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Can Brady Throw Deep?


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#1 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:03 PM

I think this team could really use a true deep threat. A burner with good size could really benefiet the Patriots.


I've see this sentiment a lot but I think it's the LAST thing the Patriots "need". The Patriots cannot use a 'true deep threat' because Tom Brady, since the knee injury, cannot throw deep. He's bad at it. There's tons of evidence that this is true but because there's a tendency to remember someone at his most spectacular (note: not best), Patriots fans remember Brady's bombs to Moss and keep begging for a deep threat. If only he could....

2007 completion % = 69.1%
2007 % of passes >15 yards = 17.6%
2007 AYPA = 6.8

2009 completion % = 64.9%
2009 % of passes >15 yards = 18.9%
2009 AYPA = 5.9

2010 completion % = 65.7%
2010 % of passes >15 yards = 14.3%
2010 AYPA = 6.6

2011 completion % = 65.9%
2011 % of passes >15 yards = 18.6%
2011 AYPA = 6.9

Now, these statistics are somewhat misleading if you simply compare the numbers; 2011 appears to be Brady's best year since 2007, especially when it comes to the "deep" category. But anyone who watched the games knows that rarely did a ball travel 15+ yards in the air and be completed but a ton of 6 yard catches were turned into 15+ yard gains with YAC. Most of that is the structure of the offense. The 2007 offense was prolific at everything - deep, intermediate, short, behind the line - they did it all, very well. But then came Bernard Pollard and the knee injury...

Kerry Byrne wrote this piece in October of 2010, right after the Moss trade:



The most damning evidence are the INTs:

  • In 2007, half of Brady's picks (4 of 8) came when targeting Moss.
  • In 2008, Cassel threw 4 of his 11 picks when targeting Moss.
  • In 2009, more than half of Brady's picks (8 of 13) came when targeting Moss.
  • In 2010, both of Brady's picks (2 of 2) came when targeting Moss.
In other words, the numbers confirm what you might have expected: targeting a deep threat, even a rare and elite performer like Moss, is a high-risk, high-reward venture. And, over time, the risks rose and the rewards declined.


There's a bunch of remarkable information in that piece (and one bit of speculation that has been proven spectacularly wrong) but the key bit is the INTs on targets of Moss - many of them on passes that traveled more than 15+ yards in the air.

Brady's recent track record on passes that travel more than 15+ yards in the air is dismal. Just look at the interception log:



  • In 2009:
  • @ the Jets (Moss)
  • 2 @ London vs. TB (Moss/Tate)
  • @ home vs. Miami (Moss)
  • @ Indianapolis (Moss)
  • 1 of 2 picks @ New Orleans (unreported-4th quarter) (the other was "short" to Moss)
  • @ Houston (Aiken)
  • 2 of 3 @ home vs. Baltimore (Aiken/Watson)
  • 16 Total Picks = 9 Deep
  • In 2010
  • Both picks @ the Jets (Moss x2)
  • Both picks @ home to Baltimore (Welker/Tate) (Tate pick was a hail mary)
  • 5 Total Picks = 4 Deep (Jets playoff pick was short to BJGE)
  • In 2011
  • 2 of the 4 picks @ Buffalo (Ocho/Gronk)
  • 1 of the 2 picks @ home in the regular season Giants game (Gronk)
  • The pick @ home in the Denver playoff game (Gronk)
  • Both picks @ home in the Baltimore playoff game (Welker/Edelman)
  • The pick @ the Super Bowl was (Gronk)
  • 16 picks = 7 Deep



There is that now-infamous scene from A Football Life where Belichick sums up the 2009 Patriots with "Stop Moss over the top and Welker underneath and we're bleeped." The ouster of Moss and the change in offensive game planning was seen as a reaction to being over-reliant on Moss and/or Moss' behavior behind the scenes. But looking back, doesn't it at least appear that after his knee surgery, Tom Brady just wasn't as good at throwing the ball deep downfield? And that "change" is what led to Moss being cut out of the game plan and traded, and a complete alteration of the offensive approach, with a passing game that rarely calls for Brady to "air it out"?

I think Tom Brady is still one of the best QBs in the NFL. He remains excellent at most of the things you want from a QB; leadership, toughness, accuracy, decision making - Brady's still damn fucking good at what he does. But there is mounting evidence - both visually and on the stat sheet - that Tom Brady simply does not throw the ball in the air more than 20 yards effectively. By a far margin, it is his least efficient skill as a QB.

