Is there anything to really be said at this point about a totally healthy, totally in-form Tom Brady, with a full complement of his top receivers at the ready, that hasn't already been said about really great sex? Or ice cream? Or happiness itself?
I mean the man is like buttah. And I'm not even talking about his hair.
In the last two preseason games*, his completion percentage has hovered somewhere above 80%. It was pointed out on Twitter that for the preseason overall, he has almost as many TDs as incompletions. And tonight he put grown men on the verge of tears in broadcast booths around New England with touchdown passes to Randy Moss (65 yards) and Rob Gronkowski (x2). Including and especially the two homers calling the game for WBZ tonight, God bless 'em.
Tom Brady is sickeningly good. Disgustingly good. You don't really even have to get into how he looks, who he's married to, or how rich he is if you want to hate on him. The guy is Just. Ridiculous.
In a not-unfamiliar role, Brady will have to be New England's security blanket for at least the next week, after a performance from the defense as a unit tonight that was so utterly, abjectly, horrifically awful that in the end it erased 35 points delivered by the Patriots offense. For every positive adjective used to describe Tom Brady above, insert its antonym here to describe the defense -- especially, and this is starting to feel like it has been the case forever, the secondary.
It seems like the Patriots have invested at least as much in the defense as on offensive positions in the last three drafts, with a special focus on recruiting new defensive backs. There's also been a merry-go-round of free agents cycling through the roster, and we don't even have Dean Pees to kick around anymore.
It's not even a matter of losing the game -- this was as dismal and miserable a defensive performance tonight as we've seen in the Belichick era, worse than even last year's nightmarish season finale against the Ravens. In fact, tonight the Rams gained nearly twice as many yards as the Ravens did, scored three more points, converted more third and fourth downs, and scored one more field goal.
What is going on back there, and what is going through these guys' minds when they thump their chests and hoot and holler after a pick in the third quarter only moments after the offense has -- just temporarily -- saved their bacon? "A leadership problem" is the note on which we ended last season, and it's clear tonight that a leader is going to have to come forward in the defensive backfield for the Patriots if they're going to have a shot at a better outcome than they had in 2009.
* Insert standard disclaimer here about how it's preseason and it doesn't matter anyway, blah blah. Doesn't make it any less fun to watch.