Archive for the ‘ Stat Breakdown ’ Category

STAT CHECK: Brady’s Red Zone Numbers Have Dipped a Bit

Brady should be fired up for this rematch with the Jets on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

After a midseason tear, things have cooled a bit down in scoring territory for the the Patriots passing game in recent weeks, which will be something to keep an eye on over these final two games.

Over the past four games quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t quite been himself down in the red zone compared to the previous four weeks, which has seen him throw about half the number of touchdowns and has also included a couple of interceptions.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers:

PREVIOUS 4 WEEKS: 16-of-23 (70%) 11¬†TD’s¬†and no INTs.
LAST 4 WEEKS:¬†10-of-23 (43%) 6 TD’S¬†and 2 INTs

Overall¬†Brady’s¬†41-of-69 (59%) with 24 touchdowns and 2 interceptions inside the opponents’ 20-yard line at this point in the season, and actually ahead of where he was at this point in the year in this category in 2013. ¬†Last season through 14 games he was 36-of-76 (50%) with 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

In their previous meeting earlier this season against the Jets at Gillette Stadium, Brady completed 3-of-6 passing with two touchdowns inside the 20 during their week seven 27-25 win.

The bigger concern is the fact the Patriots have obviously struggled down in New York, where Brady is 2-2 overall at MetLife Stadium and where New England lost 30-27 in overtime last season. ¬†Brady didn’t have a red zone attempt in that game,¬†which¬†was also Rob Gronkowski’s first game back after missing the first six weeks. ¬†The two were out of sync for most of the contest after Brady finished just 8-of-17 targeting him, including a miserable 3-of-7 looking his way in the fourth quarter. ¬†That contributed to the paltry¬†7-of-18 (39%) Brady finished with¬†in the final quarter of regulation, and the Patriots ended up with the loss.

The good news is that Brady’s recent red zone struggles haven’t necessarily kept them from scoring points. New England was 11-of-18 (61%) overall in red zone efficiency over the last four weeks and 3-of-5 in the Red Zone on Sunday, which included a 27-point second half against the Dolphins.

The one thing to consider is the fact that the Patriots have played some pretty strong teams over that span with some pretty good defenses, and even more important is obviously that they still managed to win three out of those four games. ¬†The hope now is that New England starts hitting their stride and that they start playing more consistent football, as both of these games should be tough and they’re still in a battle for the number one seed.

It won’t be long before the postseason arrives, and with two games left hopefully we’ll see this team iron out some of their remaining issues before they start facing teams that will require better efforts.

STAT CHECK: Rob Gronkowski Making Big Plays For Patriots

Gronkowski currently leads the Patriots in big plays for 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has certainly settled back into where he had been prior to the devastating knee injury he suffered in 2013, and as the Patriots head into the final two weeks of the season the veteran is starting to hit his stride just in time for the postseason.

Going back over the numbers following Sunday’s win over Miami, Gronkowski has been the guy who has made things happen in recent weeks, especially when it comes to making big plays in the passing game.

Gronkowski had three plays of 2o-yards or more on Sunday, bringing his overall total to a staggering 15 on the season. ¬†That’s nearly double from that of the next closest player, which is Brandon LaFell, who has seven.

Here’s a quick run down of players who have caught passes from that distance or beyond at this point in the season:

Rob Gronkowski: 15
Brandon LaFell: 7
Julian Edelman: 6
Shane Vereen: 4
Tim Wright: 2
Danny Amendola: 1
Michael Hoomanawanui: 1

Gronkowski also leads the team in passes of 30 yards or more with five on the season. ¬†From there it’s Edelman (4), LaFell (3), Vereen (2) and Tyms who round out that list. You can also see the full breakdown of Patriots receivers by distance and more in our Patriots Stats Database.

Needless to say while it would be nice to have a receiver who could stretch the field on the perimeter, at least they have a guy who is athletic enough to make them a threat down the field. ¬†Hopefully we’ll see him make some plays over these final weeks, as well as even more during the playoffs.

Stat Check: Darrelle Revis in a Class All His Own

It’s no secret that Darrelle Revis has been an important part of New England’s secondary this season, and looking at the numbers it’s hard not to be an awe of what he’s done¬†up to this point.

The most incredible number that stands out is the amount¬†of passes he’s prevented, racking up 14 passes defensed. ¬†That total is good for the sixth highest total in the league and is more than double of any of his teammates:

Revis has obviously been a difference maker in his first season in New England.
(USA TODAY Images)

Here are the top seven players for the Patriots in that category:

Darrelle Revis: 14
Logan Ryan: 6
Brandon Browner: 5
Devin McCourty: 5
Patrick Chung: 5
Kyle Arrington: 4
Malcolm Butler: 4

As far as how the numbers¬†look when you look at how he’s performed on each¬†down, here’s a quick look:

First Down: 2
Second Down: 7
Third Down: 4
Fourth Down: 1

His totals on all but first down as the highest on the team. ¬†On first down it’s Chung who currently has the edge with 3¬†compared to Revis’¬†2.

Revis is also 7th on the team in tackles with 41 including two tackles for a loss.  He also has two interceptions.

Back in week one the Patriots defense allowed 23 second half points en-route to a 33-20 loss to Miami. ¬†At that time Revis was just getting started and this secondary has obviously grown a lot since that football game. ¬†Revis told the Miami media in a conference call on Wednesday that he’s looking forward to getting a shot at redemption.

“You know what, that game was so long ago,” said Revis. “You’ve got to give them credit. Like I said it was the first game of the season, they came out fast and they had us on our heels. At that point we couldn’t stop the run and definitely we struggled in the passing game on defense. Now we get another stab at this ‚Äď a second opportunity ‚Äď and we can change that this week about preparing and being prepared for them this week.”

SPOTLIGHT: Goal Line – Brady and TE’s Shine, RB’s Struggle

Shane Vereen is among players shut out at the goal line in 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

Taking a closer look at the Patriots numbers down on the goal line this season, it’s interesting to see that this appears to be an area where they’ve struggled through the first nine games.

Collectively ¬†they’ve run the ball seven times down on the opponents’ one yard line, while throwing the football three times over that span. ¬†Punching it in has been an issue and so far it’s been Brady’s arm that has carried them.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how it’s played out:


Tom Brady: 3-of-3 (100%) 3 TD’s

Tim Wright: 2 targets, 2 touchdowns
Rob Gronkowski: 1 target, 1 touchdown

Stevan Ridley: 3 carries, 2 touchdowns
Tom Brady: 2 carries, 0 touchdowns
Jonas Gray: 1 carry, 0 touchdowns
Shane Vereen: 1 carry, 0 touchdowns

RUNNING BACKS TOTAL:  7 carries, 2 touchdowns

Penalty: False Start, Bryan Stork – Week 8 vs Chicago

One quick note on these numbers, fans may talk about the loss of Logan Mankins, but it’s interesting to note that both of New England’s touchdowns this season have come over left guard. ¬†Overall they’ve run twice over left guard (two touchdowns), three times up the middle (0 touchdowns), once over right guard (0 touchdowns) and once around right end (0 touchdowns).

Going back to 2013 and where they were through nine games, here’s a quick look at how it played out. ¬†So far Brady’s been sharper down there than he was to this point last season having completed just 2-of-6 (33%) with just one touchdown.