So while I get the lament that the Patriots "need" a deep threat, I'm also increasingly convinced that such a player would be under-utilized by the Patriots because Tom Brady does not throw deep well, anymore. That is NOT to say that the Patriots don't need to improve their passing game and WR corps; guys who can run routes on the outside would be very, very welcome in this offense. Crossing routes, curls, outs - these are patterns that Brady can deliver the ball to, when they are run properly and with skill. Deion had clearly lost a step or two and was still marginally effective; Ocho couldn't get the timing down and wasn't. But guys who could show explosion off the line and then run & cut at the proper depth - they could help. Straight line burners? Guys who excel at getting past their man and out running their guy? No way...a linebacker was able to recover and pick off a Brady deep duck in the Super Bowl. That's a sign people.

Focus on what your guy CAN do, not what you want him to do. Tom Brady CAN lead a highly efficient passing attack with precision accuracy. Tom Brady cannot, IMO, throw efficiently down the field so stop asking for it.

Edited by soxfan121, 07 February 2012 - 01:22 PM.


#2 Toe Nash

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:10 PM

Or maybe Moss lost a step / lost the strength or vertical to get the ball. A few of his TDs in '07 weren't particularly great throws but Moss was completely insane that year. The one against the Dolphins when Randy was double-covered comes to mind immediately.

Occam's Razor says that while Brady likely declined some, just as much of a factor was Moss declining and no HoF deep threat around to make up for it.

#3 tims4wins


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:14 PM

I think the %Deep on that page is actually % of targets (i.e., attempts) more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage, not the completion %.

http://www.advancedn...8/glossary.html

Edited by tims4wins, 07 February 2012 - 01:15 PM.


#4 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

I think the %Deep on that page is actually % of targets (i.e., attempts) more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage, not the completion %.

http://www.advancedn...8/glossary.html


Yep - correcting my post. Thanks.

Anyone know where to find the % on those attempts?

Edited by soxfan121, 07 February 2012 - 01:22 PM.


#5 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:24 PM

Occam's Razor says that while Brady likely declined some, just as much of a factor was Moss declining and no HoF deep threat around to make up for it.


The simplest explanation is that major knee surgery was a bigger factor than "other guys declining". And the problem extends well past Moss' tenure. I'm gonna comb through the game threads later to find all the "looked short to me" and "wow, he under threw him" posts as supporting evidence.

#6 Shelterdog


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

Isn't the important question "how good is he relative to other NFL QBs"?

Pro football focus says he's 16/31 QB on the accuracy of his long ball (he's 27/31 in terms of attempts-he throws it more than 20 yards downfield less than 10% of the time, while someone like Eli throws it downfield 19% of the time). That sounds about right to me; he's average at the downfield throws but not terrible.

#7 ivanvamp


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:34 PM

Yep - correcting my post. Thanks.

Anyone know where to find the % on those attempts?


You can find splits on each player's stat page on espn.com. So here you go for Tom's 2011 splits: http://espn.go.com/n.../2330/tom-brady

Then scroll down to find his stats "per pass play" - i.e., how far down the field his pass attempts travel. To whet your appetite, here are Brady's deep ball #s (defined as 30+ yards in the air) in 2011:

1-15 (6.7%), 46 yds, 3.1 ypa, 0 td, 0 int

So, um.....these aren't good numbers. Compare them to other top QB:

Brees: 10-21 (47.6%), 442 yds, 21.0 ypa, 6 td, 1 int
Rodgers: 11-20 (55.0%), 526 yds, 26.3 ypa, 6 td, 0 int
E.Manning: 11-35 (31.4%), 624 yds, 17.8 ypa, 3 td, 1 int
Stafford: 11-34 (32.4%), 502 yds, 14.8 ypa, 4 td, 0 int
Rivers: 9-31 (29.0%), 370 yds, 11.9 ypa, 6 td, 4 int

And, just for fun, two more:

Sanchez: 2-11 (18.2%), 79 yds, 7.2 ypa, 0 td, 0 int
Tebow: 4-26 (15.4%), 181 yds, 7.0 ypa, 1 td, 0 int

So Brady's deep ball numbers were worse, by a mile, than the top QBs in the game, and, much to my chagrin, they were also a lot worse than the stats of QBs that we Pats fans like to make a lot of fun of.

