QB Tom Brady - New England Patriots
|6-4, 210||Born: 8-3-1977||College: Michigan||Drafted: Round 6|
Week 20: vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. New England defeated the Steelers 27-16 at Heinz Field back on October 23rd, 2016. However, in that game Ben Roethlisberger sat out due to his torn knee meniscus cartilage that had been surgically repaired just prior to the Week Seven game. Tom Brady threw 19/26 for 222 yards, two TDs and threw zero interceptions while taking zero sacks during the contest. However, his lead receiver that day, Rob Gronkowski (four targets for 4/93/1 receiving) is now on I.R. (Julian Edelman was second in receiving at Pittsburgh with 10 targets for 9/60/0 receiving). Brady threw 18/38 for 287 yards, two TDs and two interceptions vs. Houston last week, looking a little out-of-synch with his receivers due to heavy pass pressure (two sacks for -8 yards and several other hits/pressures). He did find his running backs for two short TD passes (seven targets for 2/23/1 receiving to Dion Lewis; one for 1/19/1 to James White). Edelman (13 targets for 8/137/0 receiving) was the main receiver last weekend, as per usual. Two games ago Brady blew up the Dolphins in the regular season finale, throwing 25/33 for 276 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions with zero sacks taken before Jimmy Garoppolo cleaned up the 35-14 shellacking. Edelman (13 targets for 8/151/1 receiving), Michael Floyd (four for 3/36/1) and Martellus Bennett (five for 3/33/1) all hauled in scores during the rout. Wide receiver Chris Hogan said on Tuesday, January 17 that he feels good after exiting the game early with a thigh injury against the Houston Texans last weekend. '[I] just had a little minor setback in the game,' Hogan said. 'I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day.' Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News as the weekend approaches to see if Hogan can practice/get in the mix for the Patriots this weekend. Also, receiver Malcolm Mitchell (knee injury) appears to have a solid chance to play in the AFC Championship game, according to a source - the Patriots may have a plethora of targets available for Brady against Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh kept Alex Smith and company bottled up for most of the game at Kansas City, allowing just 20/34 for 166 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown (with one sack for -6 yards generated). Even so, they needed a holding call on a two-point conversion try to fend off the Chiefs 18-16, but when the final gun went off it was Pittsburgh with a sloppy 'W' (the Steelers kicked six field goals last weekend, never finding the end zone in 60 minutes of play). Pittsburgh beat up Dolphins' backup Matt Moore in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, sacking him five times for -36 yards while allowing 29/36 for 253 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown. From Week 15-17 of regular season (the last three weeks, with no teams on bye), Pittsburgh has averaged 17 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (10th-least in the NFL); and 17 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (tied for seventh-least); with 9.1 fantasy points given up per game to tight ends (13th-most). During regular season the Steelers averaged 242.6 net passing yards allowed per game (16th in the NFL) with 20 passing scores given out vs. 13 interceptions and 38 sacks generated (tied for 15th in the NFL and tied for ninth-ranked, respectively). In the post-season, the team has averaged 209.5 net passing yards allowed per game, a significant improvement over their regular season average. Pittsburgh's pass rush could pressure Brady in this game - it looks like a tough matchup is in store for the Patriots' offense in this game.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2016 Week 19 vs HOU (18 / 38 / 287 / 2 / 2 pass, 4 / -1 / 0 rush)
Though the final score doesn't show it, Tom Brady has had better games. Under pressure for much of the game, Brady was out of sorts minus a few drives. In fact, he matched his season interception total (2) in this game alone, something that won't fly if the Patriots want to win their next playoff game. His first INT was a pass to Michael Floyd that was equal parts blame assigned to Brady and Floyd. Brady led Floyd a bit too much on a slant route, and though Floyd could have caught it, the end result was a turnover. Brady's second interception was entirely his own fault, as he threw a very questionable pass into heavy traffic for a deflection and pick. On the plus side, Brady did connect on several deep balls, including one to Chris Hogan and two to Julian Edelman. His touchdowns were both to running backs. The first was a simple swing pass to Dion Lewis, who sped by a linebacker for a score. The second was a great stutter route by James White, who, like Lewis, beat a linebacker in coverage. Despite that, the theme of the game was a subpar Patriots offense helped out by an opportunistic Patriots defense.
