QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
HT: 6-4, WT: 210, Born: 8-3-1977, College: Michigan, Drafted: Round 6
|Outlook • Career Statistics • Game Logs • Split Stats • Play-by-play • Latest News|
Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: A Johnson (31), L Fitzgerald (32), Tom Brady (33), D Wilson (34), P Manning (35)
Position: A Rodgers (15-QB1), D Brees (21-QB2), Tom Brady (33 - QB3), P Manning (35-QB4), C Newton (39-QB5)
Click here for a comparison of these players.
People talk about Tom Brady slowing down, and perhaps he is, but two 4,000 yard seasons in a row with 30+ touchdowns three years in a row would be a very slow decline. The biggest concern with Brady isn't really about Brady himself. Both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are still recovering from off-season surgery and one or both might not be around to start the season. Brady lost one of his other favorite weapons in Wes Welker and while Danny Amendola is a younger and perhaps better in some ways version of Welker, he has been banged up the last two years. The rest of the receivers consist of a journeyman, two rookies and some unproven talent. Brady has always elevated his receivers more than they've elevated him, but is there a tipping point where he just can't squeeze blood from a stone anymore? Brady is Brady, but the changes around him do make his production shakier than it normally is.
Latest NewsPatriots | Danny Amendola gets on same page with Tom Brady (Tue May 21, 02:49 PM) - New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola is working on getting on the same page with QB Tom Brady. The two worked out together earlier in the offseason in California and are now taking part in organized team activities. 'I said it today; he darted me in the chest with one ball, and inside my head I was like, 'Wow, this guy can really wing it,'' Amendola said after Tuesday's practice. 'That's why he's Tom Brady.' Our View: The chemistry between Amendola and Brady should build quickly. Amendola is set to play the Wes Welker (Broncos) role in the offense this year. The two players have a similar skill set and in fact it was Amendola who followed Welker at Texas Tech. If he can stay healthy for a full season then Amendola should catch over 100 passes in the Patriots' high octane offense.
link to story Patriots | More on Tom Brady (Mon May 20, 12:45 PM) - Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady started working with former major league pitcher and quarterback tutor Tom House this offseason, and Brady feels his mechanics are better than ever. 'The same way Tom Martinez was always there to watch and give me corrections, Tom House has told me why certain corrections need to be made,' Brady said. 'Look at a baseball swing and a golf swing. It's all mechanics. Look at how Barry Bonds swings. Look at how Floyd Mayweather punches. Mechanics. When you've got to fit it into the tightest windows, mechanics are crucial.' link to story Patriots | Tom Brady confident (Mon May 20, 08:22 AM) - New England Patriots QB Tom Brady said he is more confident with his arm and throwing mechanics than ever before. Our View: A confident Brady is a dangerous Brady. We'll see if the new additions at WR will help Brady become a more effective passer downfield. We'll also see how Danny Amendola does filling in for Wes Welker (Broncos) in 2013.
link to story Patriots | Struggle to throw 20 or more yards downfield (Thu May 9, 06:59 PM) - It has been since a long time since the Patriots have been effective throwing downfield. Over the last five seasons, only 11.8 percent of the Patriots passes to wide receivers have been 20 or more yards downfield. That is the second-lowest rate in the NFL during that time. Our View: The Patriots have tried to address the WR position through free agency, but players like Brandon Lloyd haven't really worked out. In the 2013 NFL draft the Patriots added two WRs known for being good downfield targets. Second-round pick Aaron Dobson (Marshall) and Josh Boyce (TCU) should help alleviate the Patriots deep passing problems.
