Surprising Stat For Brady Has Seen Significant Improvement

Ian Logue
October 31, 2017 at 11:25 am ET

One of the topics of discussion over the last couple of weeks has been the team’s struggles with maintaining drives at the end of games, and after taking a look at the numbers, there was a notable trend that stuck out that may explain some of their problems.

Looking at Tom Brady’s passing totals on third down late in the game it’s an area that prior to the last two weeks had been really, really bad.  The good news is, he’s seen dramatic improvement in recent weeks, but prior to that, it’s been an area that was certainly in need of improvement.

Overall in the first half, he’s been terrific.  He’s completed 33-of-45 (73%) for 470-yards and four touchdowns on third down over the first two quarters.  But from there, his total dips to 12-of-19 (63%) for 159-yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, and then plummets to just 9-of-19 (47%) for 83 yards in the fourth quarter.

Breaking it down week by week, he’s had much better luck over the last two weeks, completing 3-of-4 (75%) for 17yds on third down during the final quarter of play.  But prior to that, he was just 6-of-15 passing (40%) for 66-yards

Here’s how it breaks down by each quarter for the season:

Tom Brady 3rd Down Passing By Quarter:

1st QTR: 20-of-24 (83%) 285yds 3 TDs
2nd QTR: 21-of-13 (62%) 185yds 1 TD
3rd QTR: 12-of-19 (63%) 159yds 1 TD
4th QTR: 9-of-19 (47%) 83yds

TOTAL: 54-of-83 (65%) 712yds 5 TDs

The last two weeks have seen them finish strong during the final quarter of play, which on Sunday included a 10 play drive that helped set up a 26-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, giving the Patriots an 8-point lead that ended up being a big key in the win.

But one of their most impressive fourth quarter performances came the previous week against Atlanta where the Patriots took over with 4:07 to go in the game and ran out the clock, which included a 2-yard run on a 3rd-and-1 by Brady to move the chains and seal the victory.

Here’s a full week-by-week breakdown of their third down totals by quarter:

Third Down Passing By Quarter By Week:

Week 1 vs Kansas City:
Q1: 1/1 (100%) 5yds
Q2: 2/3 (67%) 38yds
Q3: 1/3 (33%) 17yds
Q4: 1/4 (25%) 1yd

Total: 5/11 (45%) 61yds

Week 2 at New Orleans:
Q1: 5/5 (100%) 101yds 2TDs
Q2: 0/0
Q3: 1/2 (50%) 6yds
Q4: 0/0

Total: 6/7 (86%) 107yds 2TDs

Week 3 vs Houston:
Q1: 3/3 (100%) 52yds 1TD
2/2 (100%) 20yds
Q3: 2/2 (100%) 19yds
Q4: 2/3 (67%) 42yds

Total: 9/10 (90%) 133yds 1TD

Week 4 vs Carolina:
2/2 (100%) 11yds
Q2: 3/4 (75%) 33yds
Q3: 1/2 (50%) 3yds
Q4: 1/2 (50%) 5yds

Total: 7/11 (64%) 52yds 1TD

Week 5 at Tampa Bay:
Q1: 1/3 (33%) 12yds
Q2: 2/2 (100%) 20yds
Q3: 0/1 (0%)
Q4: 2/3 (67%) 18yds

Total: 5/9 (56%) 50yds

Week 6 at NY Jets:
Q1: 2/3 (67%) 26yds
Q2: 2/4 (50%) 27yds
Q3: 3/3 (100%) 68yds
Q4: 0/2 (0%)

Total: 7/12 (58%) 121yds 1TD

Week 7 vs Atlanta:
2/3 (67%) 27yds
Q2: 2/3 (67%) 47yds
Q3: 1/1 (100%) 9yds
Q4: 1/1 (100%) 3yds

Total: 6/8 (75%) 86yds

Week 8 vs Los Angeles Chargers
4/4 (100%) 51yds
Q2: 0/3 (0)
Q3: 3/5 (60%) 37yds
Q4: 2/3 (67%) 14yds

Total: 9/15 (60%) 102yds

Third down remains an area of focus, as does trying to score when they get inside the red area.  Brady admitted after Sunday’s win over the Chargers that working on putting up points remains an area of focus.

“I think we just have to do a better job of that,” said Brady following Sunday’s win. “I know I’ve said that about 100 times this year, but it’s tough. I mean, we’re trying. It’s just the execution is coming up a little short in critical times.”

Fortunately for Brady, after what he’s done the last couple of weeks when it comes to moving the chains late in the game, it appears they’re at least they’re making progress.