Patriots fans for the most part never have had to worry about the quarterback position over the past two decades, but the 2019 season has presented a different story.
Tom Brady by no means is a liability, but it’s not any sort of hot take to claim the 42-year-old is past his prime. While most are pointing to New England’s lack of high-end weapons as the primary reason for the team’s offensive struggles, the fact of the matter is Brady has made it work with less in the past, and an anemic offense might be what prevents the Patriots from staging a deep playoff run.
But what if Patrick Mahomes, who will visit Foxboro this Sunday, was under center for New England instead of Brady? Nick Wright effectively salivated over this hypothetical Thursday morning on FOX Sport 1’s “First Things First.”
“I’ll tell you what it looks like. You know what, Phillip Dorsett becomes a legitimate deep threat and N’Keal Harry has the type of season Mecole Hardman’s having now that he’s (Mahomes) back in the lineup,” Wright said. “We’re not whining about the lack of a fullback, because if you have Patrick Mahomes on your team, you’re not trying to run some I-formation, 1960s offense. You’re throwing the ball around the field. The reason the center, the blocking tight end and the fullback are so desperately important is because you got a 42-year-old man at quarterback, so you have to lean on the run game. Are you kidding me, what it would look like if Patrick Mahomes was on this team with that defense? I like Andy Reid, but that schematic coaching advantage, what it would look like? It would look like an undefeated team that is the overwhelming favorite to win the Super Bowl as opposed to a team that has a gaudy record but is about to be 0-3 against the three teams in the conference that matter: the Ravens, the Texans and in four days, the Kansas City Chiefs.”
This is a fairly tough hypothetical to analyze. The Patriots offense has featured many of the same basic principles over the past few seasons, which Brady has mastered to the highest degree. With Mahomes at quarterback, New England likely would implement an entirely new offense, one that never has been seen in the Bill Belichick era. Everything the Patriots do is thoroughly structured, while Mahomes often is at his best while improvising.
Not to mention, Brady routinely is at his best when the lights are at their brightest, something Mahomes will have to prove if he wants to go down as one of the game’s best.