link to story
|1||at Buffalo Bills|
|2||New York Jets|
|3||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|4||at Atlanta Falcons|
|5||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|6||New Orleans Saints|
|7||at New York Jets|
|11||at Carolina Panthers|
|13||at Houston Texans|
|15||at Miami Dolphins|
|16||at Baltimore Ravens|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Tom Brady had a solid game, and many are going to point to this game as evidence that a fundamental change has happened in New England. Brady’s post-game interview where he said that they’d like to only throw 25 passes a game may throw panic into the hearts of NE fantasy owners. But the truth doesn’t always lie with the box score. Early in the game, Brady tried to hit a deep ball on the first drive. He went play-action and delivered a deep strike to Brandon Lloyd. It was a perfectly thrown ball that Lloyd completely played wrong and should have been at the very least a long gain, and if Lloyd had just kept running, would have been a TD. Later on the next drive, he hit Gronk crossing the field on play-action for 28 yards which setup the touchdown to Hernandez on the next play. As the Titans defense focused on Gronkowski, Brady bought time, stepped forward into the pocket and threw an easy TD to Aaron Hernandez. In the first half, the Patriots offense scored 2 out of 4 drives, and the Titans actually did a pretty good job on two of the drives, sacking Brady once, and playing good defense on the back end. Then the Patriots opened up the second half with two punts, and when they finally scored in the third quarter, it was primarily on the back of a short field and some nice runs by Ridley. The real reason Brady’s numbers were down is because the Patriots were up 21-3 at the end of the half, and he just didn’t throw it all that much in the 2nd half. The defense was able to keep Tennessee out of the endzone until the game was well in hand, and whether the Patriots continue to run the ball this much will greatly depend on how well their defense plays in upcoming weeks. The one fundamental change that I did see in this game was Brady looking downfield more than he did last season. In previous seasons, the dump-off pass to Welker was a staple of the offense. With Gronkowski and Hernandez running the middle of the field, and Lloyd finally bringing a downfield threat to the WR corps, Welker’s role was significantly cut back, although we’ll have to see if that was a one-week aberration or a trend.
Week 2 - His very first pass was deflected at the line, and intercepted. Brady’s yardage stats were okay in the end, but it turned out that first play was harbinger of things to come. The Arizona defense was tough, not giving Brady much time to throw. Brady for his part was accurate but often hurried, and the majority of his throws were of the shorter variety. Even when Aaron Hernandez went down, he still had four reliable targets to choose from. But the big play eluded him. His best chances came with Gronkowski, who eventually did catch Brady’s lone TD pass. Brady spread the ball out well, but when the chips were down, it was pretty clear that a) on third downs, Welker was his first look, and b) Gronkowski is his man on all downs when going for the last minute score. In fact, near the end, Brady was really heating up on that final drive, but then threw out of reach on the 2-pt conversion that would have tied the game.
Week 3 - Brady was as good as the stats indicate. He hit a season high in completions and passing yardage while tossing balls to eight different receivers. The Michigan product was accurate and poised despite receiving just 75 yards rushing from his running backs. He only tossed one touchdown, but he threw for at least 40 yards on five of the Patriots six scoring drives with the only exception coming on a shortened field thanks to a Baltimore turnover. In fact, both rushing touchdowns came from inside the five yard line, limiting Brady’s redzone chances. Also, his obvious rapport with with Brandon LLoyd was hard to miss. Brady didn’t miss a beat without Aaron Hernandez.
Week 4 - The Patriots struggled more than the scoreline would indicate on offense in Buffalo, but none of those struggles could be blamed on their quarterback. Brady's biggest problem during the day was the play of his receivers. Brady was consistent from the off, but his receivers weren't. Brady's first big play was a typical deep pass to Rob Gronkowski. Brady hung in the pocket, felt some non existent pressure, before readjusted to hit Gronkowski deep down the sideline with an excellent pass. That ghost pressure that Brady initially felt may have been a reflection on his expectations of his depleted offensive line. However, Brady was foolish if he thought they would restrict him. Brady threw from a clean pocket all day. His great pocket presence helped, but there were only a few times when he needed to show that off. The Patriots first touchdown was a running play, but the next two both showed off Brady's awareness of his surroundings. On both plays he had time in the pocket, but the first, a pass to Danny Woodhead, he escaped to his left when no receivers were free and the second he dived into the endzone himself after going through his reads at the goalline. Along with two wide open passes that went for touchdowns, one to Gronkowski up the seam and another to Brandon Lloyd down the sideline, Brady was in typically productive form. With Rob Gronkowski having an inconsistent day and Stephon Gilmore shutting down Brandon Lloyd with excellent coverage, Brady consistently threw the ball to Wes Welker. Welker and Brady were on the same page all day, and outside of the receiver's fumble, their performances were reminiscent of all of last season when Welker put up over 1,500 receiving yards. Outside of one inaccurate pass, that Stephon Gilmore should have intercepted early on, and another when a defender, Gilmore, made an excellent play to nearly intercept the pass, Brady was near perfect in his individual performance.
