This Year's ESPN Hit Piece

tims4wins

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The more you think about that quote the more you realize how it is pure BS.

In 2000, Charlie Weis was the OC. There was no named DC. Romeo came on board in 2001. Both got jobs in 2005. It is hard to believe BB didn’t help both.

McDaniels then took over as OC. It has been documented that BB helped him.

Mangini became DC. This would probably be the one instance BB didn’t help. So it was a true statement - he hadn’t ALWAYS done it in the past.

Dean Pees was the next DC. He left on his own volition and I don’t think has ever interviewed for a HC position.

Bill O’Brien was the next OC. It has been well documented BB helped him - even with getting him his own secretary to help him manage his Penn State duties.

And now McDaniels and Patricia are the coordinators and they are getting help.

So yes, likely true statement, BB didn’t ALWAYS help his coordinators with the interview process. But using that to prove some point about preparing Patricia is disingenous and lacking any kind of journalistic integrity.
 

edmunddantes

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The more you think about that quote the more you realize how it is pure BS.

In 2000, Charlie Weis was the OC. There was no named DC. Romeo came on board in 2001. Both got jobs in 2005. It is hard to believe BB didn’t help both.

McDaniels then took over as OC. It has been documented that BB helped him.

Mangini became DC. This would probably be the one instance BB didn’t help. So it was a true statement - he hadn’t ALWAYS done it in the past.

Dean Pees was the next DC. He left on his own volition and I don’t think has ever interviewed for a HC position.

Bill O’Brien was the next OC. It has been well documented BB helped him - even with getting him his own secretary to help him manage his Penn State duties.

And now McDaniels and Patricia are the coordinators and they are getting help.

So yes, likely true statement, BB didn’t ALWAYS help his coordinators with the interview process. But using that to prove some point about preparing Patricia is disingenous and lacking any kind of journalistic integrity.
This doesn't even include the stuff he's done for guy's not on his staff.

John Harbaugh being the most famous example.
 

Stitch01

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I have to confess, I am 100% lost at to what Patricia taking the Giants job is supposed to mean. Does it mean he was the source? BB was the source? Coordinators are leaving so BB could threaten Kraft? I dont understand the contention.
 

Byrdbrain

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His contention, I think anyway, is that he is getting the job because BB is helping his assistants get jobs this year.

Edit:Yeah I left out some stuff that T4T filled in below. What he said is what I meant. :)
 
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tims4wins

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Actually I think his contention is that because Wickersham had a source that said BB is helping his assistants, and Patricia is getting a job, this means the sources are reliable.
 

Ed Hillel

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My assumption was that the NYG job would to McDaniels, but if Patricia gets it, does that leave an attractive job left for McDaniels? Stafford in Detroit? Dysfunctional owner and right arm of an owner and QB in Indy? I think there would be decent odds he waits it out again.
 

cleanturtle

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Actually I think his contention is that because Wickersham had a source that said BB is helping his assistants, and Patricia is getting a job, this means the sources are reliable.
This is an example of why the analysis in the article seems off to me. Wickersham's contention seems to be that BB got pissed off because he was asked to make a move that was not in the best interest of the team. And so in reply...BB makes a number of moves that are not in the best interest of the team? That does not compute. There may be tension in Foxboro, but Wickersham's attempted analysis has the same sort of incoherence and sloppiness that's evident in some of his individual details.
 

streeter88

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I would bet Indy or nothing for Josh
Would you take the Indy job though? I suppose if you're from the Midwest it might make sense... but in wonder how much meddling you would get from Irsay, who seems to have had some twists and turns...

Somebody else on this board theorised that BB was going to keep coaching until he passes Shula. If so, that's at least 7 more years, but I wonder if BB's 2009 assertion that he didn't want to be like Marv Levy means the horizon is a bit shorter... Faced with the choice of Indy or taking over for BB, I know which job I would choose.

Edit: too clever for my own good.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I would bet Indy or nothing for Josh
I don’t think he goes anywhere near Indy. Toxic owner and injured QB?

I think it’s Detroit or nothing. They have a lot of talent on that roster. A GM he knows and an owner that stays out of the meddling.

