By: Ian Logue
Brady and the Patriots offense has struggled scoring touchdowns in the opening quarter in recent weeks. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Through the first five games of the season New England had no issues scoring touchdowns early on and getting off to a good start. However, for whatever reason, that’s been a struggle in recent weeks.
During the first four games of the season Tom Brady and the Patriots offense reached the endzone on each of their opening drives, and finished the opening quarter with at least a touchdown. They scored touchdowns in each of the first five, putting up 42 points during that span, including 14 points during a week 3 loss to Buffalo.
In the past seven games, they’ve managed just 19 points and have scored just one touchdown in the opening quarter, which came against the Eagles last week down in Philadelphia. They’ve also been shut out during the opening quarter three times, with Pittsburgh and the Giants shutting them out in back to back weeks, along with Kansas City holding them scoreless two weeks ago on Monday night football.
In seven of their 12 games this season, New England has at least managed to get points on their opening possession, scoring four touchdowns (weeks 1-4) and three field goals (weeks 6, 9, and 12).
Overall, they’re 8-1 in games where they’ve put up points in the first quarter, and 1-2 in games where they came up empty.
Here’s a breakdown from each game:
Week 1 at Miami – 6 play, 78 yard drive
Scoring Play: 4-yard touchdown run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Opening Drive
Week 2 vs San Diego – 12 play, 92 yard drive
Scoring Play: 14-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez – Opening Drive
Week 3 at Buffalo – 9 play, 80 yard drive
Scoring Play: 14-yard pass to Wes Welker – Opening Drive
Week 3 at Buffalo – 6 play, 35 yard drive
Scoring Play: 1 yard pass to Rob Gronkowski
Week 4 at Oakland – 9 play, 80 yard drive
Scoring Play: 15 yard pass to Wes Welker – Opening Drive
Week 5 vs NY Jets – 5 play, 64 yard drive
Scoring Play: 3 yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Second possession
FIRST QUARTER SCORING RESULTS FOR WEEKS 1- 5: 42-points
Week 6 vs Dallas – 31 yard field goal – Opening Drive
Week 7 at Pittsburgh – 0 First Quarter Points
Week 8 vs NY Giants – 0 First Quarter Points (shut out first half)
Week 9 at NY Jets – 50 yard field goal (Opening drive)
Week 9 at NY Jets – 36 yard field goal
Week 10 vs Kansas City – 0 first quarter points
Week 11 at Philadelphia – 12 play, 80 yard drive
Scoring Play: 4 yard touchdown run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 2nd possession
Week 12 vs Indianapolis: – 39-yard field goal (opening drive)
FIRST QUARTER SCORING RESULTS FOR WEEKS 6-12: 19 points