If statistics are any indication, Tom Brady’s return to the New England Patriots’ lineup this week will result in a completely different offensive game plan from what we’ve seen so far.
With Jimmy Garoppolo and (especially) Jacoby Brissett playing quarterback, the Patriots relied on a run-heavy attack, averaging 32.5 rush attempts per game — second-most behind the Dallas Cowboys.
On the contrary, last season they had the highest pass-play percentage in the league despite having the second-best margin of victory in the NFL. The Patriots were getting big leads and still passing a lot, contrary to traditional strategy.
As the graphic below shows, the Patriots have thrown the ball significantly fewer times than they did last season when they had Brady under center full time.
The fact that the team went 3-1 playing such a completely different style of football is a testament to Bill Belichick and his coaching staff’s ability to win with different types of offenses.
Now with Brady coming back, expect the Patriots to return to their old ways and ramp up their passing game much like they did last year when he was the starting quarterback.
NESN.com’s Michaela Vernava spoke to some of the players Wednesday during practice to find out how they expect the game plan to change with Brady back. Check out the report in the video above.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images