One of the most recurring stories in the NFL this season has been Tom Brady’s first year as a member of a team other than the New England Patriots. Seeing him in a Buccaneers uniform is still confusing for a lot of people. Sure, he’s still throwing to Rob Gronkowski. But for the first time in the quarterback’s career, Bill Belichick isn’t barking the shots into his ear. However, it has not yet impacted Brady’s stats.
Bruce Arians is now partnered up with Brady. Belichick is keeping his faith in Cam Newton despite a rocky season. And the who-carried-the-dynasty debate is in full throttle.
Tom Brady is making a strong case for himself with his MVP-caliber season, while Bill and the Patriots are struggling with injuries (namely to wide receiver Julian Edelman). The argument in Belichick’s favor, though, is simple: Brady has more talent around him now than the Patriots can offer Newton. Obviously, that makes Brady’s job a lot easier.
Tom Brady stats with the Patriots in 2019
In 2019, Tom Brady had only one NFL-caliber receiver in Julian Edelman, which is what Newton’s working with this year. N’Keal Harry is also a factor in both cases, but his career hasn’t been long enough to judge fairly quite yet.
Keeping that in mind, his last year as a Patriot showed signs of decline from the year before. Last season, for example, Brady’s bad throw rate (which measures the percentage of poor throws per pass attempt, by Pro Football Reference) was 20.6%. In 2018, it was 18.5%. His intended air yards per attempt (which shows average depth of for each targeted pass he throws) went from 7.9 in 2018 to 7.6 in 2019. His completion percentage went down, too. In 2018, Brady completed 375-570 attempts for a rate of 65.79%, which declined to 373-613 in 2019 (60.85%)
Brady’s on-target passing rate, indicating the percentage of pass attempts graded as “on target” by PFR, was 73.1%. That doesn’t account for completed attempts where the receiver made extra effort to catch the ball. It also doesn’t account for on-target passes dropped by the receiver. He was pressured on his snaps 18.5% of the time, a stat which can measure the defense just as much as Brady’s ability. That left him an average of 2.5 seconds to throw each pass.
NFL stats: Worst QB performances from Week 8
Of his 613 throws in 2019, 10.1% of them were 20 yards or over, which put him 21st in the league for deep percentage rate. It gave Brady a deep rating of 102.1, which ranked him 10th among passers. The season ended with a pick-six and first-round playoff loss to the Titans. 2019 hardly reflected the Tom Brady NFL fans have come to revere.
Tom Brady stats as a Buccaneer in 2020
Buccaneer Brady has a better defense and more skilled receivers. His No. 1 receiver clearly became Mike Evans going into Week 8. Of course, the addition of Antonio Brown will likely change that. The one-game Patriot is seeing an increasing number of targets, further stretching out opponents’ defense.
Even without AB, Brady’s stats have picked back up. His bad throw rate dropped below 2018 numbers and sits at 18.1%. Going into Week 8, his on-target rate was 75.7%. Brady’s intended air yards per attempt raised well above 2018 and 2019 at 8.5. He had the third-highest deep rate in the league going into Week 8, as his percentage jumped to 14.6%. It gave Brady the sixth-best passer rating on deep tosses in the NFL with 116.1.
To date, he has completed 401 of 610 pass attempts, giving him a 65.74% completion rate.
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Brady has already thrown for 40 touchdowns (more than all of the Patriots quarterbacks have thrown for combined, by a long shot). Only 12 of his attempts were intercepted. He’s seen a drop in sacks from 2019, too. Brady went down 27 times in 2019, and has been tackled only 21 times this season.
Some of this can be attributed to having a better defense around him. On snaps, Tom Brady was only pressured 13.3% of the time going into Week 8. His pocket time was about the same at 2.4 seconds. Of course, this can speak to teams being unable to blitz as much due to Tampa Bay’s weapons. Brady is also getting the ball out just as quick, but now opposing defenses have to respect the wide receivers and tight ends. Rob Gronkowski, who played in 2018 and 2020 but not 2019, has to be considered. His stats have also taken a dive in 2020.
