2017 Grade: .573

2017 3rd Down: .734

Week 1 vs. Kansas City: It’s extremely rare that the Patriots lose a game in Foxboro under the Belichick and Brady reign. What’s not uncommon, is Tom Brady shaking off rust early in the season. His accuracy wasn’t as on point as usual, he looked uneasy in the pocket and his lower-body-mechanics were stagnant. This wasn’t an age thing, or a collapse thing, he just had an off night – it happens.

Week 2 at New Orleans: As if we needed another history lesson from Tom Brady, counting him out is not something smart people do. After a lackluster week one, Brady was dynamic in week two. His subtle pocket movement, and the ability to not lose any accuracy under duress, is what makes him so special. The same way pass rushers complained about being a fraction of a second late to Dan Marino, Tom Brady shows off that same trait – time and time again.

Week 3 vs. Houston: Despite putting the ball on the carpet three times, Brady still had an exemplary game. Those plays cost him some points (lack of awareness of backside pressure + poor ball security in the pocket), but he made some positively dazzling throws. On third down, he was an absolute menace, registering nine points on eight drop backs. He isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Week 4 vs. Carolina: Magnifying holes in Brady’s game is a more illuminating task than it is with other quarterbacks. The misses here and there, with most others, are shrugged off – but not with Brady. He had a few misses in this game that we really just aren’t accustomed to seeing. The miss to Dwayne Allen begs the idea of an older, tired arm. I know better than to jump to that conclusion, but it’s something to keep an eye on as the season gets into November and December.

Week 5 at Tampa Bay: Despite having accuracy issues, Tom Brady still had a solid game. He made a couple of nice touch throws on the sideline, he took what the defense gave him, and was dependable on third down. It’s rare to see Brady miss multiple throws a game, or to see him neglect an open target, but he committed both demerits on Thursday. Even Brady’s bad night is an above average score for the rest of the league.

Week 6 at New York Jets: After the first 25 minutes of this game tape (game time, not real time) I was ready to eviscerate Brady. He missed a wide-open post route to Brandin Cooks, was behind on a third down throw to Chris Hogan and made a terrible decision that should’ve resulted in a pick. Then the real Tom Brady showed up, and he was dominant. His corner route to Cooks that set-up the Pats first touchdown was a thing of beauty.

2016: Death by 1,000 Papercuts

Adversity is nothing new to Tom Brady. So when he felt he was unjustly suspended for altering football’s PSI in the 2014 AFC title game, he exacted his revenge on the rest of the league engineering another marvelous season in his highly-decorated career. The Patriots offense held serve while Captain America served his time, but erupted upon his return.

Brady is reverse aging in the sense that his ability to manipulate and move in the pocket is getting better. He finds the slots and angles to give him the best platform to deliver an accurate ball and his passes are almost always perfectly located. His precision allows his pass-catchers to turn quick-hitters into long gains the ball leads them up-field on a variety of routes (jerk, digs, speed-outs.)

The Pats offense is systematic under Brady. As cliché as it sounds, he will take what the defense gives him all game long before sneaking in a shot play – and he rarely misses. If the defense plays off, he’ll motion a back to the perimeter and throw a basic five-yard hitch, quick screen or something for automatic yardage. Just as soon as the defense makes an attempt to cheat on these ‘gimmes,’ he torches them down the field.

He uses more sight adjustments than anyone else. Opposing defensive coordinators better bring their A-game and come up with something he hasn’t seen before because he will feast on basic defenses – particularly generic zone coverages.

He’s surgeon like with his ball placement. It’s a rarity when he misses a throw and even more so that he misses a read. The entire NFL is essentially just waiting for him to hang it up.

Stat Sheet

Click the button below to see the full spreadsheet: