Week Seventeen Analysis: While the Patriots still have seeding to play for in the AFC playoffs, they need help to move back in to the first-round bye situation. That means that Tom Brady won't only play, he'll play well against Miami. Why wouldn't he? He's thrown multiple passing touchdowns in eight of his last ten games and topped 260 passing yards in five of six. However, he did not accomplish either feat in the Week 13 matchup with Miami, so there may be a bit of personal pride in play here. The Dolphins defense has vastly improved over the second half of the season. In their last seven games no quarterback has topped 240 yards against Miami and they've only allowed six passing touchdowns.
Week Sixteen Analysis: Last Sunday against the 49ers Tom Brady threw two interceptions. That was only the seventh time he's thrown multiple interceptions in a game in his last 47 regular season games. So I'm going to say with a large degree of certainty that he will not throw an interception against the Jaguars this week. The Jags haven't nabbed a pick in the last two weeks, despite playing error prone quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Ryan Tannehill, so I don't see them starting now. The Jaguars are more beatable on the ground than the air, but Tannehill and Ryan Fitzpatrick have both thrown multiple touchdowns against the Jaguars in the past three weeks, and Brady could do that in the first quarter.
Week Fifteen Analysis: On Monday night, Tom Brady completed four touchdown passes and zero interceptions for the 14th time in his career, an NFL record. He faces yet another prime time matchup against another playoff-bound squad this week when the 49ers make the cross country trek to Foxboro. The Niners have not allowed an opposing quarterback to top 300 yards since Week 1 and have held seven starting quarterbacks to fewer than 200 yards. It should be a tough matchup for Brady, but you can find solace in the fact that the two best passing games against the Niners this season were accomplished by Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Brady is certainly in that conversation.
Week Fourteen Analysis: A few rare occurrences happened to Tom Brady this weekend. First, he only threw one touchdown pass. He had thrown for two or more scores in seven of his previous eight games. Second, he threw an interception. Shocking, I know. That was only Brady's fourth interception this season and his first since Week 6. So what we're getting at here is that he's pretty solid. This week Captain America hosts the Texans in prime time. This is the same Houston defense has allowed the most passing plays of 25 or more yards in the NFL. It's also the Texans team that failed to stop Chad Henne, Matthew Stafford or Jake Locker from throwing for more than 300 yards in the last three weeks thanks in large part to cornerback Johnathan Joseph's injury.
Week Thirteen Analysis: In their last four outings the Patriots have scored 190 points, which is the most points scored in a four game stretch since the 1950 Los Angeles Rams scored 208. Tom Brady has now thrown for 300 yards in four of his last six and thrown for multiple scores in each of his last six games. If his visit to Miami is anything like last year's 517 yards and four scores, they might need to activate the sprinkler system just to slow him down. The Dolphins have not allowed more than 224 passing yards in the last three weeks, but were facing non-threatening passing teams Tennessee, Buffalo and Seattle. Previous to those three weeks they had allowed 283 or more passing yards in six of their previous seven games.
Week Twelve Analysis: The loss of Rob Gronkowski is a major hit to the Patriots' passing game, but this is Tom Brady we're talking about here. He won a Super Bowl with J.J. Stokes and David Givens as targets. Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez should take the field for the Pats on Thursday night against the Jets. Most passers still fear the Antonio Cromartie-led Jets secondary, but Brady certainly does not. He's thrown for 299 yards or more in four of his last five meetings with Gang Green and is averaging just over two touchdown passes per game against them since the beginning of 2010. And most of those games were with Darrelle Revis on the field. In their last three games, the Jets haven't allowed a quarterback to pass for more than 188 yards. However, the Jets have allowed multiple touchdowns to three of the last four quarterbacks they've faced.
Week Eleven Analysis: The Colts have faced nine quarterbacks. Eight of them have been crap. One of them, Aaron Rodgers, is good, and he piled up 300 total yards and three touchdowns. Needless to say, this week's opponent, Tom Brady, is really good. Rodgers good. Brady has posted multiple touchdowns in four straight games. He's thrown multiple touchdowns against Indy in eight of his last ten meetings with Indy. I see no reason to expect Brady to suddenly post an underwhelming game.
Week Ten Analysis: It probably won't come as a surprise to know that Tom Brady dominates the Bills like no other team. Actually, I wouldn't say he "dominates" the Bills; he violates them. And for his fantasy owners, it's a "moving violation". Speaking of which, lie back and enjoy these stats: In his three matchups with Buffalo since 2011, he's thrown 340, 338, and 387 yards, and scored 4, 3, and 4 touchdowns. He lowest touchdown output in the last five games is three (!) touchdowns. He's scored multiple touchdowns against Buffalo in 11 of his past 12 meetings. He's topped 300 yards in over half of his last 12 matchups with the Bills. Playing a home game, while rested and ready off the bye, He's the best start of the week, and one of the best of the year.
