New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might be back in the lead of the NFL MVP race after Monday night’s win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Brady went 25-of-38 passing for 406 yards and three touchdowns with one interception against the league’s previously top-ranked defense. And he did it without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola and with a banged-up Martellus Bennett.
In a week in which Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys, Derek Carr’s Oakland Raiders and Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks all lost and Matthew Stafford suffered an injury, Brady and Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan might have the shot at the MVP.
Brady threw for over half of his yards on nine deep attempts. Here are this week’s takeaways.
Kyle Van Noy: 5-6, 63 yards, PBU
Logan Ryan: 4-9, 52 yards
Cyrus Jones: 1-2, 47 yards
Malcolm Butler: 3-5, 33 yards, PBU
Duron Harmon: 3-3, 27 yards
Dont’a Hightower: 4-4, 25 yards, TD
Chris Long: 3-3, 15 yards
Rob Ninkovich: 2-2, 9 yards, PBU
Jabaal Sheard: 1-1, 9 yards
Shea McClellin: 3-3, 9 yards
Trey Flowers: 1-1, 5 yards
Devin McCourty: 2-3, 5 yards, TD, INT
Patrick Chung: 2-5, 4 yards
Jonathan Jones: 0-1
— Van Noy had his worst game as a Patriot, struggling with missed tackles. He allowed a 40-yard reception to Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
— Ryan gave up first downs on all four of his receptions. He has been better in the slot this season, but he’s still the Patriots’ second-best option outside with Eric Rowe nursing a hamstring injury.
— Malcolm Butler had a strong game, with 25 of his yards allowed coming on one play.
— Cyrus Jones allowed a 47-yard pass on top of muffing a punt. He was targeted just twice on 48 defensive snaps, however.
Rob Ninkovich: sack, QB hit, two hurries (four pressures)
Trey Flowers: sack, QB hit, hurry (three pressures)
Malcom Brown: three hurries (three pressures)
Alan Branch: three hurries (three pressures)
Dont’a Hightower: hurry (one pressure)
Vincent Valentine: hurry (one pressure)
Chris Long: hurry (one pressure)
Jabaal Sheard: hurry (one pressure)
Jonathan Jones: hurry (one pressure)
— ESPN color commentator and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden said on the broadcast that Flowers might be the Patriots’ best defensive player. I can’t agree with that statement, but it’s notable since announcers get a lot of information from private conversations with coaches and players.
— Brown has increased his pass-rush productivity of late.
— Van Noy didn’t bring pressure for the first time in his brief Patriots career.
Nate Solder: four QB hits (four pressures)
Joe Thuney: QB hit, two hurries (three pressures)
Marcus Cannon: QB hit, hurry (two pressures)
Shaq Mason: QB hit, hurry (two pressures)
Dion Lewis: sack (one pressure)
LeGarrette Blount: QB hit (one pressure)
David Andrews: QB hit (one pressure)
— Brady was hit a decent amount of time, but the Patriots’ offensive line did a nice job overall of giving their quarterback time to throw. Brady was sacked only once.
— Solder and Cannon’s performances were notable since they went up against Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs.
Charting Brady’s incompletions:
1. Thrown high to Julian Edelman
2. Thrown deep to Edelman
3. Dropped by Edelman
4. Dropped by James Develin
5. Intentional grounding under pressure
6. Overthrow to Edelman
7. Dropped by Edelman
8. Tipped at the line to Edelman
9. Thrown out of bounds to Mitchell
10. Interception targeting Chris Hogan
11. Thrown wide to Edelman
12. Thrown out of bounds to Hogan
13. Broken up to Edelman
— Eight of Brady’s 13 incompletions were due to inaccuracy, three were due to drops, one incompletion was due to pressure and one was batted down at the line by the Ravens.
— Brady was 5-of-10 for 57 yards and one touchdown with one interception while under pressure.
— Brady was 7-of-9 for 231 yards and two touchdowns on throws of over 15 yards, which the NFL marks as a deep pass. He was 2-of-4 for 107 yards and one touchdown on throws of 20 yards or more. It was one of Brady’s best deep passing games of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images