He’s only got one more shot. If he wastes it on Indy then I won’t be sad he left and won’t be the successor because that would be dumb.
 

streeter88

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I don’t think he goes anywhere near Indy. Toxic owner and injured QB?

I think it’s Detroit or nothing. They have a lot of talent on that roster. A GM he knows and an owner that stays out of the meddling.

He’s only got one more shot. If he wastes it on Indy then I won’t be sad he left and won’t be the successor because that would be dumb.
PP nailed it perfectly, and far more politely than I did.
 

tims4wins

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I don’t think he goes anywhere near Indy. Toxic owner and injured QB?

I think it’s Detroit or nothing. They have a lot of talent on that roster. A GM he knows and an owner that stays out of the meddling.

He’s only got one more shot. If he wastes it on Indy then I won’t be sad he left and won’t be the successor because that would be dumb.
I don't think he has interviewed with Detroit.
 

tims4wins

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Also, for the record, I probably wouldn't take the Indy job, but there are worse situations. Irsay, while wacko, cares. The new GM Ballard seems ok. And if Luck gets healthy, that's a nice start.
 

tims4wins

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This is an example of why the analysis in the article seems off to me. Wickersham's contention seems to be that BB got pissed off because he was asked to make a move that was not in the best interest of the team. And so in reply...BB makes a number of moves that are not in the best interest of the team? That does not compute. There may be tension in Foxboro, but Wickersham's attempted analysis has the same sort of incoherence and sloppiness that's evident in some of his individual details.
Agreed
 

Hoya81

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You also have a backup in Brissett who has some background in the McDaniels playbook if Luck continues to be delayed.
 

Hagios

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FiveThirtyEight's hit piece Is Tom Brady Finally Getting Old?
Brady’s last five games of the 2017 regular season were uncharacteristically mediocre, despite New England going 4-1 in that span. Beginning in Week 13, Brady has posted a passer rating of 81.6, 17th best in the NFL,1 and his yards per attempt in that span were 6.95, 15th best in the league. He’s also been far worse in touchdowns to interceptions, going from 26-to-3 in his first 11 games to an unusual-for-him 6-to-5.
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It fits with the idea that at 40 he can't take the hits of a full season. But (as the article also notes) Gronk was out one game and he wasn't targeted in the last game.
 

Marciano490

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Kind of puts the lie to the thesis when they show he's had worse 5-game stretches in every prior season he's played since 2009, except for the 2011 season.
 

Harry Hooper

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C'mon, links to 538 after that crap piece on the Pats fumble rate that Ted Wells cited?
 

Ralphwiggum

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These stories will continue until Brady retires because someday he is going to start to decline and whoever wrote the most recent story saying he’s starting to decline will get to take a victory lap.

Same with “is this the beginning of the end of the Patriots dominance” stories.
 

tims4wins

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These stories will continue until Brady retires because someday he is going to start to decline and whoever wrote the most recent story saying he’s starting to decline will get to take a victory lap.

Same with “is this the beginning of the end of the Patriots dominance” stories.
I linked it earlier but my favorite was written by Johnette Howard... in the spring of 2010.
 

BaseballJones

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A few thoughts on this.

1. As the article alludes to (and I catalogued here a few days ago), Brady, even in his MVP and SB-winning seasons, had very similar stretches to what he's been going through the past 5 games. This. Is. Nothing. New. For. Brady.

2. Not to make excuses, but here's what happened in these five games...

- Win at Buf, 23-3 - Brady: 21-30, 258 yds, 0 td, 1 int, 82.4 rating
Typical solid win by the Patriots against a tough, playoff-level, opponent, on the road. 82.4 rating isn't great, but Burkhead had a 1-yard TD run, the kind of situation Manning usually threw on there. If he throws a 1-yard TD pass instead of Burkhead running it in, his passer rating for the day goes from 82.4 to 93.3, which is completely respectable in every way. Still, Brady completed 70% of his passes against a very good defense, for a ypa of 8.6, which is excellent.

- Loss at Mia, 27-20 - Brady: 24-43, 233 yds, 1 td, 2 int, 59.5 rating
This is the worst place for Brady to play historically. His numbers in Miami are usually not good, with a handful of exceptions. Moreover, this was the game Gronk missed. No wonder his stats weren't good. They hardly ever are in a place where he has a losing record.