#8 tims4wins


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

ESPN splits stats out by yards the ball was thrown, and it is broken into behind the line, 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, and 40+. I think we should look at this in two ways, 20+ yard throws, and 40+ yard throws (true "bombs"). Here are the stats for 20+, I will look at 40+ next. Regular season numbers only.

2011: 15-48, 522, 6 TD, 0 INT, 113.0 rating
2010: 14-36, 527, 6 TD, 0 INT, 103.0 rating
2009: 16-60, 701, 9 TD, 6 INT, 75.8 rating
2007: 28-69, 1112, 15 TD, 5 INT, 97.4 rating
2006: 23-63, 735, 7 TD, 5 INT, 85.1 rating
2005: 16-62, 576, 8 TD, 2 INT, 91.9 rating
2004: 26-76, 835, 7 TD, 5 INT, 79.7 rating
2003: 20-63, 801, 6 TD, 4 INT, 85.9 rating
2002: 10-51, 305, 2 TD, 4 INT, 32.4 rating
2001: Stats not available

So in the last 2 years, despite the lack of a "deep threat", Brady has had the best two years of his career in terms of throwing 20+ yard passes. Will add 40+ in a few minutes.

#9 baruch20

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:41 PM

Stop it with your facts, stats and examples. I don't want to believe this . . . although honestly this is exactly what my eyes have been telling me in the last year.

All the more reason, I think, to get a big receiver who can be a deep threat, but is proficient at a variety of things. VJax would be an absolute dream in my opinion.
He can seemingly do it all, but would keep the defenses honest with his ability to go long and go up and get it.
We dont have to have a guy who goes for home runs all the time, but the opposing defenses still need to respect it. Otherwise (to use a badly fitting baseball analogy) the infield will be crowded with 5 or 6 infielders. This would make the average Patriots type passes that much more effective . . . almost unstopable IMHO.

Edited by baruch20, 07 February 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#10 tims4wins


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:42 PM

40+ yard throws:
2011: 1-6, 46 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 59.0 rating
2010: 0-6, 0 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 0.0 rating
2009: 3-17, 161, 3 TD, 2 INT, 66.5 rating
2007: 7-17, 366, 5 TD, 0 INT, 128.1 rating

This confirms the argument that Brady struggles with true "bombs".

30-40 yard throws:
2011: 0-9, 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 39.6 rating
2010: 5-13, 225, 3 TD, 0 INT, 125.8 rating
2009: 3-13, 123, 1 TD, 2 INT, 52.6 rating
2007: 6-13, 256, 3 TD, 2 INT, 92.6 rating

This shows that it's not just bombs, but anything over 30 yards. When you add it to the 40+ yard stats, the picture is clear. Of course, as has been pointed out, need to compare to other QBs to make it meaningful.

Edited by tims4wins, 07 February 2012 - 01:46 PM.


#11 Stitch01


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:43 PM

He was terrible throwing deep this year, but hard to tell if it was injury related. He hit Branch in the first playoff game on a very well thrown ball. My recollection is he got banged up in the Dallas game and very rarely threw the ball long after that.

Even if throwing deep isnt Brady's best attribute, I think a deep threat other teams have to respoect would help open up the underneath stuff. Its not like Brady literally cant throw a 40 yard pass anymore (otherwise we have much bigger problems.

#12 Fishercat


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:46 PM

You can find splits on each player's stat page on espn.com. So here you go for Tom's 2011 splits: http://espn.go.com/n.../2330/tom-brady

Then scroll down to find his stats "per pass play" - i.e., how far down the field his pass attempts travel. To whet your appetite, here are Brady's deep ball #s (defined as 30+ yards in the air) in 2011:

1-15 (6.7%), 46 yds, 3.1 ypa, 0 td, 0 int

So, um.....these aren't good numbers. Compare them to other top QB:

Brees: 10-21 (47.6%), 442 yds, 21.0 ypa, 6 td, 1 int
Rodgers: 11-20 (55.0%), 526 yds, 26.3 ypa, 6 td, 0 int
E.Manning: 11-35 (31.4%), 624 yds, 17.8 ypa, 3 td, 1 int
Stafford: 11-34 (32.4%), 502 yds, 14.8 ypa, 4 td, 0 int
Rivers: 9-31 (29.0%), 370 yds, 11.9 ypa, 6 td, 4 int