The trouble with Giants in Week 8
The New York Giants always pose some sort of issue for Tom Brady. They were 1-6 heading into Week 8, but played what was probably their strongest game of the season in the “Monday Night Football” matchup, despite continuing turnover problems for Daniel Jones. Brady was sacked multiple times, the Tampa Bay defense seemed a little lackluster. An early game fumble from Ronald Jones seemed to suck the life out of the Buccaneers.
In the second half though, Tom Brady proved why he’s considered the GOAT. He threw darts to Miller, Mike Evans and, of course, Gronkowski. After failing to connect on a two-point conversion and missing his target on some big passes, Brady got did what Brady does best. He was visibly upset on the bench for a while, but that didn’t shake his laser focus. He took the game into his hands, showed off some patience in the pocket, and led his team to the victory.
A big Saints setback
Week 9 should have been a redemption week for Brady and the Buccaneers. After the Week 1 loss to the Saints, Brady had to prove himself. The divisional matchup had a lot on the line: the touchdown pass record, the division lead, and most likely the playoff spot in the NFC South. All these things, normally, point to a phenomenal showing from Tom Terrific. But it went a VERY different way.
Brady threw three interceptions, a sad stat he hasn’t reached since 2011. He also had three giveaways in the game. The game marked only the third time in his career he had no touchdowns and three interceptions in a game–the first two being in 2003 and 2006. He completed 22 of his 38 attempted passes for a total of 209 yards. His passer rating was an uncharacteristic 40.4. To add salt to the wound, Drew Brees is now the first and only quarterback to defeat Tom Brady twice in one season. In short, Tom Brady did not play like Tom Brady expects Tom Brady to play.
The Carolina recovery
Brady, as everyone expected, pulled out a huge recovery in Week 10 against the Carolina Panthers. It’s far from a shock, though. This is what TB12 does best. In the 46-23 victory, he threw for 3 touchdowns, completed 28 of his attempted 39 passes, and not one pass was intercepted. He is now 7-2 in his career after throwing 3+ interceptions in a game, throwing for 16 touchdowns and just one interception.
An arguably more impressive statistic, though, is how often he can put up big points. Since turning 41, Brady’s thrown 3+ passing touchdowns in a game 13 times. Conversely, the rest of the NFL has, combined and in all-time, played six such games. Tom Brady has 13 games with 3+ pass TD since turning 41 years old. The rest of the NFL has combined for 6 such games all-time. It proves something we already know: part of what makes Brady great is his leadership.
Brady’s three touchdowns tied him back up with Brees for the all-time passing record (562) and, with Brees’ rib injury (he needs an MRI), Brady has a chance to run away with the top spot.
A tough Rams loss
It was a tough night in Tampa Bay on Monday. Nothing went really wrong–Brady went 26-48 for 216 yards (not bad, but not great), and threw two touchdowns. One of his two interceptions, though, cost the Buccaneers the game. Including Monday night, Brady has 9 interceptions this season, his most through the first 11 weeks of a season since 2011. That can’t be something he is proud of.
On a brighter note, he’s now leading for the all-time touchdown passing record (565), thanks to Brees’ injury, but he’ll have to play better heading into the last few games of the season. And, he has another GOAT stat to pad his resume: Tom Brady accompanies Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history with 15+ seasons with 25+ passing touchdowns.
After the loss to the Rams, Brady is now 5-15 when trailing at halftime over the last 4 seasons, including playoff appearances. Conversely, he’s 38-2 when leading at half. This probably tells you what Tom’s plan for next week is.
Bowing to the defending Super Bowl champion
In a widely publicized established versus new blood quarterback matchup, Brady and the Buccaneers fell by three after rallying from a 17-0 deficit in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12. Brady threw for 345 yards, completed three touchdowns and tossed two interceptions. He completed 27 of his attempted 41 passes.
It seemed, though, that Tom Brady fared better when running plays that were designed by the New England Patriots. The Bruce Arians plays seem to give the entire Buccaneers’ squad some trouble, so look for Brady to brush up on those during the bye week to come out even stronger in Week 14.
It wasn’t a bad game for Brady. Really, it was just a harder fought game by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Tom Brady stats in Week 14: Back To Working Magic Against the Vikings
After a Week 13 bye, Brady was back to full form for the matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. His personal highlight reel plays like a passing clinic. His 48 yard pass to Scotty Miller is now the longest touchdown pass on the season, and he completed 15 of his 23 attempts, throwing for a total of 196 yards. He added a second touchdown to Rob Gronkowski, with no interceptions and no sacks. Of course, the two extra scores added to the padding he now has on the all-time touchdown record, bringing his career total to 571.
And, of course, his impressive game spurred GOAT conversations again: he has now officially scored 30 touchdowns this season, and is likely to pass Jameis Winston’s single-season record of 33 touchdowns in one campaign (which he set in 2019). It’s the 8th time in his career that Brady has thrown 30 or more touchdowns, and is now fourth all-time in 30+ touchdown seasons, behind Drew Brees (10) , Brett Favre and Peyton Manning (9 each).
Another Falcons comeback: Tom Brady stats in Week 15
Tom Brady has a habit of coming back against the Atlanta Falcons. Down at halftime, Brady led the comeback to, ultimately, give the Buccaneers the victory. His huge pass to Antonio Brown to give the wide receiver his first touchdown as a Buccaneer was a game highlight, and the win is being touted as the greatest comeback in Tampa Bay history.
Brady went 31/45 for a total of 390 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw no interceptions. More impressively, though, 320 of his pass yards came in the second half. It’s the most passing yards he’s had in the second half of a road game in his lengthy career.
Interestingly, the New England Patriots were officially eliminated from playoff contention in Week 15. It’s the first time the Pats will miss the postseason since 2008. Not only that, Bill Belichick is on the verge of a losing season. Combined with a huge Tampa Bay comeback, that is definitely fuel for the Brady vs. Belichick debate that works out in Brady’s favor.
Tom Brady stats in Week 16: Headed to the post-season again
Another game, another chance for Tom Brady to break some records. The monster 47-7 victory over the Detroit Lions gave Brady a chance to put his name in the history books a few more times. He has officially played 300 regular season games (a moment set in the same city he played his first game), surpassed Jameis Winston’s single-season touchdown record with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and is now on track to play the most games as a non-kicker in NFL history, assuming he plays next season, which seems incredibly likely.
He now has 573 touchdown passes, the most in NFL history, and led his team to their first post-season since 2007. Adding to that, he now has as many “perfect games” as any quarterback in NFL history. Even though he only played in the first half on Saturday, he put up an impressive performance that would be great for any full-game effort: He had 22 completions in 27 attempts (81.5%) for 348 yards, totalling four touchdowns. He also didn’t throw a single interception.
In fact, his final two quarters in Week 15 and his Week 16 appearance were kind of a huge deal: he put up 668 passing yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Elias Sports tweeted that Brady is the only quarterback in the last 40 years to throw over 600 yards in a four quarter span.
In terms of perfect games, Brady’s appearance on Sunday most certainly qualifies. A perfect game means a passer rating of 158.3, which is measured in completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown percentage and interception percentage. Brady’s numbers against Detroit were 81.5%, 12.9, 14.8% and 0.0%, respectively, giving him the perfect score. It was the third time he has achieved a perfect score in his 21 year career–the first time in a decade–but his second perfect score against the Lions. He has now set a Tampa Bay Buccaneers record, and tied a league record for perfect games with Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner.
Tom Brady is definitely making his mark on the history books, adding even more impressive statistics to his unparalleled career. Oh, and he’s going to the playoffs again, giving him a chance to grab his seventh Super Bowl ring.
Week 17: Padded Tom Brady stats against the Falcons
Brady hit the 40 touchdown mark in a four passing score effort against the Atlanta Falcons, padding his record-breaking season. He’s now the 5th quarterback in NFL history with multiple 40+ touchdown seasons, joining Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino for the honor. He’s also the first over 40 year old to do it in the history of the game.
Tampa Bay scored on 8 of their 10 possessions, missing only an unlucky interception in the third quarter and an end-of-game kneel. The team totalled 485 offensive yards, and Brady ended the season with over 300 passing yards in three straight games, a feat he accomplished for the first time since 2017.
And, to top it off, he has two or more touchdowns in 7 straight games, the longest record in Tampa Bay history. And, he’s the first player in NFL history to play over 20 seasons with a single team, and then make the playoffs with another team. Tom Terrific indeed.
The verdict of the Tom Brady stats (Week 16 update)
Week 17 Update: The win over the Falcons secured Tom Brady and the Buccaneers the fifth spot in the conference and a matchup against Washington Football Club. The Buccaneers are favored to win the Wild Card matchup, with a heavy focus on Tom Brady stats as the key factor for the Buccaneers. The second half resurgence has been strong for Tampa Bay–something Tom Brady knows all too well–and, headed into the playoffs, it’s the quarterback’s time to shine.
He also brought his touchdown tally up to 581, while second place Drew Brees has 571. Even if Brees chooses not to retire, he has a lot of ground to make up to catch Tom Brady.
Week 16 Update: The huge win over Detroit saw Brady send touchdown passes to four different receivers: Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski. They also added a rushing touchdown from Leonard Fournette, who has stepped up in an increased role since the Ronald Jones injury. The all around offense made it easy for Brady to do his job, and even though he only played for half the game, he climbed up to the fourth-highest passing yards on the season, fourth-most touchdowns on the season, and a shot at yet another Super Bowl victory.
Week 15 Update: After beating Atlanta, Brady boasts a 4-6 career record in his career when trailing by at least 17 points at halftime. This is another record for Brady: he has the most wins of this kind by any quarterback in a Super Bowl era. Before this matchup, his two previous comeback victories of this kind were also both against the Falcons. We also finally saw Antonio Brown score a touchdown, a huge score that was instrumental in the comeback and will certainly be a part of highlight reels.
The quarterback now has 32 touchdowns on the season, the fourth-most in the NFL. He is now a single touchdown away from Jameis Winston’s single-season touchdown record, which he will most likely surpass by the season’s end.
Week 14 Update: Tampa Bay defense proved why they’re worth all the hype–they didn’t allow Brady to get sacked at all against the Vikings, but sacked opposing quarterback Kirk Cousins 6 times, setting an in-season record. It was the fifth game this season that Brady was not sacked all game, which definitely makes his job easier. They also pulled out the win with only 20:57 of possession time, countering Minnesota’s 39:03. It’s the lowest time-of-possession total victory they’ve had in the team’s history. It’s easy for Brady to work his magic when his team can actually support him.
Week 12 Update: Mike Evans continues to be Brady’s go-to guy, but AB finally had the most targets on Monday night (13). He completed eight for a total of 57 yards, but still didn’t record a touchdown. Meanwhile, Evans was 5-9, recorded 49 yards, and scored a touchdown. The score was a true form of art, a fight to the end zone that Brady won’t soon forget. Look for Brady to reward him for it going forward.
Week 11 Update: Even though Antonio Brown still hasn’t recorded a touchdown, Brady proved he can find a receiver in anybody. Gronkowski scored a touchdown in one of his three targets, but was still essentially a non-factor. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans were Brady’s receivers of choice in Week 10, combining for 169 catching yards. Brady threw for 341 yards, meaning that Godwin and Evans were 1.5 yards short of tallying half of the receiving yards for all of the Buccaneers. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Week 10 Update: Antonio Brown didn’t make as big a statement as everyone predicted. Out of his five targets, he caught three passes for a total of 31 yards. He didn’t record a touchdown. His impact was barely noticeable in a massive divisional loss, and paled in comparison to Michael Thomas’ return to the lineup. Brady, undoubtedly, will make sure Brown is up to compete in Week 10. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers, and they’ll need to recover from a dismal Week 9 showing. They’ll need Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown to prove themselves in order to do it. And, they’ll need Tom Brady to brush his shoulders off and get back to work.
Week 9: The season is far from over. But, Brady is certainly making a strong case for himself as the 2020 MVP based on the above-mentioned stats. He and Belichick turned many castaway receivers into desirables in New England. Now, with talent around him, he’s playing like he’s still in his prime. Meanwhile, Belichick is struggling with limited NFL-caliber names on his New England roster.
They’re on an unheard of four-game losing streak, capped off by a loss as a result of an untimely Cam Newton fumble. The Brady vs. Belichick who-did-it-better debate is far from over, but Tom Brady is putting on a show for himself. We’ll see what more he can do when AB takes the field. His suspension ended this week, and he’s expected to take the field against the Saints in Week 9. That should help Brady in the MVP conversation as his stats continue to improve.