Mondays during the NFL season are all about overreacting and even more so following Week 1 this year when there were no preseason games.
When it comes to the Patriots, everyone is loving the Cam Newton era following the 21-11 win over the Dolphins when the new quarterback ran for two touchdowns and led a new-look offense that featured a heavy rushing attack with numerous RPO plays.
Some in New England are already calling for the team to sign him to a contract extension and make him the QB of the future.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers struggled in their opener against the Saints, falling 34-23 and the 43-year-old quarterback threw two interceptions, including a pick-6.
Afterwards, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said the interceptions were on Brady, but then Monday clarified things and said one was not his fault, although he did say Brady didn’t play well in the game.
“He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ballgame because they didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for,” Arians said. “Everything they did, we thought we were ready for,” Arians said. “Some wide receivers have to do a better job of winning one-on-one when he decides to go their way. He put us in the right run checks a couple times. It was a learning experience that way.”
He added: “He’s had it before – he knows how to bounce back. He knew he didn’t play very well and it’s not what he expects from himself, nor what we expect. I would anticipate him to have a little more grit [and] a little more determination this week.”
These comments got a lot of attention, especially in New England. But, what people may not realize is that’s how Arians is and has always been. He treats everyone that way, whether you’re a rookie or a superstar like Brady.
Just look at what he said about left tackle Donovan Smith Monday: “I was very disappointed in his play. … He had probably the easiest guy to block."
While Bill Belichick doesn’t publicly criticize his players for their play, he certainly does behind the scenes. Not every coach in the league has to be like Belichick and keep everything in house.
There wasn’t anything wrong with what Arians said when it came to his comments about Brady. Anyone who watched the game knows the new Tampa Bay QB struggled. It’s who he is as a coach and so why should he change? And is Brady off limits when it comes to criticism? Absolutely not.
Arians’ comments on Brady should not be considered a big deal.
And when it comes to Brady and Newton on the field, don’t make any declarations as of now. It’s just one week.
Sure, Brady struggled in his debut, but who is to say he can’t go out next Sunday against Carolina and throw for 350 yards and four touchdowns? The same goes for Newton in New England. Just because he was outstanding against Miami, he and the team could very easily go into Seattle next Sunday night and struggle.
What would the storylines be next Monday if those two things happened?
It’s hard to do because of the nature of the NFL, but don’t go all-in on what happened the first week. Just because the Patriots and Newton looked good in their win, it doesn’t necessarily mean people who had them going 7-9 are definitely going to be wrong. And the same goes for the people who had Tampa Bay getting to the Super Bowl. Just because they lost and Brady struggled, it doesn’t mean they can’t turn it around.
After all, the Patriots played Miami, who is in the bottom third in terms of talent across the league and then the Bucs played the Saints, who many predicted could make the Super Bowl.
Even though it's hard to do, let’s wait a few more weeks before making any definitive claims when it comes to Brady/Arians and Newton/Patriots. More data is needed.