Stark Stat Shows How Patriots Have Struggled Since Tom Brady’s Departure

New England's issues lay mainly on the offensive side


Dec 26, 2022

The diverging paths of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots since their separation is a well-worn storyline by now.

Since Brady bolted after the 2019 season, he’s won a Super Bowl and directed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to two consecutive NFC playoff berths. The Patriots, meanwhile, are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

Much of the onus for the Patriots’ plight rightfully falls on Bill Belichick and the New England coaching staff. But as the quasi-successor to Brady (via Cam Newton), Mac Jones has taken his share of the blame for the state of the Patriots offense.

And the offense indeed is the crux of the problem, as one stat shared Monday by MassLive’s Chris Mason underscored.

“Since Tom Brady’s departure, the Patriots are 4-24 when their defense allows more than 17 points,” Mason pointed out on Twitter.

In an era where scoring is up across the NFL, suffice to say such offensive anemia doesn’t cut it.

By comparison, the Buffalo Bills — who comfortably led the AFC East after Week 16 after vying with New England for divisional supremacy just a year ago — are averaging 28.0 points per game. Most concerningly, the Patriots are going in the opposite direction. After averaging 27.2 points per game last season, the Patriots have managed just 21.2 points per game this season — with several of those scores coming via their defense.

Things appear to have reached a head in Foxboro, Mass., where Saturday’s 22-18 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was only the latest frustrating defeat. Belichick seemingly is left to explain a head-scratching decision — or several — almost every week, such as Saturday’s inexplicable play call on third down and 4, which they failed to convert.

The Patriots’ slim playoff hopes hinge on Sunday’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins, who comfortably topped New England way back in the season opener.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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