Does Tom Brady actually stink in the playoffs?
It goes against all we’ve seen from New England’s Golden Boy over the last decade, but the stats show that Brady’s playoff performance has dropped off significantly in the last four or five years.
Starting with the 2008 Super Bowl, Brady is 2-3 in playoff games, and he’s played above average in only one of those games.
Here’s his game log:
- 2008 against the Giants: 29/48, 266 yards, 1 TD, 5.54 yards per attempt
- 2009 against the Ravens: 23/42, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 3.67 yards per attempt
- 2011 against the Jets: 29/45, 299 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 6.64 yards per attempt
- 2012 against the Broncos: 26/34, 363 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT, 10.68 yards per attempt
- 2012 against the Ravens: 22/36, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 6.64 yards per attempt
The Broncos game was his only truly good game, the first Ravens game was his only truly bad game, and the other three were below average compared to Brady’s regular season numbers.
So why is this happening?
SAI editor Jay Yarow has a theory that Tom Brady is pressing in playoff games because he knows he only has a few more years of elite-level football in him.
There might be something to that — Brady has been a cranky insomniac ever since the playoffs started.
But another theory is that the league’s best teams — despite all the chatter over the NFL becoming an offence-first league — still consistently have the best defenses.
Every Pats opponent except the ’11 Broncos and the ’08 Giants had a top-5 scoring defence, and that Giants team didn’t allow more than 20 points in any playoff game that year.
But Brady was excelling against the stiff competition in the playoffs between 2002-05. So why has he fallen off recently?
Is it mental? Does the Pats’ offensive system have some key flaw that makes it less potent in the playoffs? Is this just a coincidence?