The calm before the storm. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Revenge. It's a term that has been thrown around for this Super Bowl. Specifically, how will Tom Brady and the Patriots exact revenge on the New York Giants for stopping the dream season from hell of 2007. Everyone knows that head coach Bill Belichick doesn't like to lose, but he especially doesn't like to lose two in a row. Whether those two in a row are consecutive games overall, or games against the same team, Belichick will use everything in his arsenal to ensure the team will not lose the second time.
So let's look at the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick history. How do they fare in same season rematches? How do they follow up a same season loss? How do they follow up a season-to-season loss? How often do they lose consecutive games to the same team?
Let's find out.
Same Season Revenge
Here's a list of games in which the Patriots lost the first match-up of the season, but faced the team down the road:
Week 2 Jets 10-3 * Brady's first ever game. Avenged: 17-16 win in Week 13. Brady's QBR: 93.3
Week 4 Dolphins 30-10. Avenged: 20-13 win in Week 16. Brady's QBR: 91.6
Week 10 Rams 24-17. Avenged: 20-17 win the Super Bowl. Brady's QBR: 86.2
Week 5 Dolphins 26-13. Avenged: 27-24 win in Week 17. Brady's QBR: 68.5
Week 1 Bills 31-0. Avenged: 31-0 win in Week 17. Brady's QBR: 122.9
Week 7 Steelers 34-20. Avenged: 41-27 in AFCCG. Brady's QBR: 130.5
Week 6 Broncos: 28-20. Avenged: DNF. Loss 27-13 in the AFCD. Brady's QBR: 74
Week 9 Colts: 27-20. Avenged: DNF. Loss 38-34 in the AFCCG. Brady's QBR: 79.5
Week 10 Jets: 17-14. Avenged: 27-16 in the AFCWC. Brady's QBR: 101.6
Brady was injured and did not play the 2008 season.
Week 2 Jets: 16-9. Avenged: 31-14 in Week 11. Brady's QBR: 98.6
Week 2 Jets: 28-14. Avenged: 45-3 in Week 13. Brady's QBR: 148.9
Week 3 Bills: 34-31. Avenged: 49-21 in Week 17. Brady's QBR: 113.7
Week 9 Giants: 24-20. Avenged: TBD.
Total Record: 10-2
Brady's average QBR Scores:
Career QBR: 95.3
Same Season Revenge QBR: 100.8
Same Season Revenge Victory QBR: 105.6
Same Season Revenge Loss QBR: 76.75
The questions lies in if the Giants have Brady's number. Here are some facts from Brady's Revenge Games:
Teams the Brady-led Patriots have lost to in consecutive games:
Denver Broncos - '01, '02
San Diego Chargers - '02, '05
Denver Broncos - '05, '05, '06, '09
Indianapolis Colts - '05, '06, '06
New York Giants - '07, '11
As you can see, the Patriots are pretty good at not losing to the same team twice, especially not in the same season. The only two teams to beat the Patriots twice in one season are the '05 Broncos and the '06 Colts and they managed to string together four and three consecutive victories against the Patriots.
Brady's Statistics in Revenge Games:
Same Season Revenge Stat Line:
10-2 Record (0.833)
63.9% Completion Rate
238.1 Yards/Game (note: dragged down from his first two seasons. Has broken the 300 yard mark in past three same-season revenge games.)
Multi Season Revenge Stat Line:
28-8 Record (0.778)
63.7% Completion Rate
Career State Line:
140-42 Record (0.769)
63.7% Completion Rate
What can we learn from these numbers?
Record: Brady's record in same-season revenge game is above his regular season record. While it's a small sample, the Patriots definitely have a little more success when playing a team after losing the first round.
QBR: Again, Brady's QBR is slightly above his career numbers.
Completion %: Fairly consistent. Brady is hitting the same percentage of throws.
Yards/Game: These numbers actually drop because 25% of Brady's revenge victories came during his first season as a starter and he was more of a complementary piece during that season. In recent times, he's exploded in the rematch.
TD/Game: Fairly consistent, like the Completion %.
INT/Game: Probably the most important factor is the turnovers. Brady turns the ball over much less (almost half as much) in the rematch. This is a crucial factor as turnovers are one of the leading indicators of victories.
Are Brady and Belichick, the Avengers, a myth? If we're looking at a season-to-season level, then yes, I don't think the '07 season will have any impact on the success of the '11 team. However, I do think there's some magic in the same season revenge games. Limiting turnovers is crucial and, after handing over the ball four times in the first round, the Patriots cannot and, hopefully, will not do the Giants any favors with easy field position.
The Giants are the only team with an active multi-game win streak against the Patriots. The Patriots have beaten the Broncos (x2, the same number as their multi-game streaks), the Chargers, and the Colts during this Redeem Season, the only three teams to hold multi-game win streaks against Brady and Belichick.
Hopefully the Patriots can end one more streak this season.