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Brady flexed his passing muscles in Super Bowl LII

Tom Brady had a Super Bowl performance for the ages. He completed 28 of 48 passes for 505 yards, with 3 TDs and 0 INTs, while taking only one sack (which, of course, was a strip-sack that ultimately decided the game). That translates to 560 Adjusted Net Yards (giving 20 yards for a touchdown and removing sack yards), which over 49 dropbacks, is 11.43 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt.

In the regular season, the Eagles defense allowed just 5.10 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt to opposing quarterbacks. Therefore, Brady was a whopping 6.32 ANY/A above expectation; over the course of 49 dropbacks, it means Brady produced 310 Adjusted Net Yards above expectation.

The beauty of this formula is that it inherently adjusts for both schedule and era. Below are the best passing performances in Super Bowl history. Nobody can match the efficiency over such a high number of passing plays as what Brady did last night:

RkPlayerYearTmOppResultANY/AOpp ANY/ADrpBkDiff
1Tom Brady2017NWEPHIL 33-4111.435.1049310
2Joe Montana*1989SFODENW 55-1013.233.8930280
3Doug Williams1987WASDENW 42-1012.173.7730252
4Kurt Warner*2008ARIPITL 23-278.643.1745246
5Jim Plunkett1980OAKPHIW 27-1014.553.4422244
6Jake Delhomme2003CARNWEL 29-329.593.2637234
7Joe Montana*1984SFOMIAW 38-1610.724.4336227
8Terry Bradshaw*1978PITDALW 35-319.593.0134224
9Steve Young*1994SFOSDGW 49-2611.035.3139223
10Troy Aikman*1992DALBUFW 52-1711.324.5331211
11Joe Montana*1988SFOCINW 20-169.534.4640203
12Phil Simms1986NYGDENW 39-2012.424.8926196
13Kurt Warner*1999STLTENW 23-169.515.7247178
14Jim McMahon1985CHINWEW 46-1012.054.0021169
15Aaron Rodgers2010GNBPITW 31-258.294.3442166
16Terry Bradshaw*1975PITDALW 21-1710.953.1321164
17Joe Flacco2012BALSFOW 34-319.544.8835163
18John Elway*1998DENATLW 34-1910.725.2929157
19Bart Starr*1966GNBKANW 35-108.652.8626150
20Tom Brady2003NWECARW 32-297.694.7448142
21Joe Namath*1968NYJBALW 16-76.531.9130138
22Terry Bradshaw*1979PITRAMW 31-1910.193.7821135
23Mark Rypien1991WASBUFW 37-248.704.6233135
24Daryle Lamonica1967OAKGNBL 14-334.891.2837134
25Ken Stabler*1976OAKMINW 32-148.712.3921133
26Drew Brees2009NORINDW 31-178.034.9640123
27Bart Starr*1967GNBOAKW 33-146.502.2328119
28Matt Ryan2016ATLNWEL 28-3410.005.7828118
29Nick Foles2017PHINWEW 41-339.026.3043117
30Troy Aikman*1995DALPITW 27-178.724.762599
31Russell Wilson2013SEADENW 43-89.845.942597
32Tom Brady2004NWEPHIW 24-217.404.633597
33Ken Anderson1981CINSFOL 21-266.003.553996
34Peyton Manning2009INDNORL 17-316.844.764594
35Roger Staubach*1978DALPITL 31-355.462.843592
36Brett Favre*1996GNBNWEW 35-217.754.943290
37Jim Kelly*1990BUFNYGL 19-206.613.713190
38Russell Wilson2014SEANWEL 24-289.545.862488
39John Elway*1986DENNYGL 20-396.334.174086
40Roger Staubach*1977DALDENW 27-105.832.903086
41Colin Kaepernick2012SFOBALL 31-348.425.663185
42Brett Favre*1997GNBDENL 24-316.284.314385
43Fran Tarkenton*1973MINMIAL 7-244.031.213085
44Len Dawson*1969KANMINW 23-74.850.962078
45Jeff Hostetler1990NYGBUFW 20-196.884.683475
46Len Dawson*1966KANGNBL 10-354.201.923273
47Eli Manning2007NYGNWEW 17-146.544.623771
48Earl Morrall1970BALDALW 16-136.802.351567
49Roger Staubach*1971DALMIAW 24-36.673.612164
50Peyton Manning2006INDCHIW 29-175.493.863964
51Steve McNair1999TENSTLL 16-235.623.963762
52Antwaan Randle El2005PITSEAW 21-1063.005.15158
53Bob Lee1976MINOAKL 14-3210.884.63957
54Tom Brady2014NWESEAW 28-246.085.015155
55Joe Montana*1981SFOCINW 26-217.305.142350