And, just for fun, two more:

Sanchez: 2-11 (18.2%), 79 yds, 7.2 ypa, 0 td, 0 int
Tebow: 4-26 (15.4%), 181 yds, 7.0 ypa, 1 td, 0 int

So Brady's deep ball numbers were worse, by a mile, than the top QBs in the game, and, much to my chagrin, they were also a lot worse than the stats of QBs that we Pats fans like to make a lot of fun of.


To raise the obvious question...is this a chicken or egg scenario? Was Brady so poor this year because he has lost any touch he had for the deep ball, or was Brady so poor this year (in part) because his "deep threats" were Chad Ochocinco, Matthew Slater, Deion Branch, and the tight ends? Each of the other top QBs mentioned has at least one guy who is a legitimate, burner of a downfield threat on the outside (away from where safeties can converge)*

*I'll ignore the more arguable ones, but guys like Meachem, Jennings, Cruz, Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, and Demaryius Thomas.

FWIW, without looking as deep into it as others, my inclination is that 121 is right: Brandon Lloyd would not be an amazing target for NE and if Brady becomes too fond of him, it could backfire. But I think he does have value as a decoy and in keeping coverages somewhat honest in their gameplans. Every time the defense has to dedicate a safety over the top to Brandon Lloyd, that's an extra second or two it may take for that safety to get to the box, or the tight end, or wherever the ball actually is.

#13 Toe Nash

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

He's also trying the deep bomb less as Moss became less effective, and much less once Moss was no longer on the team. I think most of the posts in this thread are understating how amazing Randy Moss was.

#14 SMU_Sox


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:00 PM

Drawing conclusions from so few samples is embarassing. I will say though that he underthrew on most if not all of those passes and i have been thinking the same thing as 121 lately. Drew Brees is about as accurate of a QB you could ask for at 40+ yards. He's the first guy who comes to mind when I think of a QB who can throw the deep ball well. However, the Saints bake a lot of those plays into their game plan. The Gronk pass happened on a broken play. I don't think Slayer was Brady's first option either. Does Brady practice throwing deep bombs as much as Brees does? A lot of the success I think is in timing. If you amd your WRs are not used to 40+ yard passing plays I could see why they are not as successful.

#15 Harry Hooper


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:01 PM

The simplest explanation is that major knee surgery was a bigger factor than "other guys declining". And the problem extends well past Moss' tenure. I'm gonna comb through the game threads later to find all the "looked short to me" and "wow, he under threw him" posts as supporting evidence.


For this past season, at least, Brady had stretches where he was short on all kinds of throws from bombs to short tosses. Much of that seemed linked to his elbow tendinitis or whatever in his throwing arm and not his knee. Also, Brady is right-handed, so his uninjured right knee is the power leg on throws.

Still, near the end of the season (Game 16?) there was a play quite similar to the SB deep attempt to Gronk. Brady did a full-body windup with his feet under him and uncorked a deep throw that ended up surprisingly short.

Edited by Harry Hooper, 07 February 2012 - 02:01 PM.


#16 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:26 PM

If he had a guy who could outrun the secondary AND hold on to the ball, it would help his percentage.

We hoped that would be Ochocinco. Was he even on the field for the Hail Mary? I saw both TE's, Welker, and Branch in the end zone on that play. Who/where was the 5th receiver?

Edited by Lose Remerswaal, 07 February 2012 - 02:26 PM.


#17 Saints Rest

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

If he had a guy who could outrun the secondary AND hold on to the ball, it would help his percentage.

We hoped that would be Ochocinco. Was he even on the field for the Hail Mary? I saw both TE's, Welker, and Branch in the end zone on that play. Who/where was the 5th receiver?

The 5th "receiver" was Woodhead who stayed home to block. It looked to me like that was a good choice as he helped out Light and allowed Brady the extra time to get the ball downfield.

