Tom Brady on Pace for over 7,000 Yards and 50 TDs: How Close Can He Get?

Andrew McCluskeyCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2011

Tom Brady on Pace for over 7,000 Yards and 50 TDs: How Close Can He Get?

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    How does a 7,520-yard, 56 touchdown season for a quarterback sound? 

    It sounds like a season you would put together playing Madden 12 on rookie difficulty. 

    Right now, those are the final numbers that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is on pace for. He has put up 940 yards passing and seven touchdowns over the first two games of the season. 

    He came up just five yards short for setting the record for most passing yards over the first two weeks of the season. 

    Now it isn't realistic or fair to expect that Brady could possibly keep up this pace. He is human. 

    The question still remains. 

    Just how good can Tom Brady's stats be? 

    Here are five factors to consider when projecting out the rest of Brady's season. 

He Is Well Protected

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    The key to any quarterback's success is the ability to keep him off of his back and give him time to throw. 

    The Patriots have done an excellent job of protecting Brady over the years which only makes him more of a nightmare for defenses. Brady uses a combination of great blockers and excellent pocket footwork to give him time the extra seconds necessary to complete passes.

    There have already been several occasions this season where Brady has had a comical amount of time to throw the ball. 

    Beyond the offensive line guys like Rob Gronkowski and Danny Woodhead who can pick up the blitzes make No. 12's life a lot easier. 

    Giving Brady time to throw is always dangerous, but maybe more importantly is the protection will keep him healthy. 

    The only games Brady has missed in his career were in 2008 when he tore his ACL in game one. 

    You can count on Brady to be on the field, and you can count on him to keep putting up numbers. 

The Schedule

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    Even after going 14-2 last year, the Patriots schedule is shaping up to be less than intimidating. 

    Looking down the list of potential tough matchups for Brady, there are only four that could be tough. 

    You have the two games against the division rival New York Jets, but Brady has proven he can be successful against them. Then they have Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on Weeks 8 and 12 respectively. 

    Even so, Pittsburgh allowed Joe Flacco to throw all over them in Week 1, and the Eagles haven't been quite as dominant as everyone expected. 

    The rest of the games on the schedule are either going to be potentially huge games for Brady or teams that shouldn't pose too much of a shut down threat. 

    Weeks against Buffalo or Kansas City could be field days for Brady. 

    Of course there will be some defenses that step up that week and will slow him down. 

    However, the odds are certainly in Brady's favor. 

His Weapons

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    The 2007 Patriots offense appeared to be a dream team. 

    It is hard to imagine that New England could possibly have a better set of weapons this year than they did in 2007, but I believe that is the case. 

    The biggest piece missing is obviously Randy Moss and his threat of the deep ball. In his place, you have have two monsters at tight end as well as new threats out of the backfield. 

    Rob Gronkowski has the size of an offensive linemen with the skill set of a tight end. Watching him catch a pass 20 yards down field and seeing how the smaller corner backs bounce off of him is almost comical. 

    Aaron Hernandez brings a wide receiver skill set with the size of a normal tight end. Based on the first two weeks of the season, Hernandez's role is going to be as a slot receiver of sorts which only makes him a scarier match up for defenses.

    Brady has a running back to go to in almost any situation or place on the field. The options are limitless. 

    All of this and we are still leaving out Wes Welker and Deion Branch. As well as Chad Ochocinco if he can ever get on track with the rest of the offense. 

    Brady has proven that he isn't afraid to throw any of his weapons. So how do you game plan him? Who do you shut down?

    This will be the question that opposing coaches will be losing sleep over for the rest of the season. 

They Don't Let Up

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    As we saw in 2007 and have seen recently, the Patriots do not let up on the gas pedal even when they have a big lead. 

    The New England mentality is to play until the whistle blows. It is not their job to stop their offense for opposing defenses. 

    If they feel that the best way to win the game when up 35-0 with two minutes left is to throw the ball down field, then that is what they will do. 

    This will only lead to more chances for Tom Brady to stay in the game and put up numbers on opposing defenses. The opposing teams and fans may not like it, but that is not going to stop Bill Belichick from calling that pass play. 

    There are very few teams in the league that will make as bold of calls as Belichick will. Fourth downs are just another down to the Patriots. 

    He has such confidence in Brady and his offense that he doesn't hesitate to put the ball in their hands. 

    So as the season progresses and the stats continue to pile up, you know that you will be seeing Brady getting plenty of chances to light up the scoreboard. 

He Is Tom Brady

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    It is just that simple.

    Tom Brady has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league and one of the best to have ever played the game. 

    He has proven that he can beat any defense. He has shown that he can put up huge numbers in any situation. 

    He has won Super Bowls. He has broken records. 

    At this point in his career why would we doubt that he can put up more earth shattering numbers? 

    Brady has become a master of his craft. Not only does he understand the offense, but he understands defenses. He puts his teammates in the best situations to succeed. 

    It is incredible how easy he makes it look at this point of his career. 

    So when asking questions like if he possibly keep this up, the response should be, do we have any reason to doubt him?