56Peyton Manning2013DENSEAL 8-434.183.195049
57Terry Bradshaw*1974PITMINW 16-66.503.451649
58Robert Newhouse1977DALDENW 27-1040.522.90145
59Brad Johnson2002TAMOAKW 48-216.184.903444
60Ben Roethlisberger2010PITGNBL 25-315.154.094144
61Jim Plunkett1983RAIWASW 38-96.444.842743
62Joe Theismann1982WASMIAW 27-172.851.222642
63Kurt Warner*2001STLNWEL 17-205.684.784742
64Bob Griese*1973MIAMINW 24-77.882.72841
65Lawrence McCutcheon1979RAMPITL 19-3136.733.26140
66Tom Brady2001NWESTLW 20-175.644.222840
67Ron Jaworski1980PHIOAKL 10-274.633.593839
68Vince Ferragamo1979RAMPITL 19-314.393.262932
69Eli Manning2011NYGNWEW 21-177.026.364329
70Sam Havrilak1970BALDALW 16-1325.002.35123
71Trent Dilfer2000BALNYGW 34-75.464.692822
72Gary Kubiak1986DENNYGL 20-398.404.17521
73Joe Kapp1969MINKANL 7-232.491.762820
74Troy Aikman*1993DALBUFW 30-135.484.782920
75Steve Sewell1987DENWASL 10-4223.004.63118
76Trey Burton2017PHINWEW 41-3321.005.10116
77Tom Brady2016NWEATLW 34-286.526.316714
78Roger Staubach*1975DALPITL 17-212.161.823110
79Tom Brady2011NWENYGL 17-216.075.87438
80Steve Young*1989SFODENW 55-106.673.8938
81Frank Reich1991BUFWASL 24-3711.003.3318
82Gary Kubiak1989DENSFOL 10-555.004.2754
83Bob Griese*1972MIAWASW 14-73.383.23132
84Bill Musgrave1994SFOSDGW 49-266.005.3111
85Johnny Unitas*1968BALNYJL 7-162.712.8024-2
86John Elway*1997DENGNBW 31-243.553.6522-2
87Babe Parilli1968NYJBALW 16-7-0.351.911-2
88Johnny Unitas*1970BALDALW 16-132.002.359-3
89Pete Beathard1966KANGNBL 10-351.261.926-4
90Zeke Bratkowski1966GNBKANW 35-10-0.812.861-4
91Danny White1977DALDENW 27-101.062.902-4
92Tony Banks2000BALNYGW 34-70.004.691-5
93Danny Amendola2017NWEPHIL 33-410.005.101-5
94Elvis Grbac1994SFOSDGW 49-260.005.311-5
95Tarvaris Jackson2013SEADENW 43-80.005.941-6
96Julian Edelman2016NWEATLW 34-280.006.311-6
97David Woodley1982MIAWASL 17-273.674.1715-7
98Matt Hasselbeck2005SEAPITL 10-214.504.6952-10
99Dan Marino*1984MIASFOL 16-384.064.2554-10
100Ben Roethlisberger2008PITARIW 27-236.336.7133-12
101Don Strock1982MIAWASL 17-270.004.173-12
102Norris Weese1977DENDALL 10-271.002.1212-13
103Bob Griese*1971MIADALL 3-242.503.1324-15
104Jay Schroeder1987WASDENW 42-10-4.003.772-16
105Steve Grogan1985NWECHIL 10-462.182.7434-19
106Donovan McNabb2004PHINWEL 21-244.534.9155-21
107Frank Reich1992BUFDALL 17-523.394.2533-28
108Steve Fuller1985CHINWEW 46-10-2.204.005-31
109Fran Tarkenton*1976MINOAKL 14-323.684.6336-34
110Gary Cuozzo1969MINKANL 7-23-9.601.763-37
111Tom Brady2007NWENYGL 14-174.705.4253-38
112Stan Humphries1994SDGSFOL 26-493.674.4551-40
113Gale Gilbert1994SDGSFOL 26-49-2.504.456-42
114Rich Gannon2002OAKTAML 21-481.332.3449-50
115Tony Eason1985NWECHIL 10-46-3.112.749-53
116Boomer Esiason1988CINSFOL 16-202.604.3730-53
117Jim Kelly*1992BUFDALL 17-52-2.004.259-56
118Rex Grossman2006CHIINDL 17-292.904.9829-60
119Cam Newton2015CARDENL 10-243.324.7147-65
120Peyton Manning2015DENCARW 24-102.114.4628-66
121Jim Kelly*1993BUFDALL 13-303.434.7053-67
122Fran Tarkenton*1974MINPITL 6-16-1.271.5926-74
123Joe Theismann1983WASRAIL 9-382.514.5341-83
124Ben Roethlisberger2005PITSEAW 21-101.145.1522-88
125Drew Bledsoe1996NWEGNBL 21-351.403.1253-91
126Craig Morton1970DALBALL 13-16-0.073.2528-93
127Chris Chandler1998ATLDENL 19-342.465.2137-102
128John Elway*1987DENWASL 10-422.144.6343-107
129Billy Kilmer1972WASMIAL 7-14-1.602.0430-109
130Earl Morrall1968BALNYJL 7-16-3.762.8017-111
131Jim Kelly*1991BUFWASL 24-371.413.3363-121
132John Elway*1989DENSFOL 10-55-0.404.2730-140
133Neil O'Donnell1995PITDALL 17-271.744.9353-169
134Craig Morton1977DENDALL 10-27-9.002.1217-193
135Kerry Collins2000NYGBALL 7-34-2.193.8843-261