#18 gammoseditor


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

I agree throwing the deep ball is not Brady's greatest strength but I do think the numbers are misleading as well. His declining numbers in Moss's last year can easily be due to Moss just not being the same player. There's a reason he didn't do anything after leaving. If Moss went to a new team and was back to his old self then it'd be easy to blame Brady. As far as this year, of course he was bad throwing deep. Who on this team was getting open deep? Their top three threats are two TE's and a slot receiver. It's fairly obvious that if Brady had a real deep threat he would improve.

#19 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:42 PM

I'm all in - the Patriots need another PLAYMAKER in the passing game. Not a "deep threat"; another playmaker. A guy who can make something from nothing. Hernandez is almost there but another guy with him and Gronk is a more than capable passing attack. Someone who is a threat to take a 5 yard slant 35 yards; someone who excels when shit breaks down and is the cliched "dangerous in space".

The beauty of needing a playmaker is that they come in all shapes, sizes and threat profiles. Would a Darren Sproles-esque weapon give this offense the added dimension it needs? Yup. How about a DeSean Jackson-type? Oh yeah. David Patten, the poor man's playmaker? Sure.

The Patriots are not going to be throwing 30+ yard passes, so the big plays need to come from YAC and play design and that's what our offense is already based on. Another playmaker who excels at getting the ball and then making plays is what is needed; not a straight-line, get-behind-the-coverage, take-the-top-off deep threat.

#20 Reverend


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:43 PM

Brady was known for not having a strong arm when he entered the league and made his bones on the short passing game--heck, anyone remember the phrase "dink and dunk offense"?

Eventually he got strong enough to through it long, if not well, but with Moss he didn't have to throw it that well, just long, 2007 happened and everyone experienced some weird form of collective amnesia about the above statement.

#21 RedOctober3829


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:45 PM

I'm all in - the Patriots need another PLAYMAKER in the passing game. Not a "deep threat"; another playmaker. A guy who can make something from nothing. Hernandez is almost there but another guy with him and Gronk is a more than capable passing attack. Someone who is a threat to take a 5 yard slant 35 yards; someone who excels when shit breaks down and is the cliched "dangerous in space".

The beauty of needing a playmaker is that they come in all shapes, sizes and threat profiles. Would a Darren Sproles-esque weapon give this offense the added dimension it needs? Yup. How about a DeSean Jackson-type? Oh yeah. David Patten, the poor man's playmaker? Sure.

The Patriots are not going to be throwing 30+ yard passes, so the big plays need to come from YAC and play design and that's what our offense is already based on. Another playmaker who excels at getting the ball and then making plays is what is needed; not a straight-line, get-behind-the-coverage, take-the-top-off deep threat.


DeSean Jackson would look great in this offense but is his head going to be on straight? He would add a gamechanger on offense and special teams.

#22 SMU_Sox


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:49 PM

DeSean Jackson would look great in this offense but is his head going to be on straight? He would add a gamechanger on offense and special teams.


Suddenly our PR unit looks a whole lot better. Can he comprehend the offense though? Love/Hate Moss he was a very savvy football player and picked up our offense quickly. He was an intelligent guy even if well... he had an EQ the size of his shoes.

#23 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

TYPE - that type of guy. I want no part of a guy who stops running routes cause he's gonna get hit, which Jackson did in the game against us this year.

DeSean Jackson is not ever coming here and no Pats fan who understands who this coach wants to coach would think it has a snowball's chance in hell.

#24 Al Zarilla


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:08 PM

DeSean Jackson is not ever coming here and no Pats fan who understands who this coach wants to coach would think it has a snowball's chance in hell.

A lot of people were saying the same thing about Randy Moss back when. I'd take my chances with DeSean, but the Pats aren't asking for my opinion.

#25 Ed Hillel


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:16 PM

They haven't had an outside vertical threat for Brady since 2007. Before the knee injury, however, he could absolutely bomb it accurately to guys like Patten, Branch, and Moss. His third down throw in SB 42 might have been the best thrown incomplete pass in NFL history. He threw it cross field about 75 yards and hit Moss what would have been in stride had they Giant DB not tipped it awaybat the last moment.

What's gotten a bit worse is his decision to force it deep when not there. Sunday wasn't a bad decision per se and in terms of accuracy he got clobbered right after he released the ball, so it's hard to judge the throw itself.



