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Has Tom Brady Lost His Playoff Magic?

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Akash ACorrespondent IJune 26, 2016

NOTE: This Article was initially featured on New England Sports Online.

We all know that early in his career Tom Brady never put up gigantic numbers or marvelous statistical seasons, but his claim to fame was his ability to win in clutch situations. He was compared to Peyton Manning despite being obviously statistically inferior because of his abilities in the postseason.

His playoff record coming into Sunday's game against the New York Jets stood at a gaudy 14-4, but after the loss his playoff record is 14-5, still impressive, but not quite superhuman. In his last three postseason starts, Brady is 0-3.

Obviously, this is a great factoid for Patriot haters to hang their hat on, but if we look at the last three playoff games there is only one game which you can point at Brady and say that he was a genuine liability to the Patriots: against the Baltimore Ravens last year.

Brady certainly did not play at his MVP level during the Super Bowl against the New York Giants, nor did he play at a high level against the Jets on Sunday.

However, in both games Brady was sacked five times. Generally, sacks put a team in a passing situation, often resulting in 3rd-and-longs. Therefore, Brady became predictable, and was naturally less effective.

In the Giants loss, Brady did not have a statistically great game, but he threw for 229 yards and a touchdown, enough to put the Patriots in the lead and give the team a chance to win. 

In the Jets game, Brady turned it on midway through the second half. Brady started hitting receivers, and put the Patriots within striking distance. But, the Jet offense made the Patriot defense look like Pop Warner, peewee players.

Brady is certainly at fault for those two losses, but both those losses were team failures, not an individual failing to step up.

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