And what Nick Foles did last night was pretty darn good, too. He finished at +168, which would have been +213 if not for the tipped interception he threw last night.  Foles was brilliant last night, but in a losing effort, Brady was even better — except on one play.  Brady also set a record for most passing attempts in a playoff game while averaging over 10 yards per attempt.

{ 139 comments }
  • Four Touchdowns

    Wait a minute. Wait a damn minute.

    You’re saying one quarterback played better than the other and LOST?!?!

    INCONCEIVABLE

    • sacramento gold miners

      No, I do feel Foles outplayed Brady, regardless of the outcome of the game. Foles was more accurate, Brady wasn’t as sharp as he his been historically. I think we’re getting too caught up in passing yards, Brady could only produce 12 first half points before catching fire in the 3rd quarter. Brady also made at least two huge mistakes in this game. The strip sack was extremely costly, and Brady also squandered a good opportunity at a potential FG attempt late in the first half when he scrambled instead of throwing the ball away at his own 44. Brady’s performance last night wasn’t close to the best in SB history.

      • vfefrenzy

        I would also argue that McDaniels was able to scheme to a lot of those yards. Brady was hitting more wide open guys than Foles was, and some of his short completions turned into lots of YAC that had nothing to do with Brady..

        • Paul

          Espns QBR has brady as 88.3 in the superbowl. While its flawed and no one really knows how they determine it. Its the only stat that incorporates YAC and determines value between passer and reciever. Be hard to get that high of a score if the recievers were doing all the work.

          • sacramento gold miners

            Nobody is suggesting the receivers did all the work, but the replays of many of those catches clearly indicates Philadelphia wasn’t aggressive on some of those routes. And I’m not saying McDaniels isn’t a skilled playcaller, he’s a master at blending schemes with how the game is functioning today.

      • C’mon now… This was Brady at his best. He was moving the ball *effortlessly* against a good D. The lack of points in the first half was due in part to two missed kicks and weird decisions by Cooks to hurdle a defender (instead of juking him) and Belichick (to not go for it on 4th-and-1).