#26 Al Zarilla


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

They haven't had an outside vertical threat for Brady since 2007. Before the knee injury, however, he could absolutely bomb it accurately to guys like Patten, Branch, and Moss. His third down throw in SB 42 might have been the best thrown incomplete pass in NFL history. He threw it cross field about 75 yards and hit Moss what would have been in stride had they Giant DB not tipped it awaybat the last moment.

What's gotten a bit worse is his decision to force it deep when not there. Sunday wasn't a bad decision per se and in terms of accuracy he got clobbered right after he released the ball, so it's hard to judge the throw itself.

Whoa, 75 yards? I think that's Elway and Bradshaw and not too many other guys' territory.

#27 Ed Hillel


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:31 PM

Whoa, 75 yards? I think that's Elway and Bradshaw and not too many other guys' territory.


He releases it at like the 10 yard line and it gets to Moss at around the 17 I believe.

#28 Al Zarilla


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

He releases it at like the 10 yard line and it gets to Moss at around the 17 I believe.

I'd like to see that.

#29 Prodigal Sox

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:53 PM

They haven't had an outside vertical threat for Brady since 2007. Before the knee injury, however, he could absolutely bomb it accurately to guys like Patten, Branch, and Moss. His third down throw in SB 42 might have been the best thrown incomplete pass in NFL history. He threw it cross field about 75 yards and hit Moss what would have been in stride had they Giant DB not tipped it awaybat the last moment.

What's gotten a bit worse is his decision to force it deep when not there. Sunday wasn't a bad decision per se and in terms of accuracy he got clobbered right after he released the ball, so it's hard to judge the throw itself.


I try not to compare his other deep throws to this one since as you said it might be the best thrown incompletion in history but I can't remember a deep throw even remotely close to this one since the knee injury.

And the throw on the interception Sunday looked bad from the moment it left his hand. I didn't see a replay from the beginning of the play but something about the throw looked off from the beginning. It looked like it was going to be short almost from the start.

#30 fairlee76

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

I'd like to see that.

12 yard to 20 yard line, right?


#31 Stitch01


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:03 PM

slow pony, already posted

Edited by Stitch01, 07 February 2012 - 05:04 PM.


#32 Al Zarilla


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:16 PM

12 yard to 20 yard line, right?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUGj5qQFnnc

Wow, guess I missed that somehow.

#33 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:20 PM

They haven't had an outside vertical threat for Brady since 2007. Before the knee injury, however, he could absolutely bomb it accurately to guys like Patten, Branch, and Moss. His third down throw in SB 42 might have been the best thrown incomplete pass in NFL history. He threw it cross field about 75 yards and hit Moss what would have been in stride had they Giant DB not tipped it awaybat the last moment.

I've been saying this for a long long time.

That throw was FUCKING AMAZING

#34 Ed Hillel


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:24 PM

I try not to compare his other deep throws to this one since as you said it might be the best thrown incompletion in history but I can't remember a deep throw even remotely close to this one since the knee injury.

And the throw on the interception Sunday looked bad from the moment it left his hand. I didn't see a replay from the beginning of the play but something about the throw looked off from the beginning. It looked like it was going to be short almost from the start.


I agree, it looked like he rushed the throw and was off balance. His stride looked too long and like he was throwing too much against his body.

And if Moss turns and jumps for that, I think he either catches it or gets an interference call. I think Moss thought Webster wasn't going to be able to get a hand on it. He was almost right.

Edited by Ed Hillel, 07 February 2012 - 05:25 PM.


#35 fairlee76

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:30 PM

Wow, guess I missed that somehow.

Yeah, I was re-watching that game last week and did a double-take when I realized how far that ball travelled in the air. In terms of quality of the throw, it is the best incompleted pass I have ever seen. Then again, if Brady gets 5 more yards on that pass...kidding, kidding.

#36 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:34 PM

Yeah, I was re-watching that game last week and did a double-take when I realized how far that ball travelled in the air. In terms of quality of the throw, it is the best incompleted pass I have ever seen. Then again, if Brady gets 5 more yards on that pass...kidding, kidding.

I've been saying for the last few years that if Brady and Moss connect, it's probably a TD and it's probably the greatest pass in NFL history given the circumstances.

Brady threw what amounted to basically 70 yards and barely missed Moss. I'm not sure there's ever been a throw like that.

#37 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:42 PM

Brady was known for not having a strong arm when he entered the league and made his bones on the short passing game--heck, anyone remember the phrase "dink and dunk offense"?