2016 Week 17 vs MIA (25 / 33 / 276 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
In Week 17 last year, the Patriots frittered away the #1 seed with an odd gameplan and poor execution as they lost to the Dolphins in Miami. This year, they took care of business, and as usual, they were led by trusty Tom Brady. Brady was in full rhythm, particularly with Julian Edelman, as the offense took care of business for the most part. Brady's first touchdown was a shorty to Martellus Bennett, who simply scampered up the seam and beat a defender off the snap. His second was a slant to newcomer Michael Floyd, who willed his way into the endzone, dragging defenders in the process. It was an amazing display by Floyd, and a key play in the game. Brady's final touchdown was a 77 yarder to Edelman, who received help on a crushing block by the aforementioned Floyd. The game was all but over as the 4th quarter churned on, and eventually Brady was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo. There were no huge negatives to speak of for Brady, as most of his missed connections were due to pressure or decent coverage. Another year, but the same story for Brady and company: onto the playoffs.
2016 Week 16 vs NYJ (17 / 27 / 214 / 3 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
In this case, the scoreboard did in fact reflect how both teams played. The Patriots dominated the Jets in every aspect of football, so much so that Tom Brady didn't even play the third quarter. When he was in, for the most part, it was all systems go, with the line holding up relatively well, receivers doing their jobs in general, and a few great throws. The defense and special teams also put the offense in amazing position to win, with 4 turnovers generated. Tom Brady's first touchdown was a short seam route to Martellus Bennett, who looked like Rob Gronkowski on the play in the sense that Gronk tends to dominate the seam. His second touchdown went to Matt Lengel, he of the 0 previous career catches. Lengel wasn't the first read, but he came open on an 18 yard post route, and caught a good ball with a defender in coverage. Brady's last touchdown was a 25 yard deep toss to James White, who simply outplayed his coverage. It was a great deep lob by Brady as well, who has really improved his deep passing versus the last couple years. Perhaps Brady's best pass was a rare display of athleticism from Brady, who did a 360 spineroo in the pocket before finding Julian Edelman for 28 yards. Brady and Edelman also narrowly missed a touchdown early in the game, while James White suffered a deep drop as well. Beyond that, fairly few blemishes as the Patriots look to wrap up the 1 seed.
2016 Week 15 vs DEN (16 / 32 / 188 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Tom Brady had an off day, folks. Luckily, his run game and defense helped prop up a lackluster passing effort, though expectations were in check due to Denver's good pass defense. He started off the game 0 for 7, which was a historic low for Brady in that regard. He had several throws that were off target, and whether it was the cold weather, lack of Gronk, defense, injuries, or some combination thereof, there wasn't much to write home about for the superstar. Not much was working besides the short passing game, and Julian Edelman saw nearly half of the team targets. The pass protection held its own, as Von Miller was nearly invisible when rushing the passer, a stark contrast to the last playoff game against the Broncos. The Patriots did cash in on a short field due to a turnover by the Denver special teams, and got to the red zone a couple times. Things will get better going forward, though there are two tough divisional rivals ahead.
2016 Week 14 vs BAL (25 / 38 / 406 / 3 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Besides one egregious blemish, Tom Brady was pretty darn good against the Ravens. Deep in the red zone, Brady was under pressure nearly immediately on a pass play, and heaved the ball in the general direction of a receiver right before he was about to be sacked. That receiver happened to be double covered, and the Ravens intercepted the ball with ease, preventing the Patriots from scoring. Since it was 3rd down, one would have expected Brady to take a sack, but that was not the case. Beyond that, Brady was surgical for much of the day, and the game would have been a blowout if not for special teams miscues that gave the Ravens 14 points in a matter of seconds. Brady's first touchdown was a strike to Malcolm Mitchell on a short slant route, and ball placement made it so the defense had no chance at defending the play. The second touchdown was a 19 yard lob to Martellus Bennett, who snagged the ball away from a defender on a great throw by Brady. The third touchdown of the day iced the game, and it came at a time when the Ravens had scored 20 straight points. It was a bang-bang deep shot to Chris Hogan, who ran right by a defender who had slipped on the play. Brady was also the victim of a series of drops early in the game, yet still found a way to toss over 400 yards. All in a day's work for the living legend.