        Is the strip sack his fault? And is 15 seconds remaining from your own 44 with no timeouts a “good” opportunity at a potential FG? Seems like a pretty difficult one to me. And does it matter if he was inaccurate to Gronk on a seam route on first down, if he follows it up with consecutive 25-yard completions and then a touchdown a few plays later?

        I’ve always said Brady got too much credit for his past Super Bowls — he’d make up for mistakes or lackluster play earlier in the game with an amazing finish — but he was terrific stem-to-stern in this one.

        • Tom

          Agreed. This was his Montana ’89/Young ’94 game. Beginning to end, he was great. The “problem” was that the other team put up 41. We’re not even having this discussion if the Pats win, no one would question it. But because they lost, we have to do all these weird things like nitpicking plays here and there. Brady played MORE than well enough for the Pats to win this game, end of story.

          • Four Touchdowns

            The mental gymnastics are unbelievable. As a Peyton fan, I can’t believe I’ve had to defend Tom Brady’s performance… can’t these guys just let me enjoy the loss? X-D

    • Paul

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • Four Touchdowns

        Inconceivable? It’s used sarcastically.

        • Paul

          Lol. Just quoting “princess bride”

          • jack_sprat2

            Just admitting that you ever watched “The Princess Bride”, much less that you remember it well enough to google the exact quote. C’mon, save yourself some embarrassment and fess up that that was before you transitioned, when you were still trying to please your mother by wearing dresses and playing with your dollhouse.

        • Tom

          From the “Princess Bride”. This dude keeps saying “Inconceivable”…and then another dude finally says “I do not think it means what you think it means”. Pretty funny actually, it’s all over YouTube if you want to check it out…

          • Four Touchdowns

            Ah ha…

    • Tom

      It is simply not possible that the losing QB had a better game than the winning QB. How you can you have a “better” game when you lost?

      • Four Touchdowns

        When you play better than the QB on the other side of the ball.

        For example, in 2011, the Jets beat the Colts in the playoffs and eliminated them. Mark Sanchez threw no touchdowns, 1 interception, 186 yards and had a 62.4 passer rating (no ANY/A available on this box score). Peyton Manning threw 1 touchdown, no interceptions, 225 yards, and had a 108.7 passer rating.

        • Tom

          I was being sarcastic, and obviously was a little too subtle about it. I’m totally with you on this…it’s 100% possible for the losing QB to have a better game, and it happens more than we think.

          • Four Touchdowns

            And that’s just what we can determine from metrics — things like drops, bad pass protection, bad play-calling, injuries, etc. never show up on the box score or stat sheets.

            • Tom

              Agreed. My analysis is always limited to the play that happened (a pass it either completed or not), but you’re right…I watched a Kirk Cousins game this year where he was damn good…and dudes just didn’t catch the ball.

  • Adam

    QB Winz need to be set on fire and left to die. That is all.

  • Tom

    There’s going to be all these discussions about what the Patriots offense did “wrong” and Brady, and Cooks out, and 4th down decisions, and all this other stuff. Hilarious. The Patriots put up 33 points. If someone told me they put up 33 and I hadn’t seen the game, I’d say they won the game, no question.

    • Four Touchdowns

      Of course, he played lights out and before the strip sack, I thought they were definitely going to win. Like last year, the defense failed the MVP QB — not the other way around.

      • Tom

        Oh, man are you kidding? Heck yeah, the Pats were going to win the game. Is there anyone who’s watched football in the last 10 years think that with 2 minutes to go and the ball in Brady’s hands, the Pats lose this game? Neck no, that’s exactly where they want you…and the look on the Eagle’s players faces said the same thing. We know the ending of this movie, we’ve seen it at least 4 or 5 times in the SB. Just unbelievable…

        • Richie

          When that Hail Mary pass was coming down in the perfect spot, I just assumed a Patriot was going to come up with it.

          Michael Meyers is never dead until his head is actually chopped off.

          • Tom

            Richie, me too. The sun shines down on that team (the Pats) and you could just feel it…you just knew they were going to win this game, the entire time watching it. I’m still blown away that they didn’t win…yep, you have to actually chop the head off, because even after the sack/fumble, they STILL had a shot.

