December is Tom Brady’s season.
The New England Patriots typically use the first month of the season as a feeling out process before playing consistent football in October and November. Once December rolls around, however, New England normally starts blasting opponents en route to a deep playoff run.
Louis Riddick doesn’t expect 2018 to be any different.
The ESPN analyst went on Friday’s edition of “Get Up!” and explained why Brady and the Pats are about to start rolling.
“Unless you’ve been through an NFL season, when you start practicing in August and you play all the way to January, that’s a grind, my man,” Riddick told Mike Greenberg and Bobby Carpenter. “And it’s going to be a grind for a guy who’s 40-plus years old. So he right now is about to hit his stride and probably play some of his best football. He doesn’t have to drive the ball 30, 40 yards down the field. He doesn’t have to hit 25-yard comebacks on the outside and throw it like Pat Mahomes in order to be effective.
“You saw against the Minnesota Vikings, he can still utilize the short to intermediate game and the long touch game as well as anybody. And remember this: Josh McDaniels is one of the best play-callers in the NFL. He knows when to make Tom throw the fastball and when he can just dink and dunk you and kill you to death by 1,000 cuts with screen passes, little short swing routes, run the football, screen pass, go over the top. Right now, you’re about to enter their season. Now, this is their time where they actually usually separate themselves.”
The Patriots were crisp in their 24-10 win over the Vikings in Week 13, but they’ll head to their house of horrors Sunday when they visit the Miami Dolphins. New England can clinch its 10th straight AFC East title with a win in Miami and still has a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a strong finish, so it’s the perfect time for Brady and Co. to “hit their stride.”
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