Tom Brady returns to old form

Tom Brady made some excellent throws in the Patriots' win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports

To call the New England Patriots' offense a work in progress through the first part of the 2013 NFL season would be kind. The offseason losses of Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead, in addition to the injuries to Shane Vereen, Danny Amendola and, most notably, Rob Gronkowski, had clearly taken their toll, and a little-known secret has been that independent of the continuity and trust issues with his receiving corps, Tom Brady simply hasn't been playing very well.

But coming off Sunday's 55-31 shredding of the Steelers, it appears as though things might be changing in the Patriots offense's favor. Let's take a look at the reasons why.

1. Brady is back to looking like himself

Even when Brady was missing more open receivers earlier in the season than we've typically seen from him, he was able to remain effective because he excels at all the pre-snap phases of the position, including changing the protections and getting his offense in the best possible play. But on Sunday Brady put the rest of the league on notice that he is back as a passer.