Patriots-Dolphins Takeaways: Tom Brady Doesn’t Look Like Himself In Loss


Dec 12, 2017

It seems Tom Brady’s Achilles injury is bothering him more than the New England Patriots quarterback is letting on.

Consider this: Brady was completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 3,146 yards with 22 touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 110.9 before he ever popped up on the injury report with an Achilles ailment.

Since Week 12, when Brady’s Achilles first showed up on the injury report, he’s completing 62.4 percent of his passes for 718 yards with five touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 83.7.

Now, granted, Brady was playing without tight end Rob Gronkowski, raising his level of difficulty, Monday night against the Miami Dolphins in the Patriots’ 27-20 loss. But Brady still didn’t look like himself.

Here are our weekly takeaways.

— Of Brady’s 19 incompletions, which included two interceptions, only one was dropped, two were thrown away, one was batted at the line and three came as he was being hit while throwing. That means he had 12 inaccurate passes on the night. It was Brady’s least accurate performance since the Patriots’ Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He was the 25th-most accurate quarterback of 37 players who attempted a pass in Week 14.

— Brady was just 1-of-6 for 38 yards on passes of 20 yards or more. He was intercepted twice on deep balls.

— Tight end Dwayne Allen suffered the lone drop on the night.

— Brady had success throwing to Danny Amendola, who had six catches on nine targets for 76 yards, but he had serious trouble throwing to outside weapons Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan. He was just 2-of-12 for 39 yards to those wide receivers.

— The Patriots’ running backs forced just one missed tackle all night. Dion Lewis forced a missed tackle on a reception. James White and Rex Burkhead didn’t force any missed tackles. The Patriots ran the ball just 10 times for 25 yards.

LG Joe Thuney: one sack, three hurries
C David Andrews: two QB hits, two hurries
RT Cameron Fleming: three hurries
RG Shaq Mason: two hurries
LT Nate Solder: two hurries

— Brady was pressured on 35.6 percent of his throws. He completed just 42.9 percent of his passes for 98 yards with a touchdown while under siege.

— Patriots tight ends and running backs didn’t allow any pressures.

— This was the second week in a row Thuney has allowed a sack.

DE Eric Lee: four hurries
DT Lawrence Guy: two hurries
DT Adam Butler: one sack
S Devin McCourty: one sack
DT Malcom Brown: one hurry
CB Eric Rowe: one hurry
S Jordan Richards: one hurry

— Richards’ hurry came when he whiffed on what would have been a key third-down sack while the Dolphins were in the red zone. The Patriots would have forced a field goal if Richards had successfully brought down quarterback Jay Cutler. Instead, the Dolphins picked up a first down and scored a touchdown on the next play.

— Lee continued to flash potential as a pass rusher, though he didn’t make any splash plays. He also dropped into coverage six times.

— The Patriots were missing top pass rushers Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy, and Deatrich Wise clearly was hampered with a foot injury. This unit will get better as they get healthier.

LB Elandon Roberts: 5-6, 79 yards, one TD
CB Malcolm Butler: 4-8, 47 yards, TD
S Devin McCourty: 2-2, 27 yards
CB Jonathan Jones: 5-5, 26 yards, TD
CB Stephon Gilmore: 2-3, 26 yards
LB Marquis Flowers: 2-2, 21 yards
S Patrick Chung: 3-5, 21 yards
LB Jonathan Freeny: 1-1, 7 yards
CB Eric Rowe: 1-1, -1 yards

— Roberts had a rough day in coverage as he tried to match up with speedy running back Kenyan Drake. He was smoked down the sideline on a long 47-yard catch by Drake.

— Gilmore had a solid day at the office as he covered wide receiver DeVante Parker. The Patriots as a team didn’t impress, but their high-paid cornerback did.

— Butler wasn’t quite as good. He was beat on a leaping touchdown by 5-foot-6 wide receiver Jakeem Grant. Butler should have allowed a long catch by Grant that slipped through the undersized wideout’s outstretched hands.

DT Lawrence Guy: four stops
DT Alan Branch: two stops
DT Malcom Brown: two stops
LB Marquis Flowers: two stops
S Patrick Chung: two stops
S Devin McCourty: one stop
LB Jonathan Freeny: one stop
LB Trevor Reilly: one stop
LB Elandon Roberts: one stop

— The Dolphins only averaged 4 yards per carry, and among their 30 rushing attempts, 31- and 26-yard runs by Drake were included. Roberts whiffed on the 26-yarder, while Drake shook Chung out of his shoes with a spin move on the 31-yard gain.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

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