The Patriots can’t beat teams through the air outside the numbers.
Tom Brady increasingly looks inside the hashmarks, mostly to his tight ends. Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has the numbers:
Brady has targeted Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez 84 times for 56 receptions for 675 yards since Week Five.
He’s targeted his starting wideouts Wes Welker and Deion Branch 79 times for 47 catches for 558 yards over the span.
I had Tom Curran on PFT Live Wednesday, and we discussed how the Patriots don’t really have one single effective “wide” receiver. Wes Welker is really a slot receiver. It’s a different position.
Out wide, Branch is no longer a difference maker. He’s a crafty veteran that Brady trusts, but Branch can’t consistently beat one-on-one coverage. Chad Ochocinco is a total afterthought. Taylor Price is a rumor.
At some point, the Patriots need to figure out how to get some production down the field or find some true wideouts that can beat man coverage.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!