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Contest: Reports of the Demise of the New England Passing Game Are…

by Chase Stuart on June 27, 2013

in Checkdowns, Thought Experiments

On September 13, 2008, Doug Drinen wrote this post, which I reproduce in full below.

I’m hearing and reading a lot of crazy stuff this week.

So I just want to document my predictions that (a) the Patriots will win at least 11 games this year, (b) the Patriots will clinch the East before week 17, and (c) Matt Cassel will be a top-12 fantasy quarterback from here out.

That is all.

You think I'm going to lose my top 5 receivers next year? Hahaha. Ok

You think I'm going to lose my top 5 receivers next year? Hahaha. Ok.

With the combination arrest/release of Aaron Hernandez stacked upon five surgeries in seven months for Rob Gronkowski and the departure of Wes Welker to Denver, it’s fair to say that many are wondering about the fate of the New England passing game. In addition to those three, Tom Brady is without Brandon Lloyd (free agent) and Danny Woodhead (San Diego), the fourth and fifth leading receivers on the 2012 Patriots. As Jason Lisk pointed out, that puts Brady in historically bad territory when it comes to roster turnover.

So today’s post doubles as a temperature check and a contest entry. Please predict the following for Tom Brady in 2013, based on the assumption that he is responsible for 99.4% of all Patriots pass attempts by quarterbacks for the second year in a row. To the extent he is not, I will pro-rate his numbers for purposes of judging the contest. To enter, simply copy and paste this table below in the comments and fill out each line.

Your name:
Brady’s number of pass attempts:
Brady’s number of passing yards:
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns:
Brady’s number of interceptions:
Brady’s number of sacks:
Brady’s number of sack yards lost:
Commentary:

Last year, for example, this would have been a perfect form.

Your name: Chase
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 637
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4827
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 34
Brady’s number of interceptions: 8
Brady’s number of sacks: 27
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 82

Feel free to write as much or as little as you like in the commentary section.

How will a winner be judged? You can read the formula if you like, but it essentially will be how close you get to predicting how much value Brady will actually provide this year. Here is what I will do after the end of the 2013 season:

1) Calculate Brady’s actual Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt based upon his 2013 results.
2) Subtract the 2013 league average ANY/A from Brady’s ANY/A.
3) Multiply the result in step (2) by the number of (pass attempts + sacks) for Brady in 2013, pro-rated to the extent he does is not responsible for 99.4% of all (pass attempts + sacks) for all Patriots quarterbacks in 2013. Note that for these purposes, I will consider all passes by Tim Tebow as passes thrown by a quarterback.
4) Repeat steps 1 through 3 but use the projected ANY/A from each entrant.
5) Calculate the difference between the result in step (3) and the result in step (4). The entry with the smallest differential wins.

Contest rules:

1. Submit your projections in the form provided.

2. You may enter until an appropriate amount of time has passed from the date of this post, with appropriate being determined in my sole discretion. The winner will be announced after the season.

3. Any ambiguities in the rules will be clarified by me in whatever way causes me the least amount of hassle.

4. If someone thinks of a better way to measure the projections, I reserve the right to use that system instead, pursuant to Rule #3.

5. Honor and Glory, and something else I think of between now and January, will be the two prizes.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob June 27, 2013 at 1:18 am

Your name: Bob
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 580
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4550
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 35
Brady’s number of interceptions: 12
Brady’s number of sacks: 30
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 186
Commentary: “Roman numerals? They never even tried to teach us that in school.”

Reply

Arif Hasan June 27, 2013 at 2:42 am

Your name: Arif
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 580
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4524
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 32
Brady’s number of interceptions: 6
Brady’s number of sacks: 29
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 160

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Dan June 27, 2013 at 2:54 am

Your name: Dan
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 628
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4773
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 34
Brady’s number of interceptions: 11
Brady’s number of sacks: 29
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 179
Commentary: This space intentionally left blank.

Reply

Rob June 27, 2013 at 4:00 am

Your name: Rob
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 592
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4695
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 32
Brady’s number of interceptions: 8
Brady’s number of sacks: 24
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 70

Reply

ChevSS454 June 27, 2013 at 6:21 am

Your name: Will
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 590
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4600
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 31
Brady’s number of interceptions: 9
Brady’s number of sacks: 24
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 91

Reply

Willy June 27, 2013 at 6:51 am

Your name:
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 650
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4720
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 35
Brady’s number of interceptions: 13
Brady’s number of sacks: 35
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 100
Commentary: And lo, the Lord said, I hath delivered unto you the Patriot Way and unmatched consistency, and though the disciples Aaron and Brandon be lost and not found, and the disciple Robert be at once sound of body and not sound of body, and the prophet Wesley hath rebelled against me, I have given you my son, Tim of Tebow, so that he may share the burden of the Way of the Patriot, which shall be known as the Patriot Way, which shall continue, unabated and unending, until the postseason.

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C M Sweet June 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

Your name: C M Sweet
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 660
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4787
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 32
Brady’s number of interceptions: 12
Brady’s number of sacks: 31
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 179.8

Reply

Kevin June 27, 2013 at 7:46 am

Your name: Kevin
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 605
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4438
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 31
Brady’s number of interceptions: 11
Brady’s number of sacks: 26
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 85
Commentary:

Reply

Joe D June 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

Name: Joe
B’s # pass attempts: 589
B’s # passing yards: 3890
B’s # touchdowns: 24
B’s # interceptions: 14
B’s # sacks: 32
B’s # sack yards lost: 115
Commentary: It’s the beginning of the end

Reply

Quinton June 27, 2013 at 9:18 am

Your name: Quinton
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 672
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4712
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 32
Brady’s number of interceptions: 6
Brady’s number of sacks: 30
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 95

Reply

Shattenjager June 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Your name: Shattenjager (If you want a real name, it is Damien.)
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 625
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4596
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 31
Brady’s number of interceptions: 6
Brady’s number of sacks: 29
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 181
Commentary: Apparently nearly everyone pretty much agrees on TDs and yardage.
I think Brady showed noticeable decline last season and it’s going to continue, but a declining Brady still will produce damn good statistics. I wondered about his pass attempts–with all of the personnel change and losing a couple of the team’s most versatile pieces (Hernandez and Woodhead), it seems likely that the supersonic no huddle stuff will have to be reduced, even if it’s only for the early part of the season. With fewer plays, obviously he should have fewer pass attempts, but I also think that the passing game will be rather less effective (mostly due to Brady’s natural decline rather than the changes in weapons, though also due to counting on Amendola), which will lead to having to pass on a higher percentage of plays. Add that up and he ends up in about the same range of pass attempts as the last two seasons.
I also predict that Brandon Lloyd will be back.

Reply

Richie June 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Your name: Richie
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 601
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4,748
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 36
Brady’s number of interceptions: 9
Brady’s number of sacks: 26
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 191

Reply

Richie December 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

In week 17, I need:
-3 pass attempts
527 yards
12 TD’s
-1 interception
-13 sacks
-58 sack yards

I really missed on the TD’s (high) and sacks (low).

Reply

Adam June 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

1. 663
2. 4423
3. 31
4. 11
5. 31
6. 94

Reply

Bob June 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Nice breakdown of where Hernandez lined up and how defenses responded via Pro Football Focus:

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/06/27/neils-nfl-daily-june-27-2013/

Reply

Danish June 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Your name: Danish
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 575
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4200
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 29
Brady’s number of interceptions: 8
Brady’s number of sacks: 27
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 82
Commentary: The passing game will be less efficient -> fewer called passes. Less efficiency -> more trailing -> more passes. Lack of familiarity -> lower tempo. Therefore the overrall fall in pass attempts. Lack of familiarity will also mean slightly higher int-ratio and (coverage) sack-rate.

Reply

Red June 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Name: Red
Passes: 599
Yards: 4444
TD: 29
INT: 13
Sacks: 24
Sack Yards: 163
Commentary: Brady begins his age-related decline, but his missing receivers won’t hurt nearly as much as people think. Patriots offense = interchangeable parts.

Reply

Lil' Mac June 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Your name: Lil’ Mac
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 546
Brady’s number of passing yards: 3,224
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 21
Brady’s number of interceptions: 14
Brady’s number of sacks: 26
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 146
Commentary: Brady misses last three games with dislocated shoulder; Patriots fail to make the playoffs.

Reply

Ed July 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

Your name: Ed
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 565
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4397
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 28
Brady’s number of interceptions: 14
Brady’s number of sacks: 28
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 201
Commentary: I took Bradys best pre-going-berzerk-party season (2005) and prorated it based on my expected pass attempts. I don’t believe he was suddenly twice the QB in 2007, but he did suddenly have twice the weaponry. And now he suddenly has probably less than half the weaponry. Hes more experienced, but is also getting old. His run game is getting better again, like the mid 200s with Dillon, which explains a decline is pass attempt. I am not convinced the Gronk or Amendola can stay healthy, and if either, or both, go down, what then?

Reply

Wade Iuele July 25, 2013 at 10:34 am

Your name: Wade Iuele
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 545
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4085
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 30
Brady’s number of interceptions: 11
Brady’s number of sacks: 26
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 163
Commentary: I have no idea what’s going to happen with the Patriots, so I’m putting down a completely average season for Tom Brady. Those numbers still look amazing though.

Reply

Joe July 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Your name: Joe
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 607
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4555
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 28
Brady’s number of interceptions: 12
Brady’s number of sacks: 28
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 196

Reply

John Boles August 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Brady’s number of pass attempts: 612
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4,966
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 36
Brady’s number of interceptions: 7
Brady’s number of sacks: 25
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 76
Commentary: I think Brady still has another season of improvement, rather than decline, left in him. I expect him to throw a little less, but be more efficient in the endzone and slightly more protective of the ball and himself.

Reply

James September 4, 2013 at 10:25 am

James
Brady’s number of pass attempts: 580
Brady’s number of passing yards: 4470
Brady’s number of passing touchdowns: 30
Brady’s number of interceptions: 12
Brady’s number of sacks: 29
Brady’s number of sack yards lost: 175
Commentary: I think his rate stats will decline slightly, but I’m torn on whether his attempts will go down significantly. Running will be more viable, but I also expect the Pats to be trailing more (which would also feedback to lower rate stats).

Reply

James September 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm

With three games in the books the Patriots have had a terrible passing attack with an ANY/A of 4.95! That’s significantly below league average and by far the worst of Brady’s career, giving Lil’ Mac the early lead.

Hey Chase, when you say “league average ANY/A” in the scoring system, does that mean average ANY/A for every pass, or average ANY/A per team?

Reply

Chase Stuart September 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm

League average = average ANY/A for every pass

Reply

Richie October 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Through six games, on pace for:
635 attempts
3,947 yards
21 TD
11 Int
43 Sacks
293 Sack Yds

It looks like sacks (high), sack yards (high) and TD (low) are the biggest surprises so far.

Reply

James January 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

So it’s fair to say we were pretty wrong.

Reply

Arif Hasan January 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Yea.

Although that Dan guy hit the number of attempts and interceptions on the freaking nose. Ed got pretty close on total yards, TDs and INTs.

Adam might be closer than anyone when it is all said and done.

Reply

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