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.