Eventually he got strong enough to through it long, if not well, but with Moss he didn't have to throw it that well, just long, 2007 happened and everyone experienced some weird form of collective amnesia about the above statement.


Reliving the greatest incomplete pass in NFL history has its allures.

Short of finding a mad scientist with the ability to clone 2007 Randy Moss, can Tom Brady reliably throw "deep" passes? Based on the numbers and the play calls, the Patriots didn't think so, hence the focus on players who can create after the catch.

Bombs be pretty, yo.

#38 Prodigal Sox

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

I agree, it looked like he rushed the throw and was off balance. His stride looked too long and like he was throwing too much against his body.


The trajectory on the pass was pretty high. It almost looked like a Hail Mary throw. I thought it would have been flatter.

#39 PedrosRedGlove

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

Regardless of whether or not he can, he should really just stop trying. It is completely unnecessary and very risky.

I always think back to the early Super Bowl years, like the first one, whose game winning drive began with 3 dump offs to J.R. f'in Redmond. I remember Brady making the simplest, easiest, safest decision. My memory might be cloudy by now, but Brady rarely went deep in his younger years, so rarely that I just assumed he didn't have great arm strength/accuracy downfield. The only bombs I remember Brady throwing were balls way over guys' heads, as in if he was going to take the risk, he was going to do everything he could to mitigate it, either his guy was running it down or it was falling harmlessly.

That is my only complaint about Brady. His skills are all still there, he just needs to stop taking the small risks that he used to put so much emphasis on avoiding.

#40 BoredViewer

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:08 PM

I've always thought his deep balls were below par... too flat, too hard and often too late.

Not to say he never throws a good one... just not as consistently as the rest of his game.

#41 collings94

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:17 PM

Even if Brady is inconsistent throwing deep, the mere threat of the deep ball would open up their underneath game.

#42 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:18 PM

A lot of people were saying the same thing about Randy Moss back when. I'd take my chances with DeSean, but the Pats aren't asking for my opinion.


Big difference between the two was that while Moss was a knucklehead he actually was/is a smart player. DeSean and his antics when hes on the field and making plays make me question his football IQ. For example celebrating before getting into the end zone and promptly losing the football before scoring.

#43 Hoya81

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

I think the slow accumulation of age and nagging injuries probably takes its toll more and more as the season goes on. This year, he had nagging issues with his elbow and non throwing shoulder(which he took a big hit on Sunday and wasnt as sharp afterward), and simply doesn't have the same reserve of energy in week 22 that he did when he was 25.

#44 ivanvamp


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:29 PM

I've been saying for the last few years that if Brady and Moss connect, it's probably a TD and it's probably the greatest pass in NFL history given the circumstances.

Brady threw what amounted to basically 70 yards and barely missed Moss. I'm not sure there's ever been a throw like that.


It was an unbelievable play. The only thing that bugged me was that Moss cradled his arms waiting for the ball instead of reaching up for it to grab it with his hands. And that probably cost them the completion.

But yeah, that throw was one of the most amazing throws of all-time. 70+ yards, *perfectly* placed, and it wasn't a hail mary heave...it was a legitimate pass to a streaking receiver right on the button.

But Moss didn't reach up for it and the Giants' defender just got a hand on it. Goes in the book as the exact same as one of Eli's throws in the dirt on Sunday......

#45 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:47 AM

Even if Brady is inconsistent throwing deep, the mere threat of the deep ball would open up their underneath game.


No NBA team orders a player who cannot shoot 3-pointers to keep shooting 3-pointers because it will "open up the post game". The other team would justifiably sag, let Mr. Inconsistent jack up his 1-for-6 or his 2-for-11 and waltz home with a win.

Teams win by being efficient with the ball. Doing something you know you execute at a very low percentage is a sure way to lose in the NFL. Tom Brady executes deep passes of greater than 25 yards in the air VERY poorly, compared to his other skills. Other teams celebrate when Brady eschews a Hernandez crossing pattern 8 yards deep and instead tries to launch one to Matt Slater or Tiquan Underwood or Randy Moss because instead of near-70% success, on that deep attempt, it's more like ~20%.