Week 5 - Brady routinely was a step ahead of the Denver defense with his quick decision-making and pinpoint accuracy. He targeted Welker often, as many as five targets on a single drive, which beat the blitz and single coverage. Early in the game, Brady’s lone mistake was missing a wide open Rob Gronkowski for a potential big gain. His throw was high enough that the oversized tight end could not make a play on the ball. Most of the game featured Brady in the spread formation, running the hurry up from the shotgun, and controlling the defense at the line of scrimmage. Brady was pressured more in the second half, which contributed to the game not turning into a blowout. In the fourth quarter, Brady was pressured into a would-be interception if not for Von Miller dropping the pass. When attempting to ice the game by going for it on fourth down, Brady was sacked and fumbled, giving Denver a short field to close the gap. Brady’s great play early in the game was a big reason for the huge lead that New England nursed to a 10-point win later in the second half.
Week 6 - Most fantasy footballers fail to look past the box score when they see Tom Terrific drop a stat line that reads: 395 passing yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. They will fail to notice that it took a season high 36 completions on a season high 58 attempts to get there. Many will look past the fact that New England’s run game - who put up 200+ yards in their previous two contests – failed to crack 100 yards against a very stout Seattle defence in arguably the toughest stadium to play in, in the NFL. Fact is, what needed to happen for the Seahawks to win, did. Brady played a fairly inefficient game for his standards at Qwest Field on Sunday afternoon and after getting off to a hot start – leading the Patriots to three scoring drives in their first four possessions – things quickly cooled off for the All-Pro QB. Brady threw two extremely inopportune interceptions, one on a forced ball to WR Deion Branch that was beautifully picked off by CB Richard Sherman and the other on a tipped pass intended for WR Wes Welker inside the 5 yard line that S Earl Thomas intercepted in the end zone. Despite the yardage total, the physicality of the Seahawks secondary caused issues for the Patriots WRs all afternoon which resulted in Brady completing just 62% of his attempts. The Patriots played mainly from no huddle and shotgun, limiting Seattle’s pass rush to just one sack and a handful of QB pressures. This was strictly a volume game from Brady who we may not see approach 58 pass attempts in a game for the rest of the season. Costly errors in Seahawks territory were the downfall for Brady’s bunch, errors that are sure to be corrected before their week 7 clash with division rival New York.
Week 7 - Tom Brady had a difficult time establishing offensive rhythm against a rejuvenated Jet defense. The Patriots tried establishing a more balanced offensive attack, but Brady was plagued by some early Brandon Lloyd drops. During his team’s first drive, Brady threw a perfect ball down the middle of the field that ricocheted off of Lloyd’s chest. This play would have resulted in a 40-yard gain. On the next play, Brady went right back to Lloyd, but Lloyd ran an incorrect route and Brady threw the ball away. During his team’s second drive, Brady allocated all six of his pass targets to his tight ends. Brady capped the drive off with a beautifully thrown, corner route to Rob Gronkowski for a 17-yard touchdown. Brady put the pass over the top of the defense into a place where only Gronkowski could come down with it. Gronkowski dove for the pass and hauled it in. During his third drive, Brady was once again victimized by a critical Lloyd drop on a deep post route. This play would have resulted in another 40-yard gain. Brady was visibly upset after Lloyd’s drop.
After halftime, Brady made a conscious effort to complete some short passes to develop some rhythm. During his first drive after halftime, Brady threw short screen passes to Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, and Lloyd for short, intermediate gains. These completions set-up a 21-yard gain to Welker on a quick screen, a 16-yard seam route to Aaron Hernandez, and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski on an out-route.
