New England Patriots: Brady Continuing Success by Taking Care of the Ball
Tom Brady has had a handful of outstanding seasons in his career, with some so great that they will make what has been an extremely solid 2012 season look like a down year.
Brady's success has been not just about what he has done, but also about what he has stopped himself from doing—turning the ball over.
Through New England's first 11 games of the season, he has thrown 24 touchdown passes to just three interceptions for an unbelievable 8:1 touchdown/interception ratio. Should Brady hold at that number or even improve it, it would go down as one of the top two seasons in his career in that regard (in 2010, he threw 36 TD against 4 INT for a 9:1 ratio).
Brady has not just taken care of the ball through the air. Thanks to his pocket presence, he has yet to lose a fumble, which would be the first time in his career that he made it through a year without one. He has actually fumbled twice, but both were recovered by the Patriots.
Some would criticize Brady for feeling imaginary pressure at this point in his career—as you see when he ducks with no rusher there—but as much as that may look bad, it has also been a major reason why Brady's ball security continues to be so strong.
Brady's play throughout the season has not been perfect, especially when looking deep down the sidelines for Wes Welker or Brandon Lloyd, as he has done repeatedly without much success this season. However, Brady has the Patriots sitting in familiar territory heading into December, when they will be able to contend for one of the top two spots in the American Football Conference playoffs this January.
As long as Brady can continue to take care of the ball, the Patriots will once again be a force to be reckoned with when they take the field this postseason—though the reinsertion of All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski in time for the playoffs would not hurt them, either.
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