This really isn’t a good season for Tom Brady, but it really isn’t stopping the New England Patriots from picking up wins and sustaining their dominance in the terrible AFC East, coming back from behind once more in order to make it seem that there’s a lot more to this team than what we’re actually seeing from them on the field.
Brady put on another awful performance, completing 13-of-22 passes for 116 yards, a touchdown and an interception as the usual recipe of rattling him early on seemed to be working very well for the Miami Dolphins. However, turnovers and Brady waking up to suddenly remember he has Aaron Dobson to throw to resulted in New England coming away with the 27-17 win, scoring the final 24 points in the game.
Brady didn’t target Dobson even once during the first half of the game, but after his first target was defended on the first play of the third quarter, Dobson caught his last four targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. He is the team leader with 13 receptions and 157 yards over the last three games, doing better than names like Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and the returning Rob Gronkowski.
But most of the credit goes to the Patriots’ defense and especially secondary for their work in the second half. Ryan Tannehill was not far from perfection during the first two quarters, but completely fell apart under the pressure, adding some bad throws and three intercepted passes in the second half to end his team’s chances, although not having something remotely close to decent protection does actually hurt your chances at some point.
The Patriots defense sent a defensive back after Tannehill on 14-of-49 dropbacks, posting three sacks (one a strip sack) and holding him to 6-of-11 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown. That’s more than twice the amount of defensive back blitzes they’ve used all season before playing against the Dolphins. They enjoyed some terrible deep throws from Ryan Tannehill, who completed 2-of-11 passes for 35 yards and two interceptions on his throws for 10 yards or further downfield. Their vertical passing after the 3-0 start has been atrocious, not scoring a single touchdown on a pass thrown for over 10 yards downfield since.
At least the Patriots were good enough on the ground to not make it look like a complete offensive disaster. Stevan Ridley added 79 yards on 14 carries, including one touchdown. He hasn’t run for over 100 yards this season so far, but has averaged 4,5 yards per carry in five of his seven games so far, scoring the fourth quarter touchdown against the Dolphins that made the game a two-score contest, impossible for the Dolphins to catch up at that point.
Is Brady playing this badly because of an injury to his right hand? He won’t admit it, or maybe there’s actually no injury to admit to.
It’s football, it’s a contact sport and you play as hard as you can and you count on the guys next to you to do the same. I feel great. For the eighth week of the year, I feel awesome. Hopefully we go out and execute better. Ultimately, that’s what it takes.