At the end of the game, special teams placed Brady into some difficult situations, but he was able to make plays when his team needed them. With 1:32 to go in the fourth quarter, Brady methodically led the Patriots down the field into field goal range. Brady completed two straight passes to Gronkowski for 27 yards before completing a quick dump off to Danny Woodhead for 20 yards. Brady threw a beautiful deep ball down the left sideline to Lloyd, but the pass once again bounced off of Lloyd’s chest. Lloyd was defended by Antonio Cromartie, but Brady fit the ball into a tight window. Lloyd has to make that catch for his quarterback. This drive resulted in a game-tying field goal as time expired. In overtime, Brady continued to nickel and dime the Jet defense, finding his slot receivers and running backs over the middle of the field. These plays set-up Stephen Gostkowski’s game winning field goal.
Week 8 - Brady took advantage of some pretty horrendous Rams’ secondary play for a huge fantasy day. His first touchdown to Brandon Lloyd was as easy as any of them. Lloyd ran a post fade, beating the Rams defense by a good five yards and Brady lofted a pass to the wide open receiver in the end zone. Though the Patriots second drive ended in a touchdown run, it was all on the passing game to get there. Brady hit Rob Gronkowksi twice for 25 yards to move the Patriots quickly down the field. The first connection was another coverage breakdown but the second was just a perfectly thrown ball right over the defender to hit Gronkowski in the seam at the one yard line. Brady hit Gronkowski three more times on the team’s third drive, the final two into tiny holes. They first connected on a 15 yard cross that Gronkowski turned into a 32 yard gain, and then Brady squeezed a bullet into tight coverage for a seven yard touchdown. Brady’s third touchdown went to Lloyd, who was again wide open on a slant. Brady only played one drive in the 4th quarter but it ended fittingly, with another touchdown. This time Gronkowski ran a seam route and two Rams defenders watched him run between and by them. Brady spotted the wide open target and hit him with a 14 yard touchdown.
Week 10 - Facing a Bills defense he usually shreds, Brady had a rather unspectacular game on Sunday, relying on a consistent running game coupled with Bills defensive penalties and a short passing attack to get the victory. Brady’s first throw was near catastrophe, as Marcell Dareus was able to get his hands into the throwing lane, popping the pass straight up into the air. George Scott had perhaps his easiest INT ever, but couldn’t secure the ball and it fell harmlessly incomplete. Just like their first game, Brady went right to his favorite slot receiver on the next play, hitting Wes Welker across the middle for seven yards and the 3rd down conversion. Still working the short passing game, Brady looked to Brandon Lloyd on his next throw three plays later on the quick slant for seven yards. Deion Branch ran a short out for five yards from the slot the following play. With the Bills passing defense on their heels and wary of the short game, Welker burst up the seam essentially uncovered and Brady couldn’t have thrown a better ball. Part sun and part stone hands, Welker could not corral the throw, dropping what was sure to be an easy 34-yard TD. After another quick toss to Branch on an out picked up six on 3rd and five, the drive nearly took another turn for the worse as Buffalo just missed another INT. Brady tried to hit Branch on a hitch, but the pass bounced off Branch’s hands and shot straight into the air. Leodis McKelvin had the INT in his arms, but Branch made a solid defensive play, ripping the ball out as McKelvin went to the ground and forcing the incompletion. Brady’s next drive started deep in Buffalo territory on the Bills’ 13, but his only two throws fell incomplete. However, as was the case too frequently in the first half, penalties wiped both out as George Wilson and Stephon Gilmore picked up two pass interference penalties in the end zone setting up a short TD run. Brady’s best throw came on the following drive, another that resulted in a TD. After Welker again easily beat McKelvin for 19 yards, Brady dialed up Gronkowski. Working over the middle, Brady’s throw to Gronkowski took a tremendous amount of touch as Nick Barnett sat beneath the coverage. Brady was able to drop it just over the leaping Barnett and into Gronkowski’s arm for 24 yards (his longest throw of the day). After Welker victimized the coverage again for seven yards, Brady hit Danny Woodhead (the first of three consecutive touches) on a short arrow route for 15 yards followed up with a screen to Woodhead for seven yards. Brady’s next drive only saw two completions, but 54 yards in pass interference penalties (the first of which was an embarrassment to the officiating