Patriots fans do not want to fathom life without Tom Brady. Why would they? Before Brady became the Patriots’ first-string quarterback in 2001, New England had racked up 19 losing seasons throughout their franchise that started in 1960. Steve Grogan led the team to a Super Bowl in 1985, which was painful, as the Chicago Bears blew them out 46-10. Bad memories. Brady wiped them away. However, it is time for fans to face the possibility that “Father Time” may be knocking on Tom Brady’s door. This past Monday, the Miami Dolphins stopped the Patriots’ offense from making any third down conversions. Tom Brady has only thrown one touchdown in two games.

As the team faces the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday, New England is in danger of losing the top AFC seed.

Brady’s numbers have dipped

In the 27-20 loss to the Dolphins, Brady looked like a struggling quarterback. According to Pro Football Stats, his quarterback rating was 59.5 percent. He threw for 233 yards, Brady’s only touchdown coming on a check-down pass to running back James White. For much of the game, Brady missed open wide receivers and seemed uncomfortable. Even when he was not pressured, Brady seemed off. The Dolphins prevented the G.O.A.T from finding an offensive rhythm, as the Patriots went 0 for 11 on third down conversions. For New England, that is an anomaly. Brady also threw two picks and finished with 233 yards for the game. That is his lowest passing yards for 2017.

Four interceptions in last three games

For the first 10 games of the season, Brady only threw two interceptions. Within the past three games, he has doubled that number. Last week against the Buffalo Bills, Tre’Davious White [VIDEO] picked off the G.O.A.T. This resulted in an angry Rob Gronkowski winding up and dropping his forearm on the back of White’s neck when he was down on the ground. Gronk’s after-the-play hit got him a one-game suspension that made him miss the Dolphin’s game. With or without Gronk, [VIDEO] Brady’s recent interception issues raise some eyebrows.

Peyton Manning showed a sudden decline in 2015. He ended up with 17 picks on the year, as stated by ESPN, and was benched for a few games. His quarterback rating was 43.9 percent. Manning started to miss open receivers, struggled with accuracy, and tossed questionable interceptions. While the quarterback said he was dealing with plantar fasciitis, the decline of the NFL star was sad to watch. Brady injured his Achilles tendon recently.

If Brady starts to get worse, benching him is not a good option. They traded backup Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers at the end of October. Current second- stringer Brian Hoyer is far from playoff material.

Is Tom Brady still recovering from an injured Achilles tendon or is “Father Time” starting to ring his doorbell? Fans will have to see how Brady plays against the Steelers this Sunday. A loss would mean that the Patriots cannot get the top AFC seed.