2016 Week 13 vs LA (33 / 46 / 269 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 1 / 0 rush)
Tom Brady didn't need to be otherworldly against the Rams, as the Patriots defense by and large stymied the Rams offense. In fact, the Rams had 3 points nearly the entire game, scoring their touchdown in garbage time with the game winding down. As a result, Brady played a fairly controlled style with tons of short passes and quick hits. The offense did bog down a bit in Rams territory, which meant Stephen Gostkowski had more field goal attempts than Brady would have liked. Brady's lone touchdown was a nice back shoulder throw to Chris Hogan with pinpoint ball placement. Pass protection was adequate, and Aaron Donald was notably held in check, something teams have struggled to do this season. Without Rob Gronkowski, expect a bunch of short passes going forward, and more variation in receiver packages and sets.
2016 Week 12 vs NYJ (30 / 50 / 286 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / -4 / 0 rush)
It was a tale of two halves for Tom Brady, who looked ordinary for much of the day. The first half of the game was one of his worst of the season, as he barely cleared 100 yards in the air. However, in the final 10 minutes of the game, Brady was 10 for 15 with 132 yards and a touchdown. His first touchdown was a bizarre one, as Brady fumbled a shotgun snap, but somehow the ball bounced right back into his hands, and he fired a laser to Malcolm Mitchell running towards the back of the end zone. Brady's second game winning touchdown also went to Mitchell, who ran a quick out to the left for a score. Notably, Brady also had a near-touchdown on a deep ball to Mitchell, but the defending cornerback knocked the ball out at the last second. Mitchell also had another long touchdown barely go through his hands. It was notable that the Patriots couldn't convert several red zone or near red zone opportunities, something uncharacteristic of the offense. Brady was under pressure for much of the game, which has been a theme throughout his career against the Jets, who always play him tough. Brady was also without top target Rob Gronkowski for much of the game, as Gronk suffered a back injury in the first half. One also wonders if Brady's knee injury coming into the game limited him in some fashion, though this is something we'll never truly know. The 50 pass attempts were a massive amount, but Brady and company did just enough to win.
2016 Week 11 vs SF (24 / 40 / 280 / 4 / 0 pass, 4 / 12 / 0 rush)
The west conditions were definitely a factor for the Patriots in San Francisco. The game was close through halftime as Tom Brady missed multiple deep routes with inaccuracy and took an untimely sack to stall a first half drive. However, Brady's pocket movement was at an all-time high this week. Brady eluded multiple defenders before firing a strike to James White on a comeback route. With pressure bearing down in the red zone, Brady faded to his left and floated a perfect pass to an open Danny Amendola crossing in the back of the end zone. Finally, in a scramble drill moment, Brady delivered a strike right past a defender's helmet to Malcolm Mitchell streaking down the seam for a long catch-and-run touchdown. On a day where the overmatched 49ers hung around for most of the game, Brady's pass-making skills beyond the construct of play design was pivotal to New England winning in the second half. Without Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski, Brady matched his season high with four touchdowns. Once the pair return, Brady will be operating at full weapons capacity with Dion Lewis returning to action in this game. With the Rams, Ravens, and Broncos on the schedule over the next month, Brady will need all of them to continue to thrive.
2016 Week 10 vs SEA (23 / 32 / 316 / 0 / 1 pass, 5 / 7 / 0 rush)
Though the Patriots offense was trending up and the Seahawks defense trending down coming into this matchup, you wouldn't know it based on yesterday's game. Brady and the offense had a rough go of it, with Brady pressured several times and finally tallying his first interception of the season. Brady's interception was actually just a terrible decision, as he threw straight into coverage while scrambling under pressure. There was no reason for the throw, and it was a pretty easy interception for the Seahawks. The one thing Brady did do well was throw the deep lob several times with pinpoint accuracy. Brady's no touchdowns weren't entirely his fault, as it just so happened LeGarrette Blount was able to score three times. However, there were a couple missed goal line connections. The most notable was a 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. Brady threw a fade route to Gronk, and there was plenty of contact between him and Kam Chancellor. The officials decided not to call a foul on Chancellor, which was questionable at best, and the Seahawks won the game. On the prior play, Brady also botched a goal line sneak, as he moved too early and fumbled the snap. Regardless of the outcome, it wasn't a panic moment for the Patriots offense, as much of the damage came against the defense.
