Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Patriots aim for more balanced attack on offense


New England Patriots fans usually scoff at the idea of Tom Brady throwing less. However, if the first two weeks of the season is any indication, the Patriots might not have a choice.

Brady threw the ball 56 times in the Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins compared to just 20 rushing attempts. In Week 2, New England ran the ball 37 times compared to just 22 passing attempts from Brady en route to the 23-point beating of the Vikings.

Simply put, the Patriots may need to be more balanced on offense, and statistics have shown in the young season that a more equal attack both through the air and on the ground will lead to better results.

But the biggest disparity for the Patriots' offense through the first two weeks has been how Brady has targeted his receivers. In fact, wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski were targeted on 13 of Brady’s 22 pass attempts last Sunday.

Pats fans could be thinking, “Do you blame him?”

“Where the hell is Danny Amendola?”

“Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are unreliable.”

The list (or excuses) goes on and on, but even Tom Brady himself realizes the importance of ball distribution.

“Absolutely. I think that's definitely a big part of what we're trying to do offensively to make us hard to defend is to be able to throw the ball to everybody," Brady said Wednesday, via Erik Frenz of

As we saw in the second half of week one, an opposing team’s ability to take Edelman out of the mix could spell doom for the Pats offense, especially with Gronkowski still limited. With that being said, it will be crucial for Brady to build a rapport with his other weapons as the season progresses.

Yes, a healthy Gronkowski creates a virtually unstoppable monster in the offense; however, we have seen firsthand how stagnant the offense can be when the tight end is not one-hundred percent.

“I think offensively we could certainly stand to get a lot more balance into our attack overall, period,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We have a lot of good players. We have to be more effective utilizing all of them.”

This weekend should be a perfect opportunity for the Patriots to continue to grow offensively against a porous Oakland Raiders defense while getting more guys involved.

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