crew) took the offense down the Buffalo one yard line. Working off a play fake to Ridley, Brady lobbed a pass to Gronkowski in the corner of the end zone and the TE made a tremendous diving catch to register Brady’s first TD of the game. Like the Bills, the Patriots struggled to get much going on their first drive of the 2nd half. Trying to get Gronkowski in space, Brady hit the TE on a screen, but was chopped down fairly quickly after a five-yard gain. Brady found Lloyd on an 11-yard out four plays later. After two failed runs, Brady dropped back to pass, but the interior of the line crumbled resulting in the lone sack of the day, forcing the punt. Brady started the next drive in Buffalo territory and appeared quite determined after the failings of the previous drive. Working with no huddle and exclusively from the shotgun, a quick strike to Branch for 13 yards followed by another short shot to Welker over the middle for six had the Patriots in the red zone in a mere two plays. Two plays later, feeling pressure from the edges, Brady stepped up and threw a quick strike to Woodhead over the middle. Woodhead took the short toss 18 yards into the end zone for Brady’s 2nd TD of the game. Like a broken record, Brady went back to the short game the following drive, finding Branch on a short out for seven to kick the drive off. Welker ran free the next play, picking up another catch over the middle for 12 yards. Solid coverage forced an incompletion to Woodhead before the drive stalled on six-yard slant to Lloyd came up two yards short of the sticks. Taking over at their own one following the Jackson fumble, Brady tried to throw his way out of the poor field position. Dareus was able to get a hand on Brady’s first pass, batting the ball down. Welker’s stone hands made another appearance, dropping a short drag despite essentially no coverage. Clearly uncomfortable in the pocket on 3rd down, pressure forced an errant throw to Branch, sailing well out of bounds. Looking to drive the final nail in the Bills’ coffin, the Patriot offense took over at the their own 32 for their final drive of the game. With pressure again coming from the edges (namely Mario Williams who just missed Brady multiple times) on 3rd down, Brady stepped up and found a sitting Lloyd for 13 yards. After a failed deep strike to Gronkowski that sailed over the TE’s head, Welker made amends for his drop on the previous drive. Catching the quick screen in the flat and seeing a flooded field in front of him (with Bills’ defenders), Welker came all the way back across the field, slipping a tackle on the sideline before Jairus Byrd finally made the tackle 23 yards down field. Brady’s final completion on the day was another short strike, hitting Lloyd on a curl for five yards before the drive stalled with consecutive incompletions to Branch and Woodhead. After lighting Buffalo up in their first meeting, Brady and the offense clearly struggled to finish drives, especially when the penalties dried up in the second half.
Week 11 - Brady had a typical Tom Brady game. Throughout his career, Brady has had plenty of easy games but this may have been the easiest of all. The Colts' secondary couldn't stick with the Patriots receivers at all, while the pass rush rarely got any pressure on him in the pocket. Big returns from Julian Edelman on special teams and scoring turnovers from the defense meant that Brady never left first gear. Even when throwing into the endzone, Brady didn't get much resistence as he threw two wide open passes to Rob Gronkowski and a well run slant route to Julian Edelman at the goalline. Ryan Mallet likely could have won this game today with the way it went.
Week 12 - For the fifth straight week, Tom Brady delivered a masterful, dominant performance. Early on, Brady had some difficulty establishing rhythm against a motivated Jet defense. However, the Patriot defense and special team units created turnovers that led to three second quarter scoring drives. After a Mark Sanchez red zone interception, Brady engineered a balanced 15 play, 84 yard drive that culminated in a three-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker on a quick out-route. Brady completed just three of his six pass attempts, but each completion went to Welker, who continues to terrorize Ellis Lankster. After the Jets forced a Shonn Greene fumble, Brady hit Shane Vereen on a wheel route for an 83-yard touchdown. Brady recognized Vereen’s ideal match-up against Bart Scott and audibled into the play. Brady would finish off his second quarter scoring barrage by hitting Julian Edelman on a deep post route for a 56-yard touchdown. Edelman beat LaRon Landry deep down the middle and Brady hit him in stride. Coupled with additional special teams and defensive touchdowns, Patriots scored 35 second quarter points and took a 35-3 advantage into halftime.
