Patriots-Saints Takeaways: Tom Brady Was Even Better Than You Thought In Win

A week after his inaccuracy raised many eyebrows around New England, quarterback Tom Brady was nearly perfect Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Brady threw just one inaccurate pass in the Patriots’ Week 2 win over the Saints. His other incompletions were the result of drops or broken up passes.

We rewatched every passing snap of the Patriots’ 36-20 victory. Here are our takeaways.

PASS COVERAGE
Stephon Gilmore: 3-4, 82 yards
Patrick Chung: 6-13, 80 yards, TD, PBU
Jonathan Jones: 2-4, 42 yards, two PBUs
Malcolm Butler: 4-8, 40 yards, TD, PBU
Eric Rowe: 3-4, 37 yards
Kyle Van Noy: 4-5, 33 yards
Elandon Roberts: 2-2, 13 yards
Jordan Richards: 1-1, 9 yards
Devin McCourty: 0-2

— As good as he looked in the preseason, Gilmore has yet to live up to the high standards set by the mega-contract he signed over the offseason. He let up a 42-yard completion to Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman in the second quarter when he fell while caught up in traffic. Gilmore was in no rush to get off the turf and watched Coleman catch the ball from his knees.

— It’s clear looking above that Saints quarterback Drew Brees intended to go after Patrick Chung early and often. Brees had mixed results. While he threw a touchdown and picked up 80 yards going after Chung, Brees also completed less than half of his passes.

— Jones was a bright spot in the secondary by deflecting two key passes.

— Butler saw a reduced role as Rowe started over him. Butler outplayed Rowe despite letting up the score. Butler was caught in traffic in the end zone on the touchdown completion to Coleman.

PASS RUSH
Deatrich Wise: sack, four QB hits, hurry
Trey Flowers: QB hit, three hurries
Cassius Marsh: QB hit, two hurries
Lawrence Guy: drawn hold, hurry
Adam Butler: hurry

— The Patriots found a tremendous pass rusher in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft in Wise. Wise and Flowers played together at Arkansas on the Razorbacks. They might be meeting in the middle of the backfield, pressuring quarterbacks for the foreseeable future with the Patriots.

— Butler started at defensive end and played many more snaps than he saw in his NFL debut last week. His pressure numbers dropped as a result.

— Marsh, a former Seattle Seahawk, showed some pass-rush potential on third down with his new team.

PASS PROTECTION
Nate Solder: sack, two QB hits, three hurries
Joe Thuney: four hurries
Marcus Cannon: QB hit, two hurries
Shaq Mason: QB hit, two hurries
Tom Brady: sack
David Andrews: QB hit

— Solder had a tough go at times. He let up the sack to third-year pro Hau’oli Kikaha.

— Brady sacked himself when he held onto the ball too long and slid before the goal line. You can also blame his receivers for not getting open. Ultimately, it was a coverage sack for the Saints.

PASS ACCURACY
1. Pass to Brandin Cooks broken up
2. Pass to Cooks dropped
3. Pass to Rex Burkhead dropped
4. Pass to Chris Hogan broken up
5. Thrown low to Rob Gronkowski off back foot
6. Pass to Rob Gronkowski dropped
7. Pass to Gronkowski dropped
8. Pass to Jacob Hollister tipped
9. Pass to Dwayne Allen broken up

— Brady’s accuracy was impressive in this game. There was only one instance where inaccuracy caused an incompletion. Brady had four passes broken up, saw four drops and just one instance of inaccuracy, when he grounded a pass to Gronkowski.

— Gronkowski began to look like himself again, but he did drop two passes, including a would-be touchdown.

— Brady appeared to have some luck. He completed multiple heaves as he was getting pressured, one of which wound up being a touchdown catch by Gronkowski.

— Brady also had two interceptions called back by penalties. He just chucked the ball in the air when he noticed the Saints had 12 players on the field. He also had a pass intercepted on a target to Gronkowski when the tight end was held in the middle of the field.

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images

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