Tom Brady: 2-of-6 (33%) 1 touchdown

Matthew Mulligan: 1 target, 1 touchdown
Aaron Dobson: 1 target, 1 reception – 0 touchdowns
Kenbrell Thompkins: 1 target, 0 receptions
Nate Solder:  1 target, 0 receptions
Julian Edelman:  1 target, 0 receptions
Rob Gronkowski:  1 target, 0 receptions

Stevan Ridley: 4 carries, 2 touchdowns
Brandon Bolden: 2 carries, 1 touchdown
Shane Vereen: 1 carry, 0 yards
Tom Brady: 1 carry, 1 lost fumble
LeGarrette Blount: 2 carries, 0 touchdowns

RUNNING BACKS TOTAL: 10 carries, 3 touchdowns

Down the stretch in 2013 things improved dramatically.  Brady only had one pass attempt (a touchdown to Danny Amendola) but the running back production down there was a key factor over the final seven games.  On five carries the Patriots scored four times, each of which came from four different players.  Stevan Ridley (1 carry, 1 TD), Brandon Bolden (1 carry, 1 TD), James Develin (1 carry, 1 TD) and LeGarrette Blount (1 carry, 1 TD) were all among players who scored from the one-yard line.  The only player shut out was Shane Vereen (1 carry, 0 touchdowns).

Hopefully that same improvement happens this season.

Closer Look: Patriots Ground Game Struggling Compared to 2013

Jonas Gray and the Patriots ground game has a lot of work to do. (USA TODAY Images)

Taking a closer look at the running game for the Patriots through the first nine weeks of the season, it’s interesting to see where they are compared to 2013 at this point in the year.

Since the loss of Stevan Ridley in week six New England has been trying to get Jonas Gray more involved in the ground game along with Shane Vereen, and it’s been a slow transition as they continue trying to get things going. ¬†Considering the fact they had LeGarrette Blount behind Ridley last season, it’s been a little tougher of an adjustment¬†and you can clearly see the overall drop off in production.¬† Looking at the charts below you can see a direct comparison of how much more difficult things have been for them through nine weeks.

Here’s how things shape up:

2014 Week-by-Week Rushing Totals: – View Full Totals


2013 Week-by-Week Rushing Totals: – View Full Totals


ANALYSIS:¬†You can see last season that the team hasn’t had quite as much luck breaking off big runs this season, going for over 20-yards six times through nine weeks in 2013 compared to just once in 2014. ¬†Another¬†stat that sticks out¬†is the number of rushes for no gains or a loss (kneeldowns are excluded from this total) compared to last season, which totals 56 in 2014 compared to 48 at this point last season. ¬†Those numbers had improved against the Jets and Bears, but they had 10 Sunday against Denver, their highest total since their battle with the Bills back in week six.

The good news? ¬†After the drop off in terms of the commitment to the running game against the Jets the Patriots have still been making an effort to run the football, which has helped in the play-action portion of the passing game and remains a critical element in the offense. ¬†We’ve seen improvement on the offensive side of the football in many areas so far this season, so hopefully over the final seven games Gray will continue to grow along with Vereen and put this team in better position to be more competitive over the final month and a half of the regular season.

Brady, Gronkowski, Edelman Set Milestones In Win Over Broncos

Julian Edelman set a franchise record with his fourth career punt return for a touchdown against the Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

Sunday’s win over the Broncos set a variety of milestones for several Patriots players, with some significant marks reached for each of them.

Here’s a quick rundown of what they accomplished against Denver:

  • Tom Brady continues his assault on the NFL record books, making his 200th career NFL start, making him just the 8th player to reach that milestone.
  • With 3:36 to go in the 3rd quarter, Brady completed a 6-yard pass to Julian Edelman, which at the time gave him 51,478 career passing yards, moving him ahead of John Elway for 5th in NFL history.
  • Later on that drive he hit Rob Gronkowski on a 20-yard completion from the Broncos’ 21-yard line, giving him¬†300-yards on the game, which is the 62nd time of his career he threw for that total and tied him for 4th most all time with Brett Favre.
  • One play later he hit Gronkowski for a 1-yard touchdown pass, giving him his 22nd career game with four¬†or more touchdown passes, moving him past Dan Marino for 4th most all-time.
  • Speaking of Gronkowski, that reception was his 50th career receiving touchdown, tying the franchise record for a tight end with former Patriot Ben Coates. ¬†Gronkowski also tied Randy Moss for the 2nd fastest amount of games to reach that mark, with Gronkowski getting there in just 59 games. He later went over 100-yards for the 15th time in his career, extending his Patriots record for a tight end.
  • Meanwhile Julian Edelman also got into the record books. His 84-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was his 4th career punt return for a score, which now gives him the franchise record for that mark.

Lost in the Shuffle: Brady and Wright Razor Sharp Thus Far

So far Tom Brady and Tim Wright have been razor sharp this season. (USA TODAY Images)

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may be getting the majority of attention in the passing game thanks to the big plays he makes and his importance in opening up opportunities for other players, but the guy lining up on the other side this season hasn’t exactly been that bad so far through eight games.

Tight end Tim Wright, the player acquired thanks to the Logan Mankins trade to the Buccaneers, has played unbelievably well so far and has quietly gotten off to a strong start with his new quarterback.  Tom Brady has targeted him 18 times so far this season while connecting 17 times for 182 yards and three touchdowns .  Twelve of those receptions have resulted in first downs, including his three scores.

His last incompletion to Wright was back in Week 2 against Minnesota on a fourth-and-eight play at the Vikings’ 19-yard line with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, his only target¬†in that contest. ¬†Since then he’s 14-of-14 for 167 yards, 11 first downs, including¬†his touchdowns.

Here’s a full breakdown of his numbers through the first eight games:

Tim Wright’s Totals:

Total: 17-of-18, 182 yards, 3 TD’s

Totals By Down:
1st Down: 10-of-10 for 116 yards, 2 TD’s
2nd Down: 4-of-4 for 38 yards, 1 TD
3rd Down: 3-of-3 for 28 yards
4th Down: 0-of-1

Red Zone Totals:
3-of-4 for 33 yards, 3 TD’s

ANALYSIS: At the time it was hard not to be a little apprehensive about the Mankins trade, but at the same time, it was also difficult to believe Bill Belichick would have made the move without feeling like Wright could bring something to this offense. ¬†So far he’s done a good job through the first half of the season and as Rob Gronkowski continues getting healthy along with the success we’ve seen from Brandon LaFell, it’s hard not to believe that Wright will continue to improve. ¬†One of the biggest issues new players sometimes have has been their ability to get comfortable with the system¬†here in New England, but fortunately for now Wright has been one of their more reliable targets in this offense.

Patriots Passing Game Finally Connecting Down the Field

Rob Gronkowski has been a dangerous threat down field the last four games. (USA TODAY Images)

Critics were all over Patriots quarterback Tom Brady through the first four games of the season but as they head into Sunday’s showdown with the Broncos, Brady and the offense are starting to become fairly dangerous when it comes to getting the ball down the field.

Brady had little luck getting on deep throws during the first four weeks, completing just 4-of-28 (14%) on passes of over 15 yards, including a combined 0-of-9 down the deep left part of the field to Brandon LaFell (0-for-6), Kenbrell Thompkins (0-for-2) and Rob Gronkowski (0-for-1).

However, over the last four games it’s been a different story. ¬†Brady’s success rate has risen dramatically, having completed 17-of-27 (63%) on those attempts¬†and looking closer¬†it’s pretty obvious that he’s starting to get more in sync with Brandon LaFell and Rob Gronkowski, both of whom got off to a slow start.

He’s been lethal when targeting both players down the middle of the field, hitting on 4-of-4 to Gronkowski for 74 yards and 3-of-3 to LaFell for 60 yards.

