The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Brady Is the Difference


Football is supposed to be the ultimate team game but, in the case of the New England Patriots, the success of the group is based almost solely on the performance of one. With Tom Brady, the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders pretty much no matter who else is on the roster. Without him, they aren't even a playoff team.

The Patriots have the best roster in the NFL heading into training camp simply because Brady is back from a knee injury that kept him out virtually all last season. Brady's presence makes all his teammates inestimably better, and it makes the Patriots the Super Bowl favorite.

Brady has won three Super Bowls and came within an amazing David Tyree catch of winning another. He's won with marginal wide receivers. What's Deion Branch been up to since he left New England? He's won with average running backs. Remember Antowain Smith?

Without Brady last season, the Patriots missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002. As good as backup Matt Cassel became, New England knows it doesn't need him. So confident in Brady are the Patriots that they felt perfectly comfortable trading Cassel to Kansas City and keeping Kevin O'Connell and Matt Gutierrez as backups.

Other teams may have better rosters than the Patriots if you don't include Brady in the discussion. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Diego immediately come to mind. But with Brady on board, the Patriots stand alone.

By Gene Wang  |  July 27, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  | Category:  Gene Wang , New England Patriots , Philadelphia Eagles Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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