2016 Week 8 vs BUF (22 / 33 / 315 / 4 / 0 pass, 1 / 15 / 0 rush)
At the ripe old age of 39, Tom Brady is in a class by himself. He put on an absolute clinic against the Bills on the road, putting the game out of reach by the 3rd quarter. Brady's first touchdown was a thing of beauty, stepping up through the face of pressure and firing to an open Danny Amendola. Had Brady's not been able to slide in the pocket, the play would have resulted in a sack. His second touchdown was another example of mental toughness. Brady had completed a long pass from midfield to Julian Edelman that went to the Bills 1 yard line. However, a holding penalty negated it, so on the very next play, he did nearly the same thing, with a 53 yard touchdown to Chris Hogan. Since that 53 yard touchdown wasn't enough, Brady decided to throw another one, this time to Rob Gronkowski on another deep shot. Brady capped off his scoring with a 12 yard touchdown to Julian Edelman that saw Edelman catch a short pass and narrowly dive into the end zone. Brady had numerous other good plays, and interestingly, played well despite taking several big hits throughout the day. The Patriots go on bye next week, and it's a well deserved one.
2016 Week 7 vs PIT (19 / 26 / 222 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 13 / 0 rush)
Another day at the office for Tom Brady, who wasn't out of this world good, but played well enough to secure a win. Brady had a rougher first half in terms of pressure and receiver separation, but was still able to toss two touchdown passes during the game and continue his streak of turnover-free football. Brady's first touchdown was a short screen to James White who did most of the work, weaving in and out of defenders. His second was a deep shot to Rob Gronkowski on a classic seam route, beating his defender and a safety in coverage. Game script did call for a heavy dose of runs against the Steelers, as the Patriots actually had more runs than passes overall on the day. Brady himself also scrambled a few times, a rarity for the slow-footed star. Brady was also the victim of a couple critical third down drops by Julian Edelman and Brandon Bolden, and the Patriots also had two fumbles which limited further scoring.
2016 Week 6 vs CIN (29 / 35 / 376 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
It was a tale of two halves for Brady and the Patriots offense. The first half saw Brady under continuous harassment by the Bengals defense, and the offense scored all of 10 points. With some halftime adjustments, the offense then rattled off 25 points in the second half, with some savvy plays by Brady himself. Brady's first touchdown was an easy pitch and catch to James White, who beat a linebacker in coverage for a score. White's second touchdown catch from Brady was nearly identical, beating a defender on an out type route. Brady's touchdown to Rob Gronkowski was a thing of beauty even though it was a short score. Gronk ran a curl route in the end zone, and Brady placed the ball low and away from the defender. You couldn't have handed the ball in a better spot, and it was a perfect location with a solid hands catch by Gronk. There were no major blemishes that were Brady's fault on the day besides a narrow Edelman overthrow in the end zone, and though he's only played 2 games this season, he's in late season form already.
2016 Week 5 vs CLE (28 / 40 / 406 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 14 / 0 rush)
Rust? What rust? Tom Brady was absolutely masterful against the Browns, passing for 277 yards by halftime and over 400 for the entire game. His footwork was great, the offensive line held up reasonably well, he went through progressions. In fact, he came out with 6 minutes left in the game because of the lopsided game score. All 3 of Brady's touchdowns were to Martellus Bennett. The first was a walk-in play action fake, where Bennett was so wide open that he literally walked to the end zone for a short 7 yard score. The second touchdown was a nice pitch and catch in heavy traffic, with perfect ball placement and an even nicer clutch grab. The third was an out and up for 37 yards where Bennett simply beat his defender in coverage. Brady also had numerous other deep connections, a promising sign after some struggles with the deep ball over the last couple years. Several were to Chris Hogan, including a 63 yarder in which he could have scored if he didn't have to dive for the ball. Brady also connected on a couple 30+ yard gains to Gronk, who's clearly back from his hamstring injury. With a tough road ahead, Bradyís return came just in time for the AFC East favorites.
Latest NewsPatriots | Tom Brady sloppy in win (Sat Jan 14, 11:55 PM) - New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 18 of his 38 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 34-16 win over the Houston Texans Saturday, Jan. 14. link to story Patriots | Tom Brady takes part in practice (Wed Jan 11, 04:52 PM) - New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (thigh) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Jan. 11. link to story
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