Pro Football Focus has ten stats about New England Patriots QB Tom Brady that paint a pretty good picture of where he stands as a player entering his age 39 season. I won’t spoil all of it, so check out the stats for yourself, but here are some highlights.
Brady makes sure the offense gets out to a fast start
The Patriot love getting out to an early lead to put the opposing defense on their heels and Brady is one of the best in the business. Brady completed 72.1% of his passes, according to PFF, which is the 3rd best in the NFL.
To be fair to Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, both have done a great job in the first quarter. Garoppolo ranks 8th of the 29 quarterbacks with 20+ pass attempts in the first quarter. Brissett has completed 5 of his 7 attempts.
Brady gets the ball out faster than almost every quarterback in the league
While Brady has had to compensate for a weak offensive line, his quick passing game is a product of his ability to dissect a defense in the blink of an eye. “It took an average time of 2.26 seconds from the snap for Brady to attempt a pass, which was the second-lowest mark in the NFL,” per PFF.
Garoppolo was getting better, but Brissett struggled to get the ball out quickly. Brady will make the offensive line and the rest of the players look better.
Brady has gotten better against pressure every year
Brady likes talking about improving his skill set to keep up with the younger quarterbacks and he’s done a great job at getting better against pressure. Brady completed just 56.3% of his passes under pressure in 2012, which ranked 21st in the league. Since then, Brady “has improved his accuracy under pressure every year since then, with a 66.7% mark in 2015.”
The fact that Brady saw more pressure in 2015 than ever before means that his ability to handle pressure is an even more important asset. Hopefully the offensive line is better for Brady in 2016.
Brady still has a deep ball
In 2015, Brady “was accurate on 44.8% of his passes that traveled 20 or more yards in the air, the highest figure for him since his exceptional 2007 campaign. In addition, he ranked in the top 10 in that category for the first time since the 2011 season.”
For comparison, Garoppolo is 4 of 7 (57.1%) on passes 20+ yards down the field, while Brissett is 1 of 10 (10.0%).
Many harp on Brady for not connecting with his receivers down the field, but he hasn’t really had a good, consistent outside receiver since Randy Moss. Brandon Lloyd and Brandon LaFell proved to be nothing more than single-season stopgaps, but hopefully Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell can provide some value down the field.
Click here to see the other stats, including Brady’s ability in the clutch, how his drops compare to the rest of the league, and his relationship with Julian Edelman.