Tom Brady's injury may affect post-season play
Tom Brady is the face of the New England Patriots. He brought home three Super Bowl rings, helped the Patriots go undefeated during the regular season and was last year’s MVP.
Two weeks ago, Brady was knocked down by Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. The tackle not only injured his left knee but cost Brady the entire season, and, possibly even the Patriots as well.
Many people, including New England wide receiver Randy Moss, called the hit “dirty” and intentional, yet Pollard insisted it was an accident. The league investigated the hit and declared it clean.
The incident started when Patriots running back Sammy Morris shoved Pollard toward the ground as Pollard lunged to sack Brady, catching Brady below the knee. Brady’s knee rolled and took the brunt of impact. Tackles below the knee are common in football, and the hit in question was no different. Pollard actually struck when Brady had the football and therefore did not violate any NFL rules concerning late hits.
“It is not a foul because the defensive player was coming off and affected by a block by the offense,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
With Brady out for the season, the AFC East has become a more competitive division. After acquiring veteran Hall of Famer Brett Favre, the New York Jets have stepped up their game and will prove to be tough challengers; the Buffalo Bills currently hold the best record in the division with 3–0; and the Miami Dolphins handed New England its first season loss since 2006 with a devastating 38–13. Despite other teams taking the lead, the Patriots should not go unnoticed, as the team has shown a solid defense in the past two wins. New England remains strong with a 2–1 record despite losing Brady in the first quarter of the first game.
What about the AFC division as a whole? Will Brady’s injury somehow affect which team has the best record in the AFC?
Will Brady’s injury affect home field advantage in the AFC? That is, who will now have the best record in the AFC? No doubt. The home field AFC team will most likely be a team like the Buffalo Bills since they have a strong offensive line that can open up the passing game, and their latest acquisitions of Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Stroud solidified their defensive line. We cannot expect New England to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs because Brady’s replacement, Matt Cassel, is not as quick a decision maker as Brady, thus creating more sacks. However, the Patriots are still a playoff contender thanks to their solid defense players, such as linebacker Junior Seau and talented wide receivers like Moss.
Whichever team wins home field advantage in the AFC will be more competitive this year with Brady out of the picture than with Brady in it, since he has taken his team to the Super Bowl four times since 2000 and won three of them.