Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Brady a problem on the road?

At CBS Sportsline, Clark Judge has decided that Tom Brady isn't as good on the road, and that's a real problem for the Patriots.

1. I know New England is a trendy pick to reach its fourth Super Bowl in five years, but here's what could stop the Patriots from getting there: 1) Tom Brady is a different quarterback on the road, and New England must play its next two away from Gillette Stadium to reach Detroit, assuming a Colts victory over the Steelers. OK, OK, so Brady is a perfect 10 in the playoffs and beat Pittsburgh in two AFC Championship games at Pittsburgh (once, with help from Drew Bledsoe), but look what happened this year. Including this weekend's playoff game, Brady has 17 touchdowns and two interceptions at home; on the road he has 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Yeah, I'd call that a trend.

Ignoring the fact that he labeled his point 1), as if he had a list of reasons, and then stopped at one, let's look at it in a little more detail.

Tom Brady - Regular Season



Well, it's true that he's thrown more picks on the road, both this season and for his career. It is worth noting, however, that in a league where the teams win 42% of their road games, Tom Brady, as a starter, has won 67% of his. But yes, over his career during the regular season, he's been merely very good on the road, as opposed to other-worldly as at home. He's also thrown more touchdowns and for more yards, as is typically the case when teams are behind, which has happened more on the road than at home.

But what about the play-offs? He's played games away from Gillette during the play-offs. Twice they've gone to Pittsburgh to win AFC Championship games, and 3 times they've played neutral-site Super Bowls. How's he done in those games, as opposed to the home play-offs?

Tom Brady - Post-season



Not Home14797105781102.3501


Neutral Site108717356199.9301

Oops - what have we here? Why he's been even BETTER on the road than at home!

There are many reasons to think that the Patriots post-season winning streak could end this weekend. I don't think it will, but if it does, I won't be shocked. It's even conceivable that Brady could play badly in a loss. But there's nothing in the team's or the player's history to make me concerned that Tom Brady can't play at a high level in a play-off road game. If I were making a list of things I was worried about for Saturday's game, Tom Brady wouldn't be on it, never mind first...

One other comment, unrelated, from the Judge piece:
Herman Edwards was the big winner in the move out of New York.

I beg to differ. The big winners are, in order, the Jets, the Broncos and the Chargers. The losers are the Chiefs, the Patriots and the Dolphins.



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