2020 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: at Chargers
Pick Results: NE: 90.4% at LAC: 9.6%

Sun
Dec 6th

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:
Status
Not open for further replies.

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
Got this idea from some comments in other threads about how Brady is locking on to just a couple of receivers.

Looking at the last five seasons, trying to see how Brady is distributing the ball. The last five seasons featured two Super Bowl-winning seasons, a Super Bowl loss, and AFCCG loss, and then this year, when the team seems clearly in decline. So five different circumstances. Of course, 2016 also featured four games without Brady, but we're still counting all those games and their pass distribution because I don't feel like taking all that out. And 2016 was largely without Gronk, and 2017 without Edelman. So again, every season is different. Nonetheless, here's how it looked.

2014-2018
#1 target: 22.5%
#2 target: 17.6%
#3 target: 15.2%
#4 target: 12.2%
#5 target: 8.7%
#6 target: 6.6%
#7 target: 5.0%
#8 target: 3.9%
#9 target: 2.7%
#10 target: 1.9%
#11 target: 1.2%
#12 target: 0.9%
#13 target: 0.6%
#14 target: 0.5%
#15 target: 0.2%
#16 target: 0.2%
#17 target: 0.1%

Here's what the distribution looked like (top 10 targeted players only) when they won the two Super Bowls (2014, 2016):

2014
#1 target (Edelman): 22.3%
#2 target (Gronk): 21.8%
#3 target (LaFell): 19.8%
#4 target (Vereen): 12.8%
#5 target (Amendola): 7.0%
#6 target (Wright): 5.5%
#7 target (Thompkins): 1.8%
#8 target (Tyms): 1.8%
#9 target (Develin): 1.3%
#10 target (Bolden): 1.0%

2016
#1 target (Edelman): 29.1%
#2 target (White): 15.8%
#3 target (Bennett): 13.4%
#4 target (Hogan): 10.6%
#5 target (Mitchell): 8.8%
#6 target (Gronk): 7.0% (Gronk was hurt for half the season)
#7 target (Amendola): 5.3%
#8 target (Lewis): 4.4%
#9 target (Floyd): 1.1%
#10 target (Develin): 1.1%

So we see, maybe due to the Gronk injury, how much more Brady went to his #1 target (Edelman) than in 2014. Nearly 3 of every 10 of Brady's passes were aimed at Edelman.

What about Brady's recent MVP season - 2017, where he was amazing but they didn't win the Super Bowl? Edelman was out all season.

2017
#1 target (Cooks): 19.5%
#2 target (Gronk): 18.0%
#3 target (Amendola): 14.7%
#4 target (White): 12.3%
#5 target (Hogan): 10.1%
#6 target (Burkhead): 6.2%
#7 target (Lewis): 6.0%
#8 target (Allen): 3.8%
#9 target (Dorsett): 3.1%
#10 target (Hollister): 1.9%

So a much wider distribution among his top 9 guys anyway. And then what about this year?

2018
#1 target (White): 23.0%
#2 target (Edelman): 18.6%
#3 target (Gordon): 13.7%
#4 target (Gronk): 13.5%
#5 target (Hogan): 8.9%
#6 target (Dorsett): 6.5%
#7 target (Patterson): 5.3%
#8 target (Develin): 3.4%
#9 target (Burkhead): 2.6%
#10 target (Michel): 2.2%

Let's compare 2018 with the 2014-2018 overall average:

2018 - 2014-18
#1 target: 23.0% - 22.5%
#2 target: 18.6% - 17.6%
#3 target: 13.7% - 15.2%
#4 target: 13.5% - 12.2%
#5 target: 8.9% - 8.7%
#6 target: 6.5% - 6.6%
#7 target: 5.3% - 5.0%
#8 target: 3.4% - 3.9%
#9 target: 2.6% - 2.7%
#10 target: 2.2% - 1.9%

In other words, he's throwing to his top 10 targets at almost identical rates as he has over the course of his most recent 5-year period. Slightly more to his #1 and #2 receivers (41.6% in 2018 vs. 40.1% from 2014-18). Slightly less to his #3 receivers (13.7% in 2018 vs. 15.2% from 2014-18). Slightly more to his #4 and #5 receivers (22.4% in 2018 vs. 20.9% from 2014-18). But on the whole, it's almost identical rates. Nothing to suggest that his pass distribution is anything out of the ordinary. Interestingly, when they won the Super Bowl in 2014, he was super top-3 target heavy, with 63.9% of his passes going to his top three targets (Edelman, Gronk, LaFell). In 2016, when they won it all again, it was the most top-heavy season, with Brady targeting his #1 target (Edelman) 29.1% of the time.

This year, his top 3 targets (White, Edelman, Gordon) are getting just 55.3% of the targets, so he's spreading it around more. He's definitely not throwing to Gronk as much, but on the whole, he's looking very much like how Tom Brady usually looks in terms of ball distribution.
 