It is RETARDED to continue to insist that a "mere threat" does anything for this offense; it's an Andy Gresh-bullshit talking point that holds very little water. If you've got a generational talent (Randy Moss) who can outrun, outjump and outmuscle anyone from the ball, it's a bit more defensible. But Randy Moss is NOT walking through that door. A "mere threat" - oh, like Brandon Tate - doesn't get it done. It does NOTHING to help the offense because defenses in the NFL aren't so fucking naive as to set their defense up to stop 2 attempts at "deep" passes per game when the real danger is within 15 yards of the LOS.

The point of this thread was never to debate the question - it's pretty fucking clear that if you've watched the games and have a shred of intellectual honesty, you can admit that the worst part of Tom Brady's game is the deep pass - the numbers back it up, the play calling backs it up and the personnel backs it up. Yet, people are still so enamored of Moss that they keep begging for a "mere deep threat" as if it had value OR was a good idea. It's not a good idea. This thread proves it's not a good idea.

The Pats need a play maker at WR. They need a guy who can take the precisely accurate 7 yard pass from Brady and turn it into a 40 yard play. Not a guy who runs 40 yards and then watches as the underthrown ball is being returned by the defender who picked it off.

#46 Stitch01


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:27 AM

Which playmaker do you want to get? Desean Jackson types that aren't Desean Jackson are sort of rare.

I agree, the deep ball is a weaker part of Brady's game. However, I don't think you can run a top NFL offense that refuses to ever throw the ball more than 25 yards downfield, at least not against top defenses. I do think Brady would have more success throwing to guys that weren't half washed up Ochocinco and Branch, a Jags castoff, and a special teams coverage guy. I think someone like Brandon Lloyd would help because he can run other routes in addition to deep routes. Agreed that the straight burner types don't fit well in this offense but upgrading from Ochocinco to a guy more likely to catch the one or two bombs Brady throws a game has to help.

Also not sure why you are surprised a thread titled can Brady thrown deep? Turned into a thread debating whether Brady can throw deep.

#47 Super Nomario


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

The Pats need a play maker at WR. They need a guy who can take the precisely accurate 7 yard pass from Brady and turn it into a 40 yard play.

Like, say, the guy who led all WR in YAC this season by 140 yards? The one you've advocated not re-signing?

http://espn.go.com/n...ch/seasontype/2

#48 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:20 AM

It is RETARDED to continue to insist that a "mere threat" does anything for this offense; it's an Andy Gresh-bullshit talking point that holds very little water. If you've got a generational talent (Randy Moss) who can outrun, outjump and outmuscle anyone from the ball, it's a bit more defensible. But Randy Moss is NOT walking through that door. A "mere threat" - oh, like Brandon Tate - doesn't get it done. It does NOTHING to help the offense because defenses in the NFL aren't so fucking naive as to set their defense up to stop 2 attempts at "deep" passes per game when the real danger is within 15 yards of the LOS.


No, it's not retarded. Even a guy like freaking Tate-who wasn't that good-or a Torrey Smith who's a little bit faster and better but not a good receiver yet-cause teams to play you differently (the Jets dedicated Cromartie to him, other teams roll a safety to his side of the field; he'd get a good cushion at the line of scrimmage). Teams really do have to respect non-Moss wideouts because even an average deep ball thrower like Brady can get 6 in a fucking hurry if you let a guy like Tate by.

Most teams are playing New England with their safeties way, way up, their dbs in tight man coverage, and the flexibility to use their best corners on any player they please.

Edited by Shelterdog, 08 February 2012 - 09:39 AM.


#49 baruch20

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

How about a PLAYMAKER as you say . . . who can also be a deep threat?
Those guys exist and this is seemingly one of the best offseasons in a while to pursue some of them. I personally have a mancrush on VJax because I think he would be a juggernaught with Brady in this offense, and he can pretty much do it all, including stretch the field on a few deep routes.

Maybe it sounds too fantasy football but sometimes I think it is as simple as that. As amazing as Welker is this team needs someone who can create on many levels. I'd be interested to hear what someone else thinks about VJax as a player/playmaker, and his value to this offense. (If we were somehow able to get him here)

#50 PaulinMyrBch


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:06 AM

Wow on that Moss pass. Crazy thing is Brady threw from beyond the line of scrimmage. Line is the 11+, he's on the 12/13 when he lets it go. Would have been fun debating had it been complete.




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