If you’re wondering why Tom Brady has struggled so much in 2019, you probably won’t like the veteran quarterback’s answer.
The 42-year-old quarterback is having the worst statistical season of his career. Although the New England Patriots are 10-1 and primed to clinch the top record in the AFC, the team’s success of late has been more about stellar defense and less about Brady’s dominance.
In fact, Brady ranks in the bottom half of just about every major statistical category for a quarterback. His completion percentage ranks 24th in the league, his yards per attempt is 28th and his quarterback rating is 21st.
Of all of those statistics, Brady’s propensity for throwing the ball away is at its all-time highest. In fact, 7.5 percent of his pass attempts quantify as throwing the ball away — a high mark since those types of statistics were tracked beginning in 2006.
Brady Claims He’s Throwing the Ball Away To Avoid Sacks
One would think that Brady is throwing these balls away because he’s afraid to get hit as a means of self-preservation. However, the veteran quarterback stressed that it’s not about self-preservation — it’s the matter of not wanting to take a sack that ends up hurting the team.
“I don’t think I’m throwing it away for that,” Brady said Friday. “I’m throwing it away because I don’t want to take a sack. I think part of it is just you feel like you have an opportunity on the play, and if you don’t have that, then I think negative plays actually have a big impact on the game. Turnovers and negative plays I think really keep you from winning games.
“So, if you’re a dropback passer — because I’m not really a scrambler. I mean, I have scrambled in the past. It’s not like I’ve never scrambled. I’m not really much a scrambler. But if I’m going to hold it back there, then usually good things aren’t going to happen. So, try to throw the ball away to a safe place and live for the next down.”
Brady’s Answer Isn’t Entirely True
The answer makes sense — however, I’m not entirely buying it. We all know Brady is 42 years old — the oldest quarterback in the league.
As great as Brady is, he is just like any other quarterback — if he gets hit, he becomes rattled. To get a small sample size of that, one can look at the Patriots’ Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants. The key to those losses was the pressure generated by the Giants in hurrying Brady.
The bottom line is this — the Patriots are winning in spite of Brady. As difficult as it may be for most Patriots fans to admit this, Brady’s skills have deteriorated this past season.
New England’s 10-1 record may be overshadowing Brady’s lackluster play, but here’s the bottom line — Brady is old and he’s not the guy that’s going to win you games at this stage of his career.
Brady may argue that he’s afraid to take sacks, but the reality is, he’s just afraid to take hits.