Earlier this week, Peter King of theMMQB.com produced some interesting stats that showed Tom Brady has been just as good on the road as he has been at home since 2006 (the first season the NFL allowed teams to use their own pre-conditioned footballs at both home and away games).
Since NFL teams don’t use their own equipment personnel during road games, presumably the Patriots would have only been able to deflate footballs at home games based on the way the Wells Report suggests it was happening. While this doesn’t exonerate Brady and the Pats, it does suggest that if they were doing it, they either didn’t do it often or it didn’t really matter.
But this doesn’t tell the entire story.
In the chart below, we look at touchdowns per game, interceptions per game, and adjusted yards per attempt (yards per attempt adjust for interceptions) during the same 2006-2014 period (left side). But now we are also going to look at those stats for just the final four games of the regular season (right side) when the weather is generally worse and using underinflated footballs is thought bring a bigger advantage.
Again we see that if we look at home versus road games for the entire season, the splits are nearly identical. But what is interesting here is that Brady’s numbers at home late in the season are nearly identical to his overall numbers at home, suggesting his performance in December at Foxboro Stadium doesn’t drop off while his performance on the road drops (e.g. 30% drop in TDs per game).
Again, this isn’t proof of anything. But it does show that Brady has an ability to continue playing well at home late in the year and doesn’t have the same success on the road.
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