Week Eight Analysis: It's an away game, of sorts, for Tom Brady, as the Patriots head to London, but I wouldn't let that worry you. He's actually been markedly better in away games this year. Plus, it's not Brady's first trip to London. He played here three years ago, and had no problem acclimating. He threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers had his way with the Rams last week, but he's the only one. The previous six quarterbacks had fared very poorly, averaging just 229 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. Still, Brady is closer to Rodgers than anyone other than Drew Brees, so he has plenty of upside.
Week Seven Analysis: The Jets have had a very solid pass defense for years now, basically ever since Rex Ryan and Darrelle Revis came together. Even without Revis, the Jets' secondary has held together very well. But, even in previous meetings, with all pistons firing for the Jets, Tom Brady has won this matchup much more often than not. He's thrown multiple touchdowns in three of the past four meetings. He's topped 300 yards in four of the past five against the Jets. He hasn't fallen below 321 yards in three straight with them. My only worry is that the Jets are so bad against the run that Brady doesn't bother to pass. Still, he's a very strong start.
Week Six Analysis: Seattle secondary might be the league's best. They've allowed only two passing touchdowns all year. They just dropped the hammer on Cam Newton last week, and they've already shut down Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers this year. And I won't bore you with what the Seahawks did to the likes of Sam Bradford and John Skelton. So, it's a tough matchup for Tom Brady. To which, you might say, "Who cares, it's Tom Brady." Sure, but look at his other three tough matchups this year. Against Denver, Baltimore and Arizona, he threw only one touchdown in each game. Brady can be contained, and the Seahawks have proven they can do it.
Week Five Analysis: The Broncos secondary had been abused for almost three touchdowns per game before holding the anemic Raiders offense scoreless last week. I'm not buying last week's game as a barometer against the likes of Tom Brady. Brady is much close to Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub who combined to manhandle the Broncos. But, in fairness, Brady hasn't been himself for most of this year, until exploding last week. Still, it's Tom Brady, and he's an elite start again this week.
Week Four Analysis: Thanks to some really bad line play, it's been a disappointing season for Tom Brady. He's managed just four touchdowns in three games, and the last time he posted back-to-back one-touchdown games was 34 and 35 games ago. Fortunately, he's facing his personal whipping boys, the Bills this week. In last year's two games he threw for 725 yards and seven touchdowns. He's thrown multiple touchdowns against the Bills in an absurd 10 of the past 11 meetings. His average game over the past 11 with Buffalo is 271 and 2.8 touchdowns. And Buffalo has probably played the weakest lineup of quarterbacks so far: Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, and Brandon Weeden, yet they're still giving up 268 yards and two TD passes per game.
Week Three Analysis: It's been a couple of decidedly non-Brady-like games for Tom Brady. Arizona has a sneaky good pass defense, and the early loss of Aaron Hernandez seemed to throw off the Patriots last week. He entered that game having thrown multiple touchdowns in 23 of his previous 25 games. But, he managed only one last week. And, worse, the last time he was held without a touchdown pass, it was against this week's opponent, the Ravens, and it was only four games ago. The Ravens punished him into throwing for just 239 yards, 0 TDs and two picks in the playoffs last year. Baltimore hasn't allowed more than 1 touchdown pass in 22 straight games, which is amazing in this day of passing first offenses. Brady has one of my lowest ratings in my four years of ranking him every single week.
Week Two Analysis: "Tom Brady against the Cardinals" sounds like a slaughter. I suppose Brady against anyone could be a slaughter. But the Cardinals aren't the defensive pushovers most people think. They shut down Russell Wilson last week. You can dismiss that, since it was Russell's first ever start. But, last year, only four teams allowed fewer touchdown passes. Last week, Brady looked efficient if not spectacular. His two touchdowns means that he's thrown multiple scores in 27 of his last 30 games, including the playoffs. That's insane. I don't expect an explosion this week, but multiple touchdowns feels like a lock.
Week One Analysis: Tom Brady was a machine last year, scoring multiple touchdowns in 15 of 16 regular season games, and topping 280 yards in 14 of 16 games. That's the kind of consistency that wins championships. Tennessee's secondary is unlikely to do much to alter that. Courtland Finnegan is gone from a secondary that didn't contain a single competent passer last year. Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees averaged 295 yards and 2.5 touchdowns. Brady should have little trouble picking on Finnegan's replacement at cornerback, something called Alterraun Verner. Brady's offensive line has been very wobbly in the preseason, but assuming they hold together, he'll have a very strong game.
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