- Win at Pit, 27-24 - Brady: 22-35, 298 yds, 1 td, 1 int, 87.6 rating
I'd like to have seen him do better here, but the Steelers actually did things very differently than they have in the past in this game. They played tons of man, which they never do, so it's not surprising that the numbers weren't what they usually are against Pittsburgh. Still, on the last two Pats' drives, when the game was on the line, Brady was 4-7 for 72 yards, plus drawing a huge PI penalty worth 23 more yards, as the Pats scored 10 points on their last two possessions when they needed it the most.

- Win vs Buf, 37-16 - Brady: 21-28, 224 yds, 2 td, 1 int, 106.8 rating
Terrific performance, best of this five-game stretch. 75% completion. 106.8 rating. 37 points scored. Nothing to complain about here.

- Win vs NYJ, 26-6 - Brady: 18-37, 190 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 82.0 rating
Coldest regular season game in Foxboro history. I was there. Insanely cold. I have no idea how anyone gripped the ball that day. And in reality, the Pats had several plays that worked against Brady in this game. At least 4 flat-out drops, including a deep ball to Dorsett that would have gone for 30+ yards. Plus Cooks slowed down on a deep ball that would have been for about 50 yards and a score. Just adding those two into his numbers (both the fault of the receiver) would give him a passer rating of 104.6. He had some bad throws, but in those conditions, that's expected.

So he had one excellent game (vs Buf), two games that were just fine, considering the circumstances (at Pit/ vs NYJ), one so-so game (at Buf), and one bad game in a place where he more often than not has a bad game (at Mia).

And during this "horrible" stretch, the Patriots' offense has averaged a horrible 26.6 points per game average, which would put the Pats 5th in the NFL in scoring average for the 2017 season.

This is not to say that Brady has been outstanding. He's not been. But one game was at his house of horrors, another was played in historically difficult conditions, and he had just come off a three game stretch where his passer ratings were 125.4, 132.0, and 114.1.

So MAYBE he's declining. But you have to look a LOT closer at the games to see why the numbers are the way they are.
 

tims4wins

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He was better than so-so in the win at Buffalo. He was pretty damn good. Remember that pick came on the Gronk play and was clear illegal contact / holding / DPI, and the game's outcome was not in doubt at that point. Simply remove the pick and his passer rating is 96.3 and his TD:INT ratio improves.

70% with 8.6 YPA is excellent regardless of opponent and venue. That would have ranked #2 in the league for completion % and #1 in the league for YPA. To do it on the road, late in the season in a place like Buffalo, against a playoff team with a good defense (Buffalo ranked #9 in YPA against, and #6 in passer rating against), was an excellent performance.

Edit: they also put up 26.6 PPG in this stretch which is pretty good generally, and even better when taking into account 3 of the 5 were road games, and the two others were late December in Foxboro. Also, no Hogan for most of it, and no Gronk for Miami.
 
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Jimbodandy

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He's lucky that he's not dead, after the turnstile act that Solder, Thuney, and the third string right tackle were performing in the second half of this season. Michael Vick in his prime would have been on his ass.
 

TheoShmeo

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Setting aside the numbers and "woulda coulda" in those last five games, my take is that Tom missed more makeable throws than usual. He also had more picks than usual. For me, it's noteworthy and something to watch, but very likely not a sign that the regression has begun. He normally sees his numbers dip in December. He's also taken a lot of hits this season and might be dinged up, something two weeks off should help. I also don't think it's a huge surprise that he did a little worse against teams that see him twice a season or, as BaseballJones noted, in Miami and without Gronk.

And on the flip side, he also made his share of great throws in these last five games. The story of the Pittsburgh game was surviving the ground and Gronk's dominance, but Tom threw Gronk every one of those balls and other than the one that Gronk picked off the turf, Tom's throws were on target.

As others have pointed out, like a broken clock, one day the doomsayers will be right about both Tom and the Dynasty. That time might be now but basing that off of the last five games seems like wishcasting more than hard boiled logic to me.
 

tims4wins

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Regarding the picks. I already pointed out the Buffalo pick was the Gronk play. And the Buffalo pick was on a play to Britt where it seemed like Britt come back for the ball enough - similar to what we saw last year with Michael Floyd a couple times, including a couple times in the Houston playoff win. A 6:3 TD:INT ratio over his last 5 games looks a lot better than 6:5.
 

