Touchdowns, Not Pass Attempts, Remain Belichick's Main Concern

There isn't a quarterback "pitch count" on the Patriots' sideline for two reasons.

The first reason is obvious: There isn't a pitcher. The next reason? Bill Belichick doesn't care how many passes are attempted or completed, as long as paydirt is found.

Through their first two games, the Patriots have instructed quarterback Tom Brady to throw 100 total pass attempts — 53 in Week 1 and 47 in Week 2. One hundred tosses over a 13-day period may not seem like a lot, but in comparison to the rest of the quarterback's career, it's dangerously high.

In the 32-year-old's last full season — a record-breaking year in 2007 — Brady threw a total of 578 pass attempts. This year, he's on pace to throw 800, topping his previous season-high of 601 in 2002 by 199. Despite the high count, Belichick doesn't appear to be concerned with his former MVP's signal-caller.

"Well, I think the most important thing is that we function efficiently, move the ball, get in the end zone and keep them out," Belichick said in his Monday news conference one day after the Pats' 16-9 loss to the Jets. "That's what we're going to try to do. Whatever that entails, we'll do."

What's interesting about this number is that Brady has hit receivers at a 62 percent (62-of-100) rate — just one point lower than his career completion rate of 63 percent.

His 62 completions over two games put him on pace to connect with
receivers 496 times this season, which would also become a new
career-high. However, the most important number in this case is two — as in two of those 62 completions have been for touchdowns.

"I'd like to score more points," Belichick added. "That's what the offense is out there for — to score points. If that's throwing the ball seven or eight times a game, if we score a lot of points, that's good. If it's running the ball 70 times a game and we score a lot of points, that'd be fine with me, too. If it's some combination in the middle and we score a lot of points, that'd be good."

Despite a crowded yet talented backfield of Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the Pats attack has rushed the ball just 43 times — 41 if you take out Brady's two attempts.

"However we can put points up on the board when the offensive unit's on the field, that's what our goal is, whether those are runs, or pass or whatever they are," Belichick said. "If points are scored, then we're doing our job. If they're not, then that's not what good offense is."