The Indianapolis Colts really struggled to stop New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady without jumping on the backs of his tight ends, or crossing their fingers and hoping that the receiver would drop the ball. Per my count, Brady threw 24 bullseyes on 39 attempts, with an additional 10 passes in the strike zone that required receiver adjustment. Two passes were batted.
Only three passes on the day were considered off target: 1) pass to the short right was too far ahead of tight end Rob Gronkowski with a linebacker riding the big man's shoulders; 2) pass to the short right flat that was wide of receiver Danny Amendola; 3) pass up the deep middle of the field that was well over receiver Keshawn Martin's head due to the Colts pressure getting through the offensive line.
The rest were either perfect passes or entirely catchable.
Tom Brady is still more comfortable throwing to his left
Brady is throwing a bullseye on 68% of his passes to the left, compared to just 56% towards the right. Brady's weakest region is 0-10 yards to the right where he forces his receivers to adjust nearly 40% of the time.
Except on screen passes, where his passes have forced his receivers to waste a step
For whatever reason, Brady isn't hitting his mark on screen passes to the left. Because the distance is so short, the misfires aren't too much of a problem, but you see them highlighted with Dion Lewis. Brady will throw the pass behind Lewis, cutting off his momentum and forcing him to recalibrate his run. Lewis will still collect the pass, but instead of getting the ball and looking down the field, he has to spend an extra step turning his body back up the field.
Brady is still on fire in the <20 yard range
Brady has thrown a strike in 94% of his passes under 20 yards (versus 60% of his 20+ yard passes). 72% of these passes are perfect bullseyes. Brady's command in this region of the field is perfect for the style of quick-passing offense that the Patriots are operating.
But maybe he should throw in the 10-20 range more often
The state of the Patriots offensive line has forced Brady to throw the ball faster than at any other point in his career. This prevents the plays from developing down the field. When Brady does get the opportunity, he's thrown 24 strikes on 27 attempts in this range. If the offensive line ever finds its groove, and possibly with the return of receiver Brandon LaFell to the lineup, the Patriots are sitting on potentially explosive production.