Tom Brady is an early-season candidate for MVP. With 1,553 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions through four games, he’s on pace to break both Dan Marino‘s single-season yardage record (5,084) and his own touchdown record (50). Of course, the Patriots have needed Tom to be terrific playing underneath the shadow of New England’s league-worst defense.
It’s also helped that he’s had Wes Welker as his security blanket. The little guy has 40 receptions for 616 yards and five touchdowns through four games. The chemistry between Welker and Brady has been otherworldly, and Welker is on pace for a record-setting 160 receptions and 2,464 yards. He’s looked better than anyone could have hoped in his second year coming off ACL surgery.
Rob Gronkowski (or maybe “Mankowski”) has been a man among boys, and has 18 receptions for 296 yards and five touchdowns. With 16.4 yards per reception, Gronkowski is quietly emerging as a deep threat, as Brady consistently looks for his tight end on seam routes.
To say the defense has looked bad would be an insult to the word “bad,” but Vince Wilfork has made two of the most spectacular defensive plays of the season to date. With two interceptions in the past three games, he may not have a future as the league’s next big thing (pun intended) at cornerback, but he was instrumental in bottling up Darren McFadden for much of the game on Sunday.