Back when the Pats were 1-3 and we were talking about moral victories, I said that this team was legit and their future was bright. Now less than two months later the New England Patriots are currently one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They're just a half game back in the AFC East and if the season ended today they'd be the AFC's 6th seed. They're tied for 2nd in the NFL (with the Arizona Cardinals) in point differential (+98). They've won four straight and five of their last six (and that one loss came in OT). During their current four game winning streak they're outscoring their opponents 150 to 50, which if 4th grade math serves me right reduces to 3:1. Not bad for a rookie QB and group of over-paid free agent reaches, right?
With Tom Brady at the helm from 2001-2007; 2009-2019, you may have heard that the Patriots were in the midst of a double-dynasty. Six Super Bowl wins and three more appearances just for fun. Even with a 10 year Super Bowl ring drought, the Patriots were still annual Super Bowl contenders with an elite offense that constantly reinvented itself. During Brady's two decades in New England, the Patriots finished in the top 5 of points scored 11 times (2004, '07, 2010-2018) and total yards 7 times (2007, '09, 2011, '12, '16-'18).
What you're about to see is unquestionably a tad cherry-picked, but it's still a fucking remarkable stat. Tom Brady, the greatest QB of all time made 283 regular season (and 41 playoff) starts as a Patriot. That's a reasonably large sample size. Yesterday, the Patriots had three 90+ yard drives, which had never happened during the Belichick era, who I'm sure you know, coached Tom Brady from 2000-2019.
Since I have a stathead subscription, I did a little research. Since 2001 (including the playoffs), the Patriots have had 54 total drives of 90 or more yards and those 54 total drives occurred over 48 games. Three drives came yesterday, one is from Drew Bledsoe, and surprisingly Cam led one (1) 90-yard scoring drive in a 38-9 loss against the Bills on MNF.
That means Tom Brady lead 49 drives of at least 90 yards during his time in New England. He "only" had multiple 90 or more yard drives in four of his 324 starts as a Patriot.
Patriots vs. Saints 2005 (24-17 W)
Patriots vs. Jets 2010 (45-3 W)
Patriots vs. Chargers 2011 (35-21 W)
Patriots vs. Titans 2017 Playoffs (35-14 W)
Again, this is a decently cherry-picked stat that has a ton of factors outside of the offense's control. It's like how people used to complain that Brady's game-winning drives were "only" field goals as if it was his fault the team only needed a field goal to win. I know that special teams play a huge role in starting field position, but in nearly 20 years of elite offensive production (or even 15 because I know the 2001 and 03 teams weren't exactly lighting it up), a Brady team never accomplished this specific niche stat that Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer did yesterday.
This stat is quirky and cute like Zooey Deschanel, it doesn't mean that Mac Jones is going to be the next Tom Brady, but from a purely mathematical standpoint, it's pretty mind-blowing it didn't happen at least once in his 324 starts as a Patriot. Not a bad little note to add to Belichick's 250th regular-season win.
And Jakobi finally scored!! What a win for the Patriots! SoFi here we come???
Just like how the Patriots have had a good-to-great offense for the last 20 non-Covid years, the Cleveland Browns have had their fair share of losses over a similar time frame, 173 between 2005-2020, to be exact. The last 20ish years have not been kind to the Cleveland Browns; from 2015-2017, they went 4-44, but yesterday's 45-7 defeat was their worst loss since December 24th, 2005 (Merry Christmas!), when they lost to the Steelers 41-0. When you're giving a team that regularly put up 11+ losses a year their worse loss in 16 years, that's something.
Semi-rare TRIPLE P.S.
I made this chart to figure out the Patriots offensive rankings during the Brady-Belichick era if you wanna go down memory lane in the most boring way possible.
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