FOXBORO, Mass. — Blitzing Tom Brady typically is a dangerous proposition.
This season, though, the New England Patriots quarterback hasn’t been nearly as adept at exploiting aggressive defenses.
In fact, through 10 weeks, Brady ranks dead last in the league in passer rating against the blitz, according to stats compiled by ESPN’s “NFL Matchup.”
Brady was asked for his reaction to this surprising stat during his Wednesday news conference at Gillette Stadium.
“Well, any time you’re last in the league in anything, that’s probably not very good,” the 41-year-old said. “I haven’t studied that as much. I think if they blitz, it gives us great opportunities to make plays, and if we’re not doing that, then we’ve got to figure out how to do it.
“I think if you rush three or four or five, there’s going to be opportunities really in any case. It’s just what you do with the opportunities. So hopefully we can figure that out, get out of the basement and move our way up.”
Brady is coming off arguably his worst game of the season, completing just 51.2 percent of his passes and averaging 6.2 yards per attempt in a 34-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees dialed up creative blitzes and rush schemes to pressure Brady, who was sacked three times, hit six times and forced into making several quick and inaccurate throws.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick offered his take on Brady’s struggles against the blitz earlier this week.
“Whether there is or isn’t pressure, the overall passing game has to execute on time and in a smooth fashion,” Belichick said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria.” “And that includes everyone. It’s the protection. It’s the receivers. It’s the distribution of the routes. It’s the quarterback. It’s the play and the coverage that we get it against. All those things are related.”
Belichick did note the Patriots have taken fewer sacks than all but four teams this season. Brady also has been one of the league’s least-pressured QBs.
Brady hasn’t thrown an interception in New England’s last three games but also has just one touchdown pass during that span. With the 7-3 Patriots on a bye this week, he plans to use the time away to self-scout and improve ahead of next Sunday’s matchup with the New York Jets.
“I think every position needs to shore things up,” Brady said. “The reality is, for the quarterback, I can do what I can do, and I need to shore things up with what I need to do. The different positions do the same, and that’s what this (bye) week is all about — looking at everything you’re doing, everything the rest of the team’s doing, how my position fits into the rest of the offense.
“And that goes for every player. I don’t think any player is really satisfied. I think we’re all looking to get better and improve, and we have some opportunity to do that. There’s still a lot of football left.”
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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