New England’s offense too good to be true

I’ve thought long and hard on this one, and I’ve recently come to the conclusion that New England’s offense is too good to be true this year. Tom Brady is an excellent player; he’s already a hall of famer and one of the best to ever play the position. It’s hard to say anything negative about anything he’s involved in. The guy can even procreate like it’s nobody’s business.

But what’s interesting is that Brady’s always been able to do so well with a mediocre receiving corps, one void of egos. Now he has some egos to deal with, specifically Randy Moss’ ego. I’m on record saying New England is a great landing spot for Moss because Brady and the rest command his respect, but that doesn’t mean I’m in love with the Patriot offense.

Obviously, there is excellent potential here, but let me paint the ugliest of pictures; I think you’ll find it to be realistic.

Moss, who despite running a supposed 4.3 40 in the spring, reportedly has a pair of bad ankles. You may not see that reported, but that’s what I’ve heard. His body is clearly breaking down, and then you have the issue of how he gives minimal effort. Oh, he’ll make some big plays, but he’s not the type of receiver who has flourished in NE. He’s actually the opposite, since he’s never been a good inside receiver. I’ve seen Moss go higher than I thought he’s go, so you can have Randy Moss in fantasy drafts this year. I want no parts of him.

The Pats throw those tough inside passes all the time, and Donte Stallworth happens to own a pair of alligator arms and has some issues with his hands. He did make a lot of big plays last year in Philly, but what else did he do? Other than showing off those alligator arms at times, he did get hurt, and that’s an issue. Brady can throw the deep ball, but how many bombs have you seen him complete the last 2-3 years? Not as many as you’d like to see with Stallworth and Moss now on the roster. Since there will be comparable players still on the board when Stallworth is drafted, I see no reason to pick him. You can make the argument that the attention Moss commands will greatly help him, but how often has this guy come through when expectations were high? How many times has he not? That’s what I thought.  

Laurence Maroney
has usually split time in the backfield, going back to his college days, and injuries are a concern. Maroney’s shoulder was the source of much speculation in the off-season, with one report stating that surgery revealed “significant damage” to the shoulder, but he is expected to be ready for the start of the 2007 season. He suffered a mysterious injury in Week 13 that was reported as either a concussion or back injury and knocked him out of the last two regular-season games, but he returned for the playoffs. He was on the injury report with a couple other ailments earlier in his rookie season, and that’s sharing the load with Corey Dillon. Clearly Maroney is a talented player with big upside, but there is definite downside. No one will be surprised if he breaks down, and I still question whether or not he’s ready to be a lead back. I’m not avoiding him per se, but I have to say that I’m hoping I don’t have to make what I think is a fairly tough call with him 10-15 picks in.

Specifically on the receivers, these are some dramatic  changes in New England. It’s going to take time for Moss and Stallworth to get into the flow of this offense, and to get their timing with Brady. I believe they will tinker with the offense to cater to their abilities, so there’s another adjustment. They will have to take several weeks, maybe longer, until they can a feel for how defenses work against them now. There will be continuity and consistency issues at least early here.

You look at all their additions, and it appears this offense is too good to be true. There’s no way Brady, Moss, and Stallworth will get shut down completely, but I think it is too good to be true. NFL football is often ironic and how ironic would it be if Wes Welker leads this team in receiving over Moss and Stallworth.

Not only am I saying that could happen; I’m expecting it to happen.

Category: Fantasy Football


8 Responses

  1. Miles to Go says:

    Great insight here, as usual. Brady has always been a guy that spreads the ball around, so his final numbers are solid, but no single receiver stands out as a stud. That could easily be the case again. It would be pretty shocking if Welker was the #1 WR at the end of the year in terms of numbers, but it is definitely possible.

    Thanks again. Love the blog.

  2. Hardcore says:

    Throw in the fact the the NE defense looks to be improved… less need for NE to keep gunnin’ on offense.

    Maroney is definitely the highest risk/reward guy here. If he holds up and the defense improves, he could have a huge season.

  3. Flizzo says:

    Great analysis. I think you still have to like Brady A LOT overall this year, but it’s really tough to determine the breakdown among the receivers. This makes sense though. So where does Ben Watson fit into things in this scenario??

    Also, are you saying that Welker will catch the most passes (not as shocking) or have the most yards (which would be quite “shocking”)?

  4. [email protected] says:

    Brady has never had a receiver anywhere near as good as Moss. By the end of last year Gaffney and Caldwell looked almost professional. Realistically, 1200 yards and 10-12 TDs for Moss.

  5. FanProphet says:

    Come on you are “Fantasy Guru”. You make some really interesting points here, however, even if it’s only one year, Moss is going to have a huge season.

    Anyway, I love this site.

    I would also like to get in touch with you by email if possible, I have some pretty interesting things going on in the world of fantasy sports.


  6. John Hansen says:

    I think Watson will be about the same as last year, when he was solid for yardage but not so great for TDs. That’s a shame, too, because I think he his talent compares to Gates. Gates has better hands and feel for the game, but Watson is just a notch below him.

    Yes, I mean Welker gets the most catches, not yards and TDs. He fits into the offense prefectly.

    You can contact me via the contact form, I will eventually get it.

  7. PackFan says:

    Sounds like you think this year’s Patriots could be football’s version of this year’s Yankees, and you may very well be right – your arguments seem solid. Plus, aren’t they also loading up on some guys with some real character issues here? If things start to go bad early, the bad personalities could begin to outweigh the good.

    I’ll bet most Jets fans are salivating after reading your analysis.

    Still, any team that can take a wide receiver and turn him into a successful defensive back in the middle of the season has some real mojo going for it. In some ways the Pats seem to defy logic. They must really have one of the better coaching / teaching staffs in all of football, but even there, one would think the well has to run dry one of these days with all guys that have been leaving for other jobs.

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