You want an idea of just how bad Tom Brady is? Through four games, he's statistically the worst quarterback in the AFC East. Just so we're clear, that list includes Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill and EJ Manuel, who was just benched for Kyle Orton.
And that's not just some conventional-stats anomaly; according to Football Outsiders' advanced metrics, Brady ranks 33rd in total QB value ahead of only Geno Smith, Josh McCown and Chad Henne. One is in his second season and the other two are journeymen.
Still not convinced (and there's no way you can't be)? ProFootballFocus.com ranks Brady 23rd behind Austin Davis, Kirk Cousins, Derek Anderson, Brian Hoyer and Drew Stanton.
The problems are many (we go into detail in this week's Coach Killers) but Brady's former teammate, Rodney Harrison, can distill it down to this: the future Hall of Fame quarterback looks "scared to death."
Harrison, who is now an NFL analyst for NBC, explained.
"Tom Brady can still play," he said during an appearance on WEEI, via ESPNBoston.com. "But when you surround him -- there's a reason why Brandon LaFell was let go [by Carolina]. He's not a great player. He's a young guy, and he has to make his way in this league.
"And Danny Amendola, you look at him, no one ever said he was a great player. He's always been hurt. The history is behind it. Rob Gronkowski obviously coming off that ACL injury, he's been hurt. So it's not like when you look at the Patriots on paper they just have all these weapons and teams are afraid of them."
Also not helping: a horrendous offensive line that has left Brady gun-shy. And after his second interception was returned for a touchdown against the Chiefs Monday, coach Bill Belichick decided to give Brady the rest of the night off.
"Whether Bill pulled [Brady] because he's afraid he was going to get injured, or Bill was trying to send him a non-subtle message, as a player your mind kind of starts playing tricks on you and you start thinking like, 'What's going on?'" Harrison said. "But at the end of the day, Tom needs to play better. The offensive line needs to protect him, but Tom -- we've said it week in and week out -- he's missing opportunities that are there; he's just floating the ball in the air. ...
"I think it's one of those situations where Brady, he's really, really frustrated," Harrison continued. "He doesn't have any confidence in his offensive line. And unfortunately, they're meeting one of the most complete teams in the National Football League."
Next Sunday night, the Patriots host the undefeated Bengals, who are quietly making their case for the AFC's best team.