Patriots-Bills Top Takeaways: Tom Brady Looked Like Tom Brady Again

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December 22, 2019

The 2019 New England Patriots season has been a weird one. Case in point: The top takeaway from Saturday’s win over the Buffalo Bills was the fact that Tom Brady looked good.

Brady turned in his best performance since Week 2 by registering a 111 passer rating and 78.8 completion percentage.

Here are the rest of our takeaways from Saturday’s 24-17 win. All stats via Pro Football Focus.

PASSING ATTACK
Tom Brady was 26-of-33 for 271 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

Among Brady’s seven incompletions, three were throwaways, so he had an 86.7 accuracy rate. That’s his highest accuracy percentage of the season.

Brady didn’t attempt any deep passes.

He was under pressure on just 26.5 percent of snaps. That’s down from 30.5 percent on the season.

He was 5-of-9 for 55 yards with three throwaways while under pressure.

Brady was 8-of-10 for 141 yards with a touchdown on play-action.

Patriots receivers didn’t drop any passes.

PASS PROTECTION
LT Isaiah Wynn: three hurries
LG Joe Thuney: clean
C Ted Karras: clean
RG Shaq Mason: hurry
RT Marcus Cannon: clean
QB Tom Brady: two hurries
RT Marshall Newhouse: hurry
TE Matt LaCosse: clean
TE Benjamin Watson: clean
RB Sony Michel: clean
RB James White

— Karras has been great since returning from a knee injury.

— Thuney continues to be the Patriots’ best offensive lineman.

— Newhouse filled in admirably for Cannon, who left the game with an ankle injury. Newhouse is probably a better fit at right tackle than he was earlier in the season at left tackle.

RUN GAME
N’Keal Harry: 11.5 yards after contact per carry, two forced missed tackles
Sony Michel: 3.86 yards after contact per carry, seven forced missed tackles
Rex Burkhead: 2.4 yards after contact per carry, four forced missed tackles
James White: 2 yards after contact per carry, no forced missed tackles
Tom Brady: .5 yards after contact per carry

— The Patriots need to keep getting the ball in Harry’s hands as a runner. He’s been impressive at breaking tackles.

— Michel and Burkhead were both great Saturday in the Patriots’ third-best rushing performance of the season.

PASS RUSH
LB Dont’a Hightower: two sacks, hurry
DT Lawrence Guy: sack, QB hit, hurry
LB Kyle Van Noy: three hurries
LB Jamie Collins: two hurries
LB John Simon: sack
DT Adam Butler: sack
DT Danny Shelton: hurry
DE Deatrich Wise: hurry

— Hightower only had 16 pass-rush snaps, while Guy had just 13.

— Chase Winovich and Shilique Calhoun were blanked on their pass-rush reps.

PASS COVERAGE
CB Stephon Gilmore: 1-4, 53 yards, TD, PBU
CB JC Jackson: 3-8, 50 yards, two PBUs
LB Jamie Collins: 3-3, 45 yards
SS Patrick Chung: 1-3, 33 yards
CB Jason McCourty: 1-1, 14 yards
FS Devin McCourty: 1-1, 7 yards
CB Joejuan Williams: 1-2, 3 yards
LB Kyle Van Noy: 1-1, 2 yards
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: 1-1, 1 yard, TD, PBU
LB Elandon Roberts: 0-1
SS Terrence Brooks: 0-1

— Gilmore was charged with John Brown’s 53-yard touchdown catch. That could have gone to Devin McCourty.

— Bentley was charged with left tackle Dion Dawkins’ 1-yard touchdown grab.

— Jackson struggled a bit while covering slot receiver Cole Beasley. Jackson usually doesn’t work out of the slot. He played 14 of his coverage snaps from inside.

— Jason McCourty was going to handle slot duties, but he re-injured his groin four snaps into his performance.

RUN DEFENSE/TACKLING
DT Lawrence Guy: four stops
LB Kyle Van Noy: three stops
LB Dont’a Hightower: three stops
LB Jamie Collins: three stops
LB John Simon: two stops
CB JC Jackson: stop, missed tackle
SS Patrick Chung: stop
FS Duron Harmon: stop
FS Devin McCourty: stop
CB Stephon Gilmore: stop
DT Danny Shelton: missed tackle
DT Adam Butler: two missed tackles

— The Bills ran the ball pretty well, picking up 92 yards on 23 carries. QB Josh Allen picked up 43 of those yards on just seven carries. The Patriots held Devin Singletary to 46 yards on 13 carries.

— Guy was dominant in the run game with four run stuffs up front.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.

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