TheoShmeo

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Regarding the picks. I already pointed out the Buffalo pick was the Gronk play. And the Buffalo pick was on a play to Britt where it seemed like Britt come back for the ball enough - similar to what we saw last year with Michael Floyd a couple times, including a couple times in the Houston playoff win. A 6:3 TD:INT ratio over his last 5 games looks a lot better than 6:5.
Agreed. But even 6:3 is down for Brady (28-2 last season) and I believe he threw a few balls in the last 5 weeks that were dropped by defenders. I don't mean to overblow this and I've already said I don't see these last several games as a harbinger. But he did throw more picks and bad balls during the recent stretch and I think it bears some watching, even if we expect it to fade in January with, hopefully, two games with two weeks off before kickoff.
 

tims4wins

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Agreed. But even 6:3 is down for Brady (28-2 last season) and I believe he threw a few balls in the last 5 weeks that were dropped by defenders. I don't mean to overblow this and I've already said I don't see these last several games as a harbinger. But he did throw more picks and bad balls during the recent stretch and I think it bears some watching, even if we expect it to fade in January with, hopefully, two games with two weeks off before kickoff.
I do think he is beat up a bit. It's a factor. Hogan's absence also a factor.
 

CCR

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Agreed. But even 6:3 is down for Brady (28-2 last season) and I believe he threw a few balls in the last 5 weeks that were dropped by defenders.
I seem to remember defenders dropping a few balls towards the end of last season too, so the 28-2 is a little misleading. I think the overall point stands, though.
 

Stitch01

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Setting aside the numbers and "woulda coulda" in those last five games, my take is that Tom missed more makeable throws than usual. He also had more picks than usual. For me, it's noteworthy and something to watch, but very likely not a sign that the regression has begun. He normally sees his numbers dip in December. He's also taken a lot of hits this season and might be dinged up, something two weeks off should help. I also don't think it's a huge surprise that he did a little worse against teams that see him twice a season or, as BaseballJones noted, in Miami and without Gronk.

And on the flip side, he also made his share of great throws in these last five games. The story of the Pittsburgh game was surviving the ground and Gronk's dominance, but Tom threw Gronk every one of those balls and other than the one that Gronk picked off the turf, Tom's throws were on target.

As others have pointed out, like a broken clock, one day the doomsayers will be right about both Tom and the Dynasty. That time might be now but basing that off of the last five games seems like wishcasting more than hard boiled logic to me.
He threw an interceptable pass to start that Steeler drive, but I think this post sums it up nicely.

Also wanted to note, that Steeler game was the Pats third straight road game, fifth road game in six weeks, the road trips included a two week stint to Mexico City and Denver, and they got the Steelers on a short week. It was, with the possible exception of the Dolphins September, about the worst scheduling spot that I can remember an NFL team having. The offense played well and Brady played well against a tough opponent on the road. Hard to get too worried about a decline four weeks after that effort.

I think he smashes Tennessee this week with one of those 350/4 TD/made one bad pass all night type efforts.
 

Harry Hooper

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He threw an interceptable pass to start that Steeler drive, but I think this post sums it up nicely.
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I think it's worth noting that pass was deflected at the LOS, which could happen any time.

Brady is definitely banged up down the stretch this season, which is a notable contrast to last season.
 

nattysez

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BSG apparently wrote a takedown of the article today on the Ringer. I only know because Deadspin's mad about it.
 

allstonite

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I'm only a few paragraphs in but it seems he actually looked in to the salary cap implications (after someone he knows "was with Kraft last weekend"). THANK YOU BILL. A week late but at least you put in some effort. And it pisses off Deadspin? That's just a bonus
 

nattysez

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You are missing some great content, then. The Ringer really has come along nicely.
That's fair. I actually read articles and listen to podcasts by The Ringer quite a bit, but I've found their website impenetrable in the past, so I usually rely on articles being tweeted out by the writers and follow those links. I just went back and the site looks somewhat more readable than I recall, so I'll try to stop by more often. Thanks for the heads-up.