After halftime, Brady continued to air it out, completing 10 of 14 passes for 125 yards. The Jets gave Brady all of the easy, intermediate throws and he capitalized. After the Jets cut the Patriot lead to 23 points, Brady engineered a 17-play, 87 yard drive that culminated with a Brady one-yard rushing touchdown. Brady crushed any hopes of a second coming of the ‘Miracle at the Meadowlands’.
Even without Rob Gronkowski, Brady took 53 of 66 snaps with ’12’ personnel on the field. Brady had no problem exploiting the Jets’ nickel defense without Gronkowski at his disposal.
Week 13 - Despite the win, Brady did not have a very good day fantasy or otherwise. Aaron Hernandez dropped his fair share of early targets and Brady missed plenty of opportunities. Despite the 40 attempts, Brady did not reach 250 yards. Brady missed Julian Edelman, who was wide open, on a deep route early in the game. His interception was a bad decision throwing to Hernandez on a deep route that was well-covered. In addition to Brady’s inaccuracies, he took multiple sacks that killed scoring drives. Brady was sacked in field goal range that turned Gostowski’s attempt into a long one, which was missed. Two sacks and Welker dropping an easy touchdown where part of the worst red zone sequence of the day for New England’s offense. Instead of icing the game with a touchdown, Miami stayed in the game. Brady was only in a groove once this week. In the late first quarter through the early second, Brady and Welker were on the same page for multiple catches. When it mattered most, Brady came through in the fourth quarter. With a seven-point lead, Brady led a 14-play, 78-yard drive to ice the game. He had timely throws to Welker and Brandon Lloyd down the stretch. Week 13 marked just the second time this season that Brady threw for less than two touchdowns and under 300 yards in the same game.
Week 14 - The Patriots finally decided to quit messing around with a balanced offense and instead put the ball in the hands of their best player, Tom Brady. In response Brady was sensational. He threw for three touchdowns in the first half and completed 14 of his first 16 passes. Brady's first touchdown came on a pass to Aaron Hernandez. On the play, Hernandez lined up in the backfield with Brady in the shotgun. Brady took the snap and threw a strike to Hernandez who was running a quick out. His tight end caught the pass and turned upfield for the score. Brady's second pass came on a toss to the middle of the field to Brandon Lloyd. His receiver had run a deep slant and gotten away from the covering Texan, making for an easy score. Brady's third touchdown was on a quick toss to Hernandez to the left side. Brady took the snap and immediately turned and fired to his tight end. Brady's best throw came on a 63 yard touchdown toss to Dante Stallworth. On the play, Brady stood tall in the pocket and delivered a high, arcing pass to Stallworth in stride for his fourth touchdown of the game. Brady was calm and collected both under center and out of the shotgun. Despite being rushed on most plays, Brady minimized the “happy feet” that had plagued him throughout the season. As a result, he had perhaps his best performance since week 1 of last season. He stood tall in the pocket, hit the open man, and generally had little trouble carving up the Texans' defense.
Week 15 - Tom Brady had two separate games, as he was unable to generate any offense in the first 35 minutes of the game. With his receivers unable to gain separation, pressure collapsing the pocket and numerous fumbles by his running backs, Brady’s offensive output was severely limited. He showed great accuracy even when his receivers were tightly covered, as a hard throw to a tightly covered Brandon Lloyd hit the receiver right in the pocket, threading an impossibly small needle. But when the pressure tightened Brady’s pocket, the quarterback was unable to deliver balls with the same accuracy. On his first interception, Brady ran a play action and locked on to Wes Welker streaking down the middle. Welker was double covered and pulled up, gesturing for pass interference while Carlos Rogers ran past and caught the deep throw. With some drops by Lloyd and Hernandez while the 49ers collapsed the pocket, Brady was completely frustrated. But when the 49ers took a 31-3 lead, Brady seemed to have a complete competitive melt down on the field, spiking the ball while screaming at the referee over a disagreement on whether or not the 49ers got a timeout off in time. After the lead got so wide, the 49ers seemed to relax a bit while Brady became enraged, and the quarterback threw hard quick throws again and again, hitting his receivers and tight ends immediately. The 49ers gave a cushion and Brady was able to exploit the space, running timing routes to perfection and leading the Patriots up and down the field, scoring 28 points in 14 minutes. The second touchdown of this scoring run was a quarterback dive at the 1 yard line, as Brady leapt over his linemen. The third score was a quick out route to Hernandez, delivered perfectly to his tight end’s shoulder and Hernandez was able to turn in to the end zone. The Patriots were able to tie the score behind Brady’s pinpoint accuracy on quick slants and hooks, but on the final drives the 49ers were able to tighten the coverage and once again generated the pressure that had so disrupted Brady in the first half. With the pocket collapsing and his receivers unable to separate quickly enough, Brady was unable to sustain the offensive explosion. In his frantic attempts to bring New England back and win the game, Brady’s 65 attempts were the highest of his season. Brady also threw a second interception when running a screen to Hernandez. The tight end had taken a big hit the play before and flinched, pulling back as the ball arrived at the same time as a defender. With Hernandez recoiled, the ball bounced off a 49er defender and in to the hands of Aldon Smith.
