Danny Amendola is alive! He caught exactly one pass in three targets and that one pass happened to be the game-winning touchdown. Great catch? Yes. Amendola’s name now being associated with puppies and rainbows? Not quite there.
In the last six games, Amendola has two receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown. Four of those six games he was held to zero catches on zero targets. Those games were against teams like Oakland, Minnesota, Buffalo, Cincinnati and the Jets. His two receptions came against Cincy and New York and do you want to know what they have in common? Their pass defense sucks.
Sure the Jets are ranked 16th, but they have some guys injured in the secondary and its gone downhill quickly. In the last three games, the Jets have allowed 786 yards and 9 touchdowns through the air. Cincinnati’s pass defense is just bad as it’s ranked 26th giving up an average of 270 yards per game.
I’m not taking anything away from Amendola because I’m glad he got his first touchdown of 2014, but with just 5 catches on the year, there isn’t much I can take away from him; he’s got nothing to take. Among active WR’s, Amendola is tied for 232 in the league with 5 catches. Most running backs have more catches than Amendola.
On Amendola’s touchdown, he wasn’t initially open. Brady scrambled and poor coverage led to a single step advantage for Danny as he ‘winged it.’ Even with a blown coverage and late safety help, Amendola barely had a step on the defender and the window the ball had to be thrown in was tight. I blame Brady for some of the lack of targets Amendola has seen, but the guy is flat out not getting open. His touchdown was poor defense, not great offense.
I’m not out on Amendola like everyone seems to be. Is he overpaid? Absolutely. Does he deserve a roster spot over Aaron Dobson? I don’t think so, but the Patriots do. I think he’s injured, but pride won’t let him admit that because he’s been dubbed ‘injury prone.’
It’s now time to build off of that touchdown. It’s time for Amendola and Brady to muster up somewhat of a connection just to keep defenses honest. I like the play Amendola made, but the circumstances that led to the play being successful won’t happen very often and that’s why fans should take it with a grain of salt. He still barely got open and forcing balls into small windows (like his touchdown catch) is a recipe for turnovers and Brady has never been a risk taker. That safe approach makes Brady one of the best on the TD-turnover ratio. It’s also the reason Amendola never gets targeted.
I did like Amendola on the return game and I hope the Patriots continue that. Getting Amendola around the ball more is something that needs to happen just based on his salary and he’s not cutting it at WR so trying punt/kick returns seems logical. If Amendola can keep the momentum and prove me wrong, that would make for a great redemption article and I’ll gladly eat my words, but I think he’s not a great player and, on top of that, I think he’s injured.