New England Patriots logoNew England Patriots

Patriots Hurt by Tom Brady's Accuracy Woes

Oct 20, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) calls signals during the second half of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 30-27 in overtime.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
James ChristensenContributor IOctober 23, 2013

Tom Brady has been victimized by poor receiver play this season—including 25 drops after Week 7—but his performance has been far from beyond reproach. Brady himself agreed during his postgame press conference, courtesy of the team's official website: "The balls have to be better thrown. Everyone has to look at themselves and do a better job, because what we’re doing right now isn’t good enough.”

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Brady connected on just four of his 20 passes that traveled 10 or more yards in the air and had 24 total incompletions. 

One play in particular highlighted how Brady has played this year. It illustrates his ability to manipulate defenses, recognize coverages and find open receivers. However, it also shows his inability to connect with those same receivers down the field.

The scene was 1st-and-10 on the 33-yard line with 1:21 left in the fourth quarter. The drive ended with a field goal, but the New England Patriots would have loved to score the go-ahead touchdown. 

Photo: NFL Game Rewind
Photo: NFL Game Rewind

The New York Jets are showing a Cover 2 look with man coverage underneath. The safeties are splitting the field in half. Aaron Dobson is lined up at the "X" receiver position with rookie Dee Milliner across from him.

Photo: NFL Game Rewind
Photo: NFL Game Rewind

After the snap, the Cover 2 man under look is confirmed. Brady looks to be reading the right half of the field, with Rob Gronkowski inside and Dobson outside. Dobson needs to get by Milliner without getting too close to the sideline, where Milliner will use it as a second defender.

The Jets safety here is reading the patterns of Gronkowski and Dobson, while keeping an eye on where Brady is looking.

Photo: NFL Game Rewind
Photo: NFL Game Rewind

Brady has all the time in the world with a clean pocket in front of him. Dobson is already passing Milliner on the outside, while Gronkowski is about to cross the face of his defender. The safety is in a very difficult position here.

Brady wants to go to Dobson here, but he keeps his discipline. He gives Gronkowski another quick glance inside.

Photo: NFL Game Rewind
Photo: NFL Game Rewind

That subtle look from Brady causes the safety to flip his hips and commit to the seam route. Meanwhile, Dobson is a step clear of Milliner and pulling away. He has given Brady enough space to work with on the sideline, and this should be an easy throw.

Photo: NFL Game Rewind
Photo: NFL Game Rewind

The ball is now in the air, and the safety is toast. Milliner is over a yard back and has no chance to break up the play. Any ball in the field of play in front of Dobson is going to go for big yardage, if not a touchdown.

Photo: NFL Game Rewind
Photo: NFL Game Rewind

Unfortunately for Brady and the Patriots, his pass lands a full four yards out of bounds, giving Dobson—capable of making some crazy circus catches—no chance at making the catch. Any pass near the black triangle is a huge play for the Patriots, assuring them of a field-goal try and giving them over a minute to score a touchdown.

If the Patriots are going to compete for a ring this February—and not just a playoff berth—Brady is going to have get accuracy under control. 

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices