Every year, regardless of who steps on the field next to him, Tom Brady is the best player in the game. With a 5,000 yard season under his belt, a 50-touchdown record, MVP awards, multiple championships and of course, Gisele Bundchen, I think it's safe to say Brady has it all. But is all enough? The Patriots have put together probably the best group of weapons since the one-man show of Randy Moss and I think we are about to watch history in the making.
-In 2007, Brady broke the record for touchdowns with 50 and threw for 4,806 yards. That season, his targets were Moss, Wes Welker, Donte' Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, Kevin Faulk, Laurence Maroney and Benjamin Watson.
Fast forward now to 2012, Brady's targets are Brandon Lloyd, Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Visanthe Shiancoe.
Last year, Brady had these same targets, minus Lloyd, Shiancoe and Hernandez for a few games because of injury and still managed to throw for a career high 5,235 yards.
Now you do the math. Adding in a receiver who has led the league in receiving, a veteran sure handed tight end and a healthy 22-year-old Hernandez who almost had 1,000 yards last year in 14 games and you have yourself an even scarier Patriots offense.
But let's really break it down.
The Addition of Brandon Lloyd
-The scariest part to me is the addition of a guy like Lloyd. His addition is going to put this season in the record books and I think it's all because of one man.
Enter now Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels.
Previously with the Broncos and Rams, the importance of his past was during Lloyd's career 2010-11 year in Denver. McDaniels play calling lead Lloyd to a 1,448 yard, 11 touchdown season, all with a now backup quarterback Kyle Orton and then-rookie Tim Tebow.
Lloyd averaged 1,207 yards and eight touchdowns per season with McDaniels and the quarterback carousel and the scariest stat was his 16 yards per catch average.
Now he gets to play with the same offensive coordinator and the best quarterback. I think the math is simple.
McDaniels + Brady = EVEN BETTER YEAR
To put it into perspective, while with Brady, Moss averaged 1,378.5 yards and 18 touchdowns. Now Lloyd is obviously no freak like Moss, but I don't think those numbers are impossible to achieve.
During his time, Moss was the obvious offensive threat, which caused him to be double-teamed and center of attention for defenses. Lloyd comes in as maybe the third option, which means he will face less talented defenders than a No. 1 target would.
I'm no expert, but I think a guy with hands like this going against back-up cornerbacks is going to be stupid.
-I've briefly mentioned what Hernandez has done and who Gronkowski is, but let's go into further details.
First up, Gronkowski.
Gronkowski - 23 years old, 6"6, 265 pounds, 3rd season
Season 1- 16 games, 42 catches, 546 yards, 10 touchdowns
Season 2- 16 games, 90 catches, 1,327 yards, 17 touchdowns
Before I try and talk about why it's hard to stop this man because of his hands or pure strength, I'll just let this video show you why its hard to tame 265 pounds running at you.
And the scariest part is that he isn't alone. His "back-up" is just as deadly.
Hernandez - 22 years old, 6"1, 245 pounds, 3rd season
Season 1- 14 games, 45 catches, 563 yards, 6 touchdowns
Season 2- 14 games, 79 catches, 910 yards, 7 touchdowns
Though he can be injured, unlike Gronkowski who is made out of metal, Hernandez is still a wide receiver playing at the tight end position.
And Hernandez is no stranger to winning either, thanks to Tebow and gang. Hernandez had been training to be a Patriot since he was at Florida.
These two tight ends just add to the list of targets for Brady.
But I've left out the most important piece to the offensive puzzle.
It's a Bird. It's a Plane. No. It's Just Welker.
-The man that catches every ball thrown to him and can always be counted on. Welker has been Brady's safety net for five seasons now.
Welker is the prime example of why this season is going to be full of records.
Before Welker joined the Patriots, he spent four years between San Diego and Miami, mainly as a kick returner. His best offensive season was the year before he joined the Patriots when he caught 67 balls for 687 yards and one touchdown. Welker was just an average player doing small things for Miami.
But then he moved in the division to New England and a star was born.
Brady turned an average guy into a perennial pro-bowl wide, who has had 100 catches every season except his injured 2010-11 campaign.
And not just the catches, Welker has racked up over 1,160 yards every year except 2010-11 and has finished second in the league in receiving twice.
The fact that Welker is good for 100-1,160 every year alongside Hernandez, Gronkowski and Lloyd is stupid, but the story of turning a nobody into a force just makes Brady even scarier.
The Finishing Touch
-The reason this year is going to be different is because of one reason, the established players. Brady doesn't just have Moss, Welker and then the small role players like in 2007. He already has four guys that have developed and been established as forces. And if Brady turns guys behind them like Matthew Slater, Julian Edelman and whoever else he wants into weapons, you might as well just give him the MVP award and the new records.
This 2012 season is going to be an offensive show and there is no reason Brady can't lead the league in every category and put together the best offensive season of all time and of course, win another MVP award Super Bowl.
Just sit back and watch the history unfold.
50 touchdowns (held by Brady)
309 yards (NO OVERTIME)