ranked 1st in rushing touchdowns (0); 3rd in fewest points allowed (20) and 5th in first downs (26).  On the offensive side, Matt Cassel, believe it or not, has a QB rating of 101.4 completing 70.7% of his passes with 0 interceptions.  On the downside, he’s only thrown 1 TD pass and passed for a mere 317 total yards in 2 games.   Not Bradylike numbers, but he’s gotten the job done, and not by throwing to Randy Moss who has caught only 8 passes on the year.  See Patriots Statistics for more details.

The Pats should be competitive the whole year, even with an average QB because of their strong defense.  Cassel has not been asked to do much and certainly has not been given the keys to the full repetroire of offensive plays.  If the Pats can get the running game going with Sammy Morris, Marshall Falk, Lamont Jordan, Laurence Maroney and Heath Evans, the pressure will be off Cassel.  T is for Team, not Tom.

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