Pro Football Focus grades are like free pizza for football nerds everywhere, but here’s a stat you don’t need a 1-through-100 grade to appreciate:
The last man to sack Tom Brady was Eli Harold.
Eli plays linebacker for the Detroit Lions.
If, for some reason, you want to see that again, it’s at about 8 minutes in here. I’ve personally purged that game from my memory already, like when you leave a burger on the grill too long and take one bite and then go “Welp, not doing THAT again”.
That was September 23rd, on Sunday Night Football, and here we are cruising into the weekend in style and it’s been (counting on my fingers) 12 days and counting since Brady’s been sacked.
Tom Brady hasn't been sacked for eight quarters.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 5, 2018
And because this will never not be funny to me, here’s the offensive line that’s by and large kept Tom Brady clean:
LT - a guy that San Francisco didn’t want that the Patriots acquired for a fifth-round pick
LG - a third-round pick that barely tipped 300 lbs at the Combine
C - an undrafted free agent
RG - a 6’1’’ guard from a triple-option offense
RT - a guy most of us (me included) left for dead (if you’ll pardon the expression) after his disastrous run with Dave DeGuglielmo coaching the O-line. Oh, and he BEAT CANCER.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, everybody who said New England was discount-double-screwed if they didn’t draft Kolton Miller!
It seems like 800 lifetimes ago now, but at this point last year, let’s not forget that with almost the same personnel, Brady was getting the kale beat out of him at a record pace - through 5 games, he’d been hit 50 times. This year? Through 5 games, the Pats offensive line is barely even allowing half of that punishment - they’ve given up 6 sacks and 25 total quarterback hits all season.
Now THAT’S how you defend the wall!
I mean, just look at how much freaking time Tom Brady had to throw on the Josh Gordon touchdown last night. He could’ve made a sandwich and checked Instagram back there.
THE COLTS MUST BE TEABAGGED— Dante SCAREnecchia (@SomeCallMeGoose) October 5, 2018
Brady to Gordon! pic.twitter.com/35wyZVzDdF
One final note, based on the good old eyeball test, is that Trent Brown appears to be steadily improving with his run-blocking, which, if you remember when he got here, was supposedly something like making him play ping-pong left-handed. Check out this Baldy Breakdown detailing Brown’s technique in the Miami game:
.@Patriots #TrentBrown has been good at LT. Far from perfect but for a 5th round pick, healthy, and only 25 I think he will get better and better. Lots to like through 4 games. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/sjaka2GnXH— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 4, 2018
Bonus: make sure you watch the Baldy Breakdown all the way till the end for a Marvel-scene-after-the-credits style look at why Belichick’s cool with paying Dwayne Allen a few million to block.
And for the record, there’s only one team with more sacks than Indianapolis this year, and if you’re the optimistic type (just kidding, there’s no optimists in New England, everybody knows that), the O-line playing at this level might be just what the doctor ordered when New England faces off with...