As long as the Patriots are fixing their pass defense, they could stand to patch up their pass offense as well. New England scored the most points in the league this year, but they did it with efficiency, not explosiveness. The Patriots simply didn’t have any receivers who could reliably make plays downfield. Counting defensive pass interfence calls as completions, Tom Brady was only successful on 35 percent of his deep passes (balls that traveled more than 15 yards in the air past the line of scrimmage) in 2012. There were 32 quarterbacks with at least 50 deep passes this season, and only two (Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger) were less accurate with the long ball. Wes Welker (assuming he re-signs), Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch will be a combined 98 years old next season. It’s time for the Patriots to find some fresh legs and stretch the field.
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