Last edited:

TommyBrady12

Hall of Fame Poster
Got this idea from some comments in other threads about how Brady is locking on to just a couple of receivers.

Looking at the last five seasons, trying to see how Brady is distributing the ball. The last five seasons featured two Super Bowl-winning seasons, a Super Bowl loss, and AFCCG loss, and then this year, when the team seems clearly in decline. So five different circumstances. Of course, 2016 also featured four games without Brady, but we're still counting all those games and their pass distribution because I don't feel like taking all that out. And 2016 was largely without Gronk, and 2017 without Edelman. So again, every season is different. Nonetheless, here's how it looked.

2014-2018
#1 target: 22.5%
#2 target: 17.6%
#3 target: 15.2%
#4 target: 12.2%
#5 target: 8.7%
#6 target: 6.6%
#7 target: 5.0%
#8 target: 3.9%
#9 target: 2.7%
#10 target: 1.9%
#11 target: 1.2%
#12 target: 0.9%
#13 target: 0.6%
#14 target: 0.5%
#15 target: 0.2%
#16 target: 0.2%
#17 target: 0.1%

Here's what the distribution looked like (top 10 targeted players only) when they won the two Super Bowls (2014, 2016):

2014
#1 target (Edelman): 22.3%
#2 target (Gronk): 21.8%
#3 target (LaFell): 19.8%
#4 target (Vereen): 12.8%
#5 target (Amendola): 7.0%
#6 target (Wright): 5.5%
#7 target (Thompkins): 1.8%
#8 target (Tyms): 1.8%
#9 target (Develin): 1.3%
#10 target (Bolden): 1.0%

2016
#1 target (Edelman): 29.1%
#2 target (White): 15.8%
#3 target (Bennett): 13.4%
#4 target (Hogan): 10.6%
#5 target (Mitchell): 8.8%
#6 target (Gronk): 7.0% (Gronk was hurt for half the season)
#7 target (Amendola): 5.3%
#8 target (Lewis): 4.4%
#9 target (Floyd): 1.1%
#10 target (Develin): 1.1%

So we see, maybe due to the Gronk injury, how much more Brady went to his #1 target (Edelman) than in 2014. Nearly 3 of every 10 of Brady's passes were aimed at Edelman.

What about Brady's recent MVP season - 2017, where he was amazing but they didn't win the Super Bowl? Edelman was out all season.

2017
#1 target (Cooks): 19.5%
#2 target (Gronk): 18.0%
#3 target (Amendola): 14.7%
#4 target (White): 12.3%
#5 target (Hogan): 10.1%
#6 target (Burkhead): 6.2%
#7 target (Lewis): 6.0%
#8 target (Allen): 3.8%
#9 target (Dorsett): 3.1%
#10 target (Hollister): 1.9%

So a much wider distribution among his top 9 guys anyway. And then what about this year?

2018
#1 target (White): 23.0%
#2 target (Edelman): 18.6%
#3 target (Gordon): 13.7%
#4 target (Gronk): 13.5%
#5 target (Hogan): 8.9%
#6 target (Dorsett): 6.5%
#7 target (Patterson): 5.3%
#8 target (Develin): 3.4%
#9 target (Burkhead): 2.6%
#10 target (Michel): 2.2%

Let's compare 2018 with the 2014-2018 overall average:

2018 - 2014-18
#1 target: 23.0% - 22.5%
#2 target: 18.6% - 17.6%
#3 target: 13.7% - 15.2%
#4 target: 13.5% - 12.2%
#5 target: 8.9% - 8.7%
#6 target: 6.5% - 6.6%
#7 target: 5.3% - 5.0%
#8 target: 3.4% - 3.9%
#9 target: 2.6% - 2.7%
#10 target: 2.2% - 1.9%

In other words, he's throwing to his top 10 targets at almost identical rates as he has over the course of his most recent 5-year period. Slightly more to his #1 and #2 receivers (41.6% in 2018 vs. 40.1% from 2014-18). Slightly less to his #3 receivers (13.7% in 2018 vs. 15.2% from 2014-18). Slightly more to his #4 and #5 receivers (22.4% in 2018 vs. 20.9% from 2014-18). But on the whole, it's almost identical rates. Nothing to suggest that his pass distribution is anything out of the ordinary. Interestingly, when they won the Super Bowl in 2014, he was super top-3 target heavy, with 63.9% of his passes going to his top three targets (Edelman, Gronk, LaFell). In 2016, when they won it all again, it was the most top-heavy season, with Brady targeting his #1 target (Edelman) 29.1% of the time.

This year, his top 3 targets (White, Edelman, Gordon) are getting just 55.3% of the targets, so he's spreading it around more. He's definitely not throwing to Gronk as much, but on the whole, he's looking very much like how Tom Brady usually looks in terms of ball distribution.