            • Richie

              I got really nervous after the strip-sack, when the Eagles just ran three straight times for 2, 3 and -1 yards. It gave me flashbacks to last year when the Falcons were up by 8 with 4 minutes left, and had the ball in field goal territory. Man, how did they blow that?!?!

              • Tom

                It’s amazing to look back at that right? When Julio caught that pass, I thought, “Phew! That was a close one! OK, do a few plays, kick the field goal, game over”. And so yeah, you’re right…when Philly didn’t convert, I thought, “Here we go…this Machine is built for this moment, and they’re going to do it again”.

          • sacramento gold miners

            I could argue the head was partially chopped off when Brady fumbled that ball. The hail mary pass had a very low chance for success.

            • Richie

              Yeah, but I’ve seen Brady pull enough games out of his ass over the years, that I don’t believe he lost until the clock is at 0:00.

              I didn’t think there was any way he could pull it out last year when he was down by 16 points with 8 minutes to play.

              • Tom

                You’re speaking the truth here. That team is not dead until the clock shows 0:00 and the other team has more points than they do.

  • Tom

    Brady has now “checked another box” as far as the SB goes. The one thing he “lacked” in his SB performances was that dominant game that Montana, Young and Williams had (and others as the table shows). He has his “clutch” games – against Rams, Panthers, Atlanta, Seahawks, even against the Giants where he led two possible game-winning drives. And his numbers in those games aren’t bad either. But he didn’t have that “monster” game (of which he’s had several during the regular season, and maybe in the playoffs, not sure), and now he has it.

    • Four Touchdowns

      I guess Pro Football Focus agreed with Gold Miners —

      QB TOM BRADY, 79.6 OVERALL GRADE
      Brady had a nice night and racked up a ton of passing yardage. However, he missed a few more throws than he typically does and had an interception dropped on the second-to-last play of the game that could have sealed the loss without even getting a ‘Hail Mary’ attempt. Brady had an adjusted completion percentage of 67.4 percent, his third-lowest of the season.

      QB NICK FOLES, 91.9 OVERALL GRADE
      On the biggest stage, Nick Foles played perhaps the best game of his career. He was deadly when given a clean pocket, going 21-of-29 for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Foles ended the year with one of the more impressive back-to-back performances in recent playoff memory, completing 71 percent of his passes for over 700 yards and six touchdowns over that span. Much credit will be due to his offensive line, as he was only pressured on 14 of his 43 drop-backs.

      • Tom

        And this is cool because PFF covers that other stuff you were talking about – dropped passes, possible interceptions, etc., stuff the “normal” stats (and even WPA stuff I track) doesn’t catch. Pretty interesting…

      • Richie

        I think Brady also had an interception dropped in the first quarter near the goal line and maybe another in the 2nd or 3rd quarter. Neither were easy interceptions, but they were not impossible either.

      • Richie

        “Nick Foles played perhaps the best game of his career”

        Do you know what grade PFF gave Foles for that game against the Raiders in 2013? Based on standard statistics, this game was nowhere near as good as that Raiders game.

        • Anders

          They actual gave a pretty low grade for that game

      • Paul

        Pff is interesting to read for a added perspective. But a human still creates those grades, and theyre wildly inconsistent. Their grades rarely make sense. Last year they gave brady 99.5 for the season. He was good but .5 away from perfect? For comparison his 2007 season graded at 93.5. The biggest issue is they dont account for opponent quality. Playing great against a bad team or playing poor against a good team isnt accounted for. Its similar to officiating, theyre the premier individuals in their job and none ever rule the same play the same. One person may choose to rule a play as a “big time throw” or “turnover worthty” and another wont. Its a judgement call. Is x play worth x amount of their grading system. Im sure if each of their grades did that game there would be wildly different grades.

        I personally dont place much stock in their grading. 2016 wasnt even close to bradys best year, nor the best qb season ever. Yet they say it is, and its not even close. None of their grades ever really pass the eye test.

  • Edward Thomas

    Brady was Brilliant. Foles was OK, average. The defenses made all the difference in this one. The Pats D has a knack for making average QBs like Foles look better than they are. Make no mistake about this, Brady did in fact outplay Foles, Yes, he did!