Week 16 - The Patriots dug themselves into an early 10-0 deficit on the road against Jacksonville. Brady struggled with accuracy, pressure in the pocket, and tightly-covered receivers to an ugly 3-for-8, 50 yards, and two interceptions stat line in the first quarter. Both interceptions could be at least partially blamed on the receivers. Stevan Ridley bobbled a wheel route that was popped up in the air for the defender to make a play. Brandon Lloyd failed to come back to the football, which allowed a defender to cross his face on the route over the deep middle. After two turnovers and a three-and-out in their first four possessions, the Patriots offense gained some traction. Brady was visibly coaching up the rest of the offense on the sidelines to turn the game around in the middle quarters. It worked as Brady got into a groove in the third quarter. Wes Welker fueled a touchdown drive before the half and scored himself on a goal line out route to give New England a 23-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. Brady failed to keep the ball away from Jacksonville late in the fourth quarter with an untimely sack on third down with just a seven point lead. Brady rebounded from a poor start to have a solid statistical game (267 yards, two touchdowns), but he was clearly off most of the game.
Week 17 - As New England gets ready for another deep playoff run, Brady was on point in the blowout win against Miami. The wind was definitely a factor in the northeast as Brady’s accuracy as just slightly off at times. That said, Brady owned the Miami defense with 140 passing yards and a touchdown in the first quarter alone. Each of the first three drives ended in Miami territory as New England passed on field goal attempts in the wind and converted one of two early fourth downs. Brady built a 21-0 lead by halftime behind 279 total yards and 18 first downs. That included missing connections with Brandon Lloyd multiple times deep down the field. The second half was all about controlling the clock and ending the game quickly for the Brady and the Patriots offense. Rob Gronkowski was on the field minimally, but Brady did connect with him down the seam for the cherry-on-top touchdown in the fourth quarter for the comfortable win. Unlike Houston and Atlanta, New England played well and impressed in their final regular season game to get ready for the playoffs. With nine touchdowns in the final four games of the season, Brady got to 34 passing touchdowns for the third straight season to go along with over 4,800 yards.
