You can’t say the past doesn’t matter, because it does, to a certain extent. But for Tom Brady, his present is catching up with him, and his own problems, adding that to the New England Patriots and their defensive struggles, it’s suddenly about his performances in the closing minutes of a game.
As the video told us, the legend of Tom Brady after his injury that made him miss the entire 2008 season has taken a bit of a hit, at least when it comes to game winning drives and being “clutch.” Beyond his nearly perfect numbers in 2010 and 2011, comes the fact that the Patriots, albeit with a much weaker defense against the pass than in previous years, makes it easy for team to come back against them in the final moments of the game.
The Patriots had a 23-10 lead with nine minute left in the game, but managed to lose it 24-23 with Sidney Rice hitting a touchdown off Russell Wilson’s pass, 1:46 left on the clock.
How did Brady do in the nine minutes after taking the 23-10 lead? Completed 2 of 9 passes for 21 yards and getting sacked once, and the Patriots failed to hold on to a 13 points lead.
The numbers presented by NLN tell us that the Patriots have now dropped 7 games since 2009 while holding a lead entering the final five minutes of a game, 3rd worst in the NFL. His QBR in games with a one possession lead entering the final five minutes is 15.0, 5th worst in the NFL over that stretch, completing only 46.2% of his passes, which is 10 points lower than the league average.
Not clutch? It’s a bit more complicated than that. Not having a defense that can actually stop the pass puts a lot of pressure on Brady to succeed, especially when this team has drifted more and more away from the running game, at least until this season. But not being able to stop Russell Wilson, not the greatest quarterback in the world as of now, from pulling off two big passes late in the game was more worrying than Brady not managing to work his magic. The Patriots defense, need I remind you, is 28th in the NFL in oppositions passing yards, allowing just under 290 yards per game.