Thanks for this! Do you have a breakdown of Brady and his distribution in critical moments of the game (i.e, 3rd down and RZ)? I think it will be interesting to see if the distribution rates are the same.
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
Thanks for this! Do you have a breakdown of Brady and his distribution in critical moments of the game (i.e, 3rd down and RZ)? I think it will be interesting to see if the distribution rates are the same.

I don't, unfortunately. That would require digging through every game log and noting every one of those situations. That's....a lot of work. :) But great idea!
 

robertweathers

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Yep. From 2014-2017 Gronk was targeted about 8 times a game.

This year it is 6.

His snap count his in the ~90% so he is either blocking more or ignored. Might be both.
 

robertweathers

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Thanks for this! Do you have a breakdown of Brady and his distribution in critical moments of the game (i.e, 3rd down and RZ)? I think it will be interesting to see if the distribution rates are the same.
Tom is 14-36 in RZ passing. Last year he was 21-37. 2016 he was 20-32. 2015 he was 23-40.
 

DropKickFlutie

In the Starting Line-Up
Very cool analysis OP.

One thing though is throwing more to white yields fewer yards than in the past throwing to Edelman or Gronk
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
The problem with trying to analyze this year in the framework of past years is that this year is much more like 2013 than 2014-2017.

  • Edelman's 4 game absence at the beginning
  • Gordon's need to slowly ramp up
  • Gronk's being in and out of the lineup
  • Need for the lower receivers (Hogan, Dorsett) to become the #1 and #2 for part of the season
Taking a look at this year after week 5 or 6 would give us a more accurate assessment. Dorsett, for example, has 27 catches on 32 targets this season, but he's only been targeted 8 times (all 8 resulting in catches) since week 5. And Hogan had 19 targets in the first 5 weeks, and has just 25 targets since.
 

chris_in_sunnyvale

In the Starting Line-Up
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Nice analysis. One question: Is the data indeed target distribution or reception distribution?

Regards,
Chris
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
Yeah but then you'd have to go back and do that assessment for every season, factoring in injuries, suspensions, etc. Do what I did over enough seasons and you'll see that the numbers shake out just fine.
 

Brewskies

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Very cool analysis OP.

One thing though is throwing more to white yields fewer yards than in the past throwing to Edelman or Gronk

He didn't do that in the Pittsburgh game and I think he should have. He throw to Gronk but over his head in the end zone I think 3 times. Nice work by everyone gathering this data but I would just like to look at games we lost. IMO he had one of his best games in the last Miami game followed by one of his worse at Pittsburgh. Just saying, my opinion.
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
Yeah but then you'd have to go back and do that assessment for every season, factoring in injuries, suspensions, etc. Do what I did over enough seasons and you'll see that the numbers shake out just fine.

I don't agree. We already know, without looking at the data, that this season was skewed by non-injury WR issues early on. The numbers just back that up.
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
Since week 5, Brady has thrown 334 passes*

83 (25%) to Edelman
70 (20%) to White
62 (19%) to Gordon
36 (11%) to Gronk, in only 6 of the 9 games

Ivanamp's 4 year average (including the current "whole" 2018) for the top 3 has been 55.3%. In 2018, post week 5, the top 3 has been targeted 64% of the time.



*I rounded pre-decimal, he rounded post-decimal, but the numbers won't be that different.
 

luuked

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
IMO he had one of his best games in the last Miami game followed by one of his worse at Pittsburgh. Just saying, my opinion.

He was better in Pittsburgh than at any point in the second half in Miami. The stupidity before halftime against the Dolphins and the INT in Pittsburgh pretty much cancel each other out.
 

PatsFan2

Pro Bowl Player
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
I still cant figure out why 7/11 Hogan is not a factor in this Offense with healthy weapons in a contract year for him??:confused: If somebody told me a month ago that we would be so abysmal on Third Downs with Edelman - Gronk and Gordon I would have taken them to the woodshed.
 

Brewskies

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
He was better in Pittsburgh than at any point in the second half in Miami. The stupidity before halftime against the Dolphins and the INT in Pittsburgh pretty much cancel each other out.

Do you want to explain "better"?
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
I don't agree. We already know, without looking at the data, that this season was skewed by non-injury WR issues early on. The numbers just back that up.

Most seasons are skewed by injuries, suspensions, late arrivals, you name it. You want to parse through all that data? Be my guest. Over enough of a sample size, that stuff works itself out.
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
2014 - Most key guys were healthy all year and played 14+ games.
2015 - LaFell only played 11 games; Edelman only played 9 games.
2016 - Amendola only played 12 games. Gronk only played 8 games.
2017 - Burkhead only played 10 games. Hogan only played 9 games. Edelman played 0 games.
2018 - Edelman has missed 4 games.

So just about every year we see guys that are hurt, suspended, whatever, that "throws the numbers off".
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top