Week 19 - Despite a sluggish start, losing what is arguably the best TE in the NFL on the 2nd drive and one of his favorite targets out of the backfield, Brady and the New England passing offense easily waltzed their way to another AFC Championship appearance. A rare three and out to start, Brady clearly had the offense warmed up by the 2nd drive. Brady opened with consecutive completions to TE Aaron Hernandez for a combined 11 yards. Two plays later, with TE Rob Gronkowski lined up in single coverage on the outside against a DE, Brady immediately attacked the mismatch. The throw sailed just a bit and even though Gronkowski was able to make the catch, he was unable to get both feet in bounds. Not only was the throw incomplete, but also Brady lost the TE for the game, as he appeared to reinjure the same arm he broke in week 11. Not to be deterred, Brady connected with Welker on an out for 11 yards and a 1st down on the following play. After a sack pushed the offense backed, Brady went right back to Welker, picking up 11 yards on a quick screen. Brady again found Welker on the following play, who had plenty of room to run after the catch, but the WR who was 2nd in the NFL in drops couldn’t make the catch. The following drive, Brady connected with Stevan Ridley for 13 yards to pick up one 1st down before going right back to another RB on the next play. Shane Vereen lined up out wide and ran a quick five-yard curl. With coverage well off, Vereen was able to gather the pass before slipping the initial tackle and get up field for 25 yards. The following play, Brady hit Hernandez as he burst out of the backfield for 14 yards, getting down the Texan one-yard line. Like most expected the Bengals to do the week prior, Brady continued to use Welker underneath to take advantage of a severe mismatch. After missing Welker on 2nd down, Brady went right back to his WR who took the short throw for a 30-yard ride. Welker dropped another short toss three plays later and then Brady short-hopped Brandon Lloyd on his next throw two plays later. Brady went back to Vereen on a screen the next play, picking up 12 yards on 2nd and 25 before overshooting Hernandez on a deep post in the end zone. By far his favorite target, Brady opened the throwing on the next drive with an incompletion to Welker. Undeterred, Brady went right back to Welker on an out for 12 yards. After a quick seven-yard toss to Lloyd, Brady and the Pats had their longest play of the game. After running jagged, short routes underneath, Welker went vertical and Brady delivered a perfect ball. Welker was able to run underneath the deep throw and corral the throw with one hand for a 47-yard gain. Brady dropped back on the following play and easily connected with an uncovered Vereen in the flat for an eight-yard TD. Rare, and conservative, Brady and the Pats had a quick three and out just before half with the QB throwing consecutive incompletions to kill the drive. With the Texans scoring 10 straight, Brady and the offense responded with their 1st drive out of halftime. After a misfire to Lloyd to kick the drive off, Brady hit Welker underneath for six yards and Hernandez on a crosser for five yards. Another quick screen off play action to Welker for six yards on 1st down before Hernandez used a quick out (and blatant push off) to turn the short toss into a 40-yard gain and move the offense into the red zone, resulting in another TD. Another quick three and out followed the TD, but Brady picked the offense back up. Brady hit Hernandez for 14 yards on a quick slant before finding Lloyd on the same route for seven more yards. Three plays later, with the defense clearly struggling to adjust to the quicker tempo, Brady went right to Lloyd on the quick hitter for the five-yard TD pass. With a big lead, and the Texan offense turning the ball over on downs, Brady continued to attack on the following drive. Another perfect throw, Brady saw a mismatch with Vereen lined up out wide and dropped the pass just over the coverage for a 33-yard TD, Brady’s 3rd of the game. Brady and the offense followed with another three and out before driving the final nail in the coffin on the Pats’ final drive. After a penalty extended the drive on the initial 3rd down, Brady hit Lloyd for a quick eight yards on 3rd and two to all but run the clock out. Brady finished the day with three TDs and well over 300 yards passing and most importantly, no turnovers.
Week 20 - Because of the wind conditions, the Patriots' passing attack wasn't overly aggressive in the first half. They relied on a combination of Stevan Ridley's running between the tackles and quick passes/screens to the team's receivers. Brady wasn't doing too much, but he was making good, quick decisions to allow his playmakers outside to carry the offense down the field. His first touchdown pass of the game was as easy as a screen pass, as the Ravens blew a coverage at the goalline to allow Wes Welker a free release to the pylon. Regardless of the wind conditions, Brady didn't throw the ball as he typically does. He never really got into rhythm with his receivers and repeatedly missed them slightly throughout the game. While the wind obviously played a factor in that, it appeared to be affecting him much more than Joe Flacco. With his team down by 15 in the fourth quarter, nine minutes to go, Brady couldn't connect with Wes Welker on third down, before scrambling out of the pocket and essentially throwing the ball away on fourth down. At that point, it appeared the game had been lost. On the very next drive, Brady found Wes Welker for a 30+ yard gain, before he had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted. It was an interception that came completely from bad luck on Brady's part and excellent awareness from Parnell McPhee. Fittingly, the game came to a close when Brady underthrew Brandon Lloyd in the endzone for an easy interception by Cary Williams. Brady's deep passing had been off all night. It was a major reason his team lost.