Some guys let frustration and adversity get the best of them. Others rise to the challenge.
And boy, when it comes to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, he’s risen in a big way.
Through four games this season Brady has been unreal, completing over 70% of his passes while throwing eleven touchdowns with zero interceptions. Given everything he went through during the offseason with the NFL and their attempt to hit him with a four game suspension, especially considering he’s held steadfast to the fact he didn’t do anything wrong, there’s a look and a focus in Brady’s eyes that is definitely different compared to past seasons.
So far it seems Brady’s more focused than ever, with precision (a word the Jaguars emphasized quite a bit about his performance following their loss to him) and methodical throws, of which Brady’s been absolutely terrific with so far. Previously we had seen moments where he’d lock on to Rob Gronkowski and make some bad decisions. However, as much as Gronk is being targeted, Brady has had no issue looking to the next receiver as he’s needed to. That’s evident by the fact five different players already have eight or more catches, while seven more have also each registered at least one reception.
That’s also why New England has converted a league-best 53.3% of their third downs this season and also leads the NFL in first downs per game. They’re moving the chains and putting up points, with Brady’s focus and determination making them look unbeatable at this early part of the 2015 campaign.
Dallas gave them their biggest test of the season, getting pressure on Brady and knocking him around after sacking him five times in the first half on Sunday. But in the second half, Brady started moving around and started getting into a rhythm and getting the ball out quickly, missing just one pass the entire second half and wasn’t sacked again en-route to their 30-6 win.
This week brings up the Colts, and everyone knows what’s at stake. This is the team that helped start the accusations and subsequent investigation that lead to Brady nearly being suspended for the first four games of this season. When asked about if he’ll approach this weekend any differently knowing who they’re facing, Brady told WEEI on Monday, he doesn’t plan on changing anything as he tries to handle himself exactly the same way he has after their four wins.
“That’s what I’m focused on every week,” said Brady as he admitted execution and scoring points are always his priority. “I think it would be a disservice to Mr. Kraft and Jonathan and our organization if I didn’t do that every week. I think I’ve tried to be very consistent over the course of my career on my attention to detail, my levelheadedness, my poise. I think that’s been a real positive for me. Now that we’re playing the Colts, for example, it’s not like, ‘All right, well, let’s go change now.’”
“We’re going to do what we do every week. We’re going to prepare as hard as we can like we always do, and we’re going to go down and try to win a game. We’re going to try to score every time we touch the ball, just like every other time in every other game. It’s no different this week than it was last week or the week before. The better our execution is, the more points we’ll score. … I’m sure they’re going to be geared up. This is a big game for them, too. It’s Sunday Night Football. There’s going to be a high level of energy and emotion. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to try to play our very best. And that’s what it’s going to take.”
The worst part is, they’re not even playing their best football yet. The good news is, they still have Brandon LaFell still waiting in the wings to return and haven’t even gotten the most out of Scott Chandler yet after he hasn’t really seen many targets early on. They’ve also had some solid early season production from Danny Amendola and Keshawn Martin and if they continue to get more involved, it may get even better from here.
But overall Brady’s off to a great start and it’s scary to think we haven’t even seen his best yet. He’s playing with a lot of fire each time he’s stepped on the field and he’s the big reason why the Patriots are marching through opponents during their unbeaten start.
The bad news for the Colts is, after sparking this flame, they might be the ones who get badly burned by him this weekend.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary