Tom Brady was right when he said he could have played better Sunday. Of his 40 passing attempts, he’d probably like six back.
What a bum.
Brady, of course, was fantastic in his return to the New England Patriots, completing 28 of 40 passes for 406 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 33-13 win over the Cleveland Browns.
The Patriots’ run defense stood out Sunday, but their pass defense was none too shabby. Let’s look at the Patriots’ pass defense and passing offense in this week’s takeaways.
Patrick Chung: 2-5, 42 yards, INT
Chris Long: 2-2, 25 yards
Logan Ryan: 2-3, 24 yards
Rob Ninkovich: 1-2, 20 yards
Jonathan Jones: 1-3, 17 yards, TD, two pass breakups
Jamie Collins: 2-4, 14 yards
Elandon Roberts: 3-4, 13 yards
Cyrus Jones: 1-1, 11 yards, TD
Malcolm Butler: 1-3, 10 yards
Devin McCourty: 1-1, 5 yards
Dont’a Hightower: 0-1
Jabaal Sheard: 0-1, PBU
— Chung had an up-and-down performance, intercepting a pass but also allowing a 30-yard reception.
— Both Ryan and Butler were excellent in coverage and showed their potential to be a dominant 1-2 combination.
— As you can tell by Long, Ninkovich and Sheard being listed, the Patriots asked a lot out of their edge defenders as both rushers and in coverage.
— It should be noted the Patriots’ degree of difficulty wasn’t exactly high going against Browns QBs Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst and Terrelle Pryor.
Chris Long: five hurries (five pressures)
Jabaal Sheard: four hurries (four pressures)
Malcom Brown: two sacks, hurry (three pressures)
Dont’a Hightower: QB hit, hurry (two pressures)
Jonathan Jones: QB hit, hurry (two pressures)
Trey Flowers: QB hit (one pressure)
Patrick Chung: hurry (one pressure)
— Hightower forced a safety and knocked Kessler from the game when he went unblocked on a QB hit. Kessler inadvertently threw the ball backward and out of the end zone, giving the Patriots two points.
— The Patriots’ pass rush could be improved moving forward. They weren’t able to generate consistent pressure, though it can be excused since they stacked the line against the run and went conservative late in the game.
Cameron Fleming: two QB hits, three hurries (five pressures)
Shaq Mason: sack, three hurries (four pressures)
Nate Solder: three hurries (three pressures)
James White: two hurries (two pressures)
David Andrews: hurry (one pressure)
Joe Thuney: hurry (one pressure)
David Andrews: hurry (one pressure)
— Brady was pressured often, but he only was sacked once and hit twice.
— Rookie Joe Thuney was impressive as a pass protector. That aspect of his game has been slightly inconsistent so far this season, so it was good to see a standout performance from the rookie starter.
— Brady was 5 of 9 with a touchdown and a sack while under pressure. He was ticked at himself for losing his balance on the sack, when he was tripped up.
1. Attempt to James White dropped
2. Attempt to Julian Edelman dropped
3. Attempt to Edelman overthrown
4. Attempt to Malcolm Mitchell broken up
5. Attempt to Edelman dropped
6. Attempt to Rob Gronkowski affected by pressure
7. Attempt to Edelman thrown wide
8. Attempt to Gronkowski affected by pressure
9. Attempt to Edelman overthrown
10. Screen attempt to Martellus Bennett broken up
11. Attempt to Bennett broken up
12. Attempt to Chris Hogan affected by pressure
— Three of Brady’s incompletions were caused by drops, three were caused by pressure, three were broken up and three were inaccurate.
— The passes dropped and incompletions caused by pressure were not Brady’s fault, while the breakups and inaccurate passes were. Any time a defender can get a hand on the ball, it’s not a good thing. Brady’s overthrows were not put in harm’s way.
— Overall 34 of 40 accurate passes is extremely impressive.
— Brady was 3 of 5 for 143 yards with a touchdown on deep passes. His deep completions traveled an average of 38 yards. Brady had nice chemistry with Hogan on deep attempts.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images