Tom Brady still is one of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks, but it’s clear the veteran signal-caller’s game has taken new shape in recent seasons.
The New England Patriots often rely on short, quick passes to carve up defenses, killing their opponents by a thousand cuts rather than trying to take the top off. While Brady still has more than enough arm strength and accuracy to make these exciting throws, you’ll rarely see the 41-year-old try and force a pass into a tight window.
During an appearance Monday on WEEI’s Mut & Callahan, Brady explained what’s changed in his style of play as his career has progressed.
“…Maybe part of my problem as I’ve gotten older is I want to make so few mistakes,” Brady said. “Maybe there’s not as much aggressiveness as I would like because with aggressiveness comes more risk. We have like a 95 percent chance of winning when we don’t turn the ball over and I think that’s always in the back of my mind. So being a little less fearful with the ball and a little more aggressive. I thought we did a better job of that yesterday, and hopefully we can keep that going.”
While Brady’s comment about the Patriots’ chances of winning might have come off as hyperbolic, it’s really not. As Colin Cowherd noted during Tuesday’s edition of “The Herd” on FOX Sports 1, New England is 125-15 in games it doesn’t turn the ball over, just about a 90 percent success rate.
The Patriots certainly have been careful with the football of late, as they haven’t committed a turnover in their last four games. And if Brady and Co. can continue that trend for another four contests, they’ll break a franchise record.
Head coach Bill Belichick certainly puts great emphasis on preventing turnovers, as players who have a tendency for mistakes typically don’t last very long in Foxboro, Mass.