Throwing the deep ball has certainly been an issue for Tom Brady this season, but Sunday’s game against the Steelers was definitely one of his better performances during the Patriots’ 55-31 rout of Pittsburgh.

Brady had a terrific game throwing the deep ball on Sunday, hitting on over 70% of each of his throws down field after completing 8-of-11 (72%) on what the league classifies as “deep” attempts (over 15 yards). Here’s a breakdown of those throws, including which players accounted for his completions:


Tom Brady’s starting to find his groove throwing the ball downfield.
(USA TODAY Images)

Deep Left: 5-of-7 (71%) 208 yards, 4 Touchdowns

Aaron Dobson: 2-of-4 for 98 yards, 2 TD’s
Danny Amendola: 2-of-2 for 91 yards, 1 TD
Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-1 for 19 yards, 1 TD

Deep Middle: 1-of-1 (100%) 27 yards

Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-1 for 27 yards

Deep Right: 2-of-3 (67%) 55 yards

Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-1 for 34 yards
Danny Amendola: 1-of-1 for 21 yards
Aaron Dobson: 0-for-1

Looking at his regular season totals, it’s hard not to notice how impressive the above numbers are when you take into account the offense’s entire body of work this season (you can view the entire season and passing chart here). Overall Brady’s had most of his success throwing down the left side of the field compared to the right, completing 15-of-29 to the left compared to just 3-of-20 when targeting receivers deep on the right side of the field.

When looking at the numbers from the deep middle portion of the field, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowksi has already accounted for almost a third of Brady’s completions in that zone, having hauled in three passes in the last three games since coming back from his injury. Overall Brady’s 10-of-24 for 244 yards when throwing to that zone this season, but he’s 4-of-7 just in the last three games now that Gronkowski is back. Needless to say that will be something to watch in the weeks ahead.

Sunday was certainly a great sign of what the Patriots passing game is capable of. Now we’ll just have to see if they can continue to build on it when they resume their season one week from Monday against the Carolina Panthers.

GROGAN BELIEVES IN THIS YEAR’S TEAM:

Former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan said in this week’s edition of Grogan’s Grade (Now Available) that after watching what this team has done so far, he feels that despite all the injuries, Bill Belichick may be able to bring these players together on the defensive side of the ball and make them a championship contender.

“If anybody can, he can,” Grogan said when asked if Belichick can mold an entirely new half of a defense over the remainder of the season. “He’s shown over the years that he can have people go down and plug in other guys, and they get the job done. Having a bye this week will give them some extra time and certainly get some guys healed up a little bit and it comes right in the middle of the season almost, which is a good thing.

“I think time will tell on this defense, I’m not ready to say they’re going to take them to a World Championship, but they’re certainly talented enough, they have enough good players out there that they can do that.”

BILL BELICHICK WIRED UP:

In a rare moment for Patriots fans, head coach Bill Belichick apparently agreed to be wired for sound during New England’s match-up against Pittsburgh on Sunday and the results were, as usual, definitely interesting. NFL.com has a three minute segment of the footage available, and you can CLICK HERE to view it.

ON TO THIS MORNING’S LINKS:

A very short list this morning, but here is what was available:

BOSTON GLOBE:

Patriots shouldn’t get too confident after beating Steelers – Ben Volin – Volin offers up his midweek report and feels although the Patriots played well Sunday, the result was more of a factor of how bad Pittsburgh is right now.

BOSTON HERALD:

Bye week not the time for Patriots to take it easy – Karen Guregian – Guregian files her notebook this morning and writes that while having a bye week is all well and good, this is the time of year that separates the contenders from the pretenders.

Dante Scarnecchia in need of some old magic – Karen Guregian – Guregian has an article this morning on Scarnecchia, and has comments from the Patriots coach who said they have to do a better job of protecting Tom Brady moving forward.

Watertwon’s John Cacace named Patriots’ HS Coach of the Week – Dan Ventura – Ventra has an article this morning on the fact Watertown High School’s John Cacace has been named this week’s New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week in recognition of his team’s 31-22 playoff victory over Triton on Friday, Nov. 1 at Triton Regional High School.

ESPN BOSTON:

Midseason Report: New England Patriots - Mike Reiss – Reiss offers up his midseason report, and tries to answer the “how are they doing it?” question people are wondering as the Patriots sit at 7-2 at just past the halfway point.

NESN:

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady Joke About Size of Shane Victorino, Red Sox Players Before Patriots Game (Audio) – After being wired for sound, Belichick and Brady offered up some funny quotes from Sunday’s game in this entry.

WEEI:

Dante Scarnecchia: ‘I have to do a better job’ Helping Offensive Line Cut Down on Sacks – Mike Petraglia – Petraglia has a good piece of his own on Scarnecchia, who feels neither he nor his players ‘should be satisfied with anything’ and that they’ve still got a lot of work to do.