    • Tom

      By most accounts, and per the table above, yes, Brady outplayed him, I’m fine with that. But from a “clutch” perspective, Foles might have had the greatest game in NFL SB history; if not the greatest, it’s in the Top 5 easy. The number of clutch plays he made – even plays that seem ordinary, given the context, they’re extraordinary – is crazy:

      1. 2-yard pass to Ertz on 4th-1, down by 1, ON THEIR OWN 45
      2. 11-yard TD pass to Ertz, down by 1, 2:25 remaining
      3. 55-yard pass to Clement (yes, Clement deserves a lot of credit here) on 3rd-3
      4. 18-yard pass to Agholor, 1st-10, 3:25 left

      And I’m not even counting the pass that he freaking caught on 4th-1. Dude was ridiculous.

      • sacramento gold miners

        In addition to Brady’s 58.3% accuracy, and the two clutch plays he didn’t make which I mentioned before, there was the dropped pass of his own. New England’s defense bears most of the responsibility for the defeat, but Brady wasn’t at his best.

        • Four Touchdowns

          Maybe not but he was still very good. In last year’s Super Bowl, he threw a pick-six, and threw two interceptions in the Seahawks Super Bowl, but both his offense and the defense made enough plays to offset those errors.

          Last night, Tom Brady had an incredible 505 passing yards, 3 TDs, and 115.4 passer rating. In his first Super Bowl win, he had 145 passing yards, 1 TD, and an 86.2 passer rating.

          • sacramento gold miners

            It’s easier today to accumulate passing yardage than 2001, and that was Brady’s second season. And Brady didn’t make a late costly blunder against the Rams in 2001

            • Tom

              I don’t think it’s easier by 360 yards. There’s no issue of a late game blunder if your team has scored 33 points and the other team has 17. I know you’re just making a point, but I hope you’re not trying to say that Brady played better in 2001. Because he didn’t, even from a clutch perspective, and it’s not even close.

              • sacramento gold miners

                Brady didn’t make that colossal late game mistake in 2001. And the SB also exposed the flaw in depending so much on a single great player. New England’s defense faltered, meaning there was more pressure on Brady to bring his “A” game, and it just didn’t happen. All those passing yards in the first half netted just 12 points, which helped Philadelphia significantly. Brady’s missed throws, bad sack at the end of the first half, dropped pass, and very costly turnover have to be included in his evaluation. Even with his comeback ability, the mistakes he made were just too much to overcome.

                Brady’s game was somewhat similar to that of Kurt Warner, some fans remember the high passing yards, but forget about the nine offensive points he generated in quarters 1-3, the costly interception by James Harrision at the end of the first half, and the strip sack near the Cardinals 40 to end the game. I believe the emphasis on passing yardage numbers is overvalued.

                • Tom

                  I understand your points, but I just respectfully disagree. What you are basically saying is that the Pats needed 42 to win this game, and I don’t buy it. If the Patriots D makes a single stop in the 4th, we’re not having this discussion.

                  I really don’t care too much about passing yards. I care about scoring points and the Pats scored enough to win. Even with the sack/fumble, Brady did not “lose” this game. The Pats lost because Nick Foles and his receivers had the freaking game of their lives.

                  At what point can we let Brady off the hook here? If the score was 51-43? 61-53? Would we still think he made mistakes?

                  • sacramento gold miners

                    Brady has lost three Super Bowls as favorites, so along with the endless praise, we should present the whole picture. I still give him a “B” grade, with New England’s defense an “F”.

                    • Tom

                      For starters, Brady himself isn’t the favorite, and it doesn’t really matter to me who is favored (although it does have an effect on the WPA numbers). If I had to give grades, it’s an A-. Just don’t know what else you wanted him to do (unless, again, you expected the Pats to score 42 points against the Eagles defense).

                    • mrh

                      You are generally one of the better posters/analysts on this site, but you are making some strange arguments in this thread.

                      “Brady has lost three Super Bowls as favorites”

                      The bad grammar almost makes my point for me. It’s a mistake identifying the team performance with QB performance. NE lost those SBs. Brady was part of the problem but not all of it. He was part of the reason the Patriots won five but not all of it. QB W-L record is no more valid than Pitcher W-L record as a metric.