Here’s a breakdown by zone and player through weeks 1-4, as well as weeks 5-8:

WEEKS 1-4:


Tom Brady’s Overall Passing Totals for Weeks 1-4:
Weeks 1-4: 81-of-137 (59%) 791-yards 9 Sacks, 4 TD’s 2 INT’s

Receiving Totals on Deep Throws:

DEEP LEFT: 1-of-13 44yds
Julian Edelman: 1-of-4 44yds
Brandon LaFell: 0-of-6
Kenbrell Thompkins: 0-of-2
Rob Gronkowski: 0-of-1

DEEP MIDDLE: 2-of-6 43yds
Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-2 22yds
Julian Edelman: 1-of-1 21yds
Brandon LaFell: 0-of-3

DEEP RIGHT: 1-of-9 18yds
Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-4 18yds
Julian Edelman: 0-of-3
Shane Vereen: 0-of-1
Danny Amendola: 0-of-1

WEEKS 5-8:


Tom Brady’s Overall Passing Totals for Weeks 5-8:
Weeks 5-8:¬†100-of-144 (69%) 1268-yards 4 Sacks 14 TD’s 0 INT’s

Receiving Totals on Deep Throws:

DEEP LEFT: 4-of-8 86-yards 1 TD
Tim Wright: 1-of-1 30-yards
Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-2 20-yards
Danny Amendola: 1-of-2 19-yards 1 TD
Brandon LaFell: 1-of-3 17-yards

DEEP MIDDLE: 9-of-11 202-yards 1 TD
Rob Gronkowski: 4-of-4 74-yards
Brandon LaFell: 3-of-3 60-yards
Brian Tyms: 1-of-2 43-yards 1 TD
Tim Wright: 1-of-1 25-yards
Julian Edelman: 0-of-1

DEEP RIGHT: 4-of-8 154-yards 2 TD
Brandon LaFell: 1-of-2 56-yards 1 TD
Shane Vereen: 1-of-1 49-yards 1 TD
Rob Gronkowski: 1-of-2 33-yards
Julian Edelman: 1-of-3 16-yards

ANALYSIS: Part of the likely reason for Brady’s improvement has been the fact he’s gotten better protection over the previous four contests than he was early on, having been sacked just four times compared to nine over the first four games. ¬†We’ve also seen a change in Brady’s confidence level in LaFell, which considering the dynamic created by their success connecting in the passing game is starting to have a significant impact on the offense. ¬†

Since the departure of Randy Moss, New England’s ability to strike down field has been an area of contention for a while now and it’s been good to see the Patriots start having more success in opening up the deeper part of the field considering they’ve been known as a team that tends to throw underneath, which against better competition has limited what they’ve been able to do in year’s past. ¬†Hopefully what’s transpired over the past four games is¬†a trend that continues in the weeks to come.

Brady Reaches Milestone in Win Over the Jets

Tom Brady reached another career milestone as he continues his march up the NFL record books.

Tom Brady’s no stranger to the NFL record books and on Thursday night he continued his assault as he continues his Hall of Fame career.

During New England’s win over the Jets Brady moved into sixth place all time in career pass attempts ahead of Warren Moon following an incompletion on first down¬†to Julian Edelman with 13:30 to go in the fourth quarter. ¬†It was Brady’s 6,824th career attempt.

He would have eight more attempts following that play, the last of which was the 19-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 7:55 to go that ultimately ended up being the game-winning play.

Brady also finished the night having thrown three touchdowns and no interceptions for the 40th time in his career, which is currently the 2nd most all-time behind Peyton Manning, who has done it 42 times.

STAT CHECK: Rough Night For Brady on Second and Third Down

Tom Brady struggled in Kansas City Monday night. (USA TODAY Images)

Monday night’s loss out in Kansas City was a rough one for New England’s offense, and looking at Tom Brady’s final numbers, second and third down pass attempts were an area that were an issue for the veteran quarterback.

Here’s a breakdown of the overall numbers:


14-of-23 (61%) for 159 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT


1st Down: 6-of-7 (86%) 87 yards 1 TD
2nd Down: 5-of-10 (50%) 24 yards, 1 INT
3rd Down: 3-of-6 (50%) 48 yards, 1 INT


1st Quarter: 2-of-4 (50%) 12 yards
2nd Quarter: 7-of-11 (64%) 60 yards
3rd Quarter: 4-of-6 (67%) 86 yards 1 TD, 1 INT
4th Quarter: 1-of-2 (50%) 1 yard, 1 INT

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