As the rest of the nation lets out a deep exhale for what seems like the millionth time, Boston sports fans (more specifically Patriots fans) are celebrating yet another world championship. Their 6th Super Bowl win in just 17 years cements the Patriots dynasty as one of, if not THE greatest in the history of sports. With that being said, allow me to be the first to officially announce the end of the Brady-Belichick dynasty.
Tom Brady may be known as the greatest of all time (definitely not the case in my opinion), but he has looked absolutely AWFUL for the entirety of the postseason. He showed his age very blatantly, especially in the last 2 games of his run. The Rams took away Brady’s bread-and-butter for the entirety of the Super Bowl, which explains the very low scoring performance. Unfortunately for LA, to lock down the RBs in the passing game, someone had to remain open.
That opening led Julian Edelman to post an MVP performance, and serve as a wide open option for Brady nearly every play. While New England was able to come out with another championship, Brady did not look like the GOAT, and his stats back up that proposition. He had 2 TDs and 3 interceptions through the postseason, and also had one called back in the AFC Championship game due to a Dee Ford offsides penalty. If the Chargers game is removed from this season’s resume, he had 1 TD and 3 (should have been 4) interceptions in the 2 biggest games of the year.
In terms of other categories, he finished 6th in QB passer rating (I removed Johnny Hekker from the list for obvious reasons) below Dak Prescott and Mitch Trubisky. The final metric I will be using comes courtesy of NFL NextGen Stats.
Average Completed Air Yards (CAY) and Average Intended Air Yards (IAY)
Air Yards is the vertical yards on a pass attempt at the moment the ball is caught in relation to the line of scrimmage. CAY shows the average Air Yards a passer throws on completions, and IAY shows the average Air Yards a passer throws on all attempts. This metric shows how far the ball is being thrown ‘downfield’. Air Yards is recorded as a negative value when the pass is behind the Line of Scrimmage. Additionally Air Yards is calculated into the back of the end zone to better evaluate the true depth of the pass.
Tom Brady ranked DEAD LAST of all participating QBs in the Divisional Round throughout both metrics, and had the lowest IAY of any QB in the playoffs (4.3) as well as the second lowest CAY (3.7) The only lower CAY was Chargers QB Philip Rivers in his Wild Card matchup vs. the Ravens (2.7). These BLATANTLY show that Brady is no longer even attempting the throws that top tier QBs are able to make.
Will the Patriots make the playoffs for a few more years? Yes. The AFC East is a bad division and I don’t see that shifting for at least a couple more years, but it’s time that we stop looking at them as a true contender, and instead see them as a dying dynasty.