                      “All those passing yards in the first half netted just 12 points, which helped Philadelphia significantly.”

                      This is factually correct but misleading. If Brady was the holder this would be a reasonable criticism, but all those passing yards SHOULD have netted 16 points even with stalling out and settling for FGs vs. TDs. Two missed kicks (and the FG was shorter than the EP, it’s not like missing a 50-yarder) can’t reasonably be blamed on the passing game.

            • Paul

              Wouldnt have been in a position to fumble the ball in a close game if he had played poorly, then they would be losing by 21. If he played bad they would have been plastered and beat by 4 tds. The only reason it wss close was because of brady playing so well.

              Besides, the strip sack wasnt a all time bad play by brady, those happen often. Its not like he threw a pick to a wide open defender, he got hit in the side by a linebacker in a collapsing pocket. Should have taken the sack, but he was trying to make a play.

              The patriots cant ask brady to throw the ball 50+ times every playoff game and be superman. Eventually the defense has to stop allowing russell wilson, matt ryan, and nick foles to average 9.5 yds/att. The joe montana 49ers, john elway broncos, troy aikman cowboys, and 2015 manning broncos all did tremendous team performances to help their teams win the sb. The patriots have largely played average or worse as a team outside tom brady in the sb. Be it in defensive ANY/A, or in any expected points added split outside passing offense. Sooner or later it would be nicd to see the rest od the team play as well as brady and the passing offense does.

              Ive never seen one player provide so much to his team and get so little credit. Brady hasnt always been great in the sb, but hes always been the best part of the team in those games.

              • Tom

                With you on this. Throughout his career, Brady has been on great teams – good/great defenses, GREAT special teams, GREAT coaching, etc. – he says the same thing. But at times, in the SB, he loses some of that “support”, and he – and the offense – almost always come through and fulfills their part of the bargain, and I’m not just talking about the the games they’ve won.

                • Paul

                  Not always, but alot of the time. the 07 loss was squarely on the offense and brady, they had negative passing EPA for that game. The defense wasnt good either, but it was alot on the offense too. 2011 was a mediocre performance also, but the patriots did have the worst average starting field position in any superbowl that day, according to Scott Kacsmar’s research.

                  • Tom

                    Yes, I agree…my numbers show a +1.7 EPA, but either way, not good. The greatest offense of all time (arguably), should NOT have been in a position where they had only 7 points and there’s 8 minutes left in the SB…not good at all.

                    BUT – and here’s where my thinking aligns with a lot of RINGZ crowd, but not in the way that they think – when the game was on the line, when the Pats had to have a score, Brady led them down the field to get it. It’s like, at the end, when it matters, Brady and the offense usually gives the team a shot to win the game…and that’s in every one of the eight Super Bowls (hmmm…maybe not 2004? Haven’t looked at that one in a while).

                    So…from a EPA/yardage/expectation point of view, yes, we can blame the offense for that loss. But from a Win Probability standpoint, it’s on the defense. Give or take a few % points, the Pats had a 87% chance to win the game when Eli starts the drive on the Giants 17 with 2:39 left. While we can say “Well, they would have had zero chance if Brady had scored more”, 87% is still pretty good.

                    Per my numbers, the Patriots don’t have a single SB where their offense has a negative WPA (2007 and 2011 are low though).

                    • Paul

                      I use the Expected Points Added on pro-football-references.com boxscores. Likely calculated differently.

                      In 2004 against Philly they had a GWD off a Corey Dillion 2 yard rush. It came in the first 1:30 of the 4th quarter. The drive started in the 3rd at the 29 after a Troy Brown false start penalty. They added a FG drive later in the quarter before a donovan mcnabb td pass to greg lewis made it the final score of 24-21.

                      How much has WPA changed in the recent seasons. Im not aure if it was Scott Kacsmar or somewhere else i read that GWD in the final 2 minutes are becoming more common.

                    • Tom

                      Game winning drives are definitely up…I have the data, just have to find it. Of course, a quick search on PFR will show this. That being said, this year was really, really low…I think the top guy had only 3 or 4, whereas last year, Matt Stafford and Derek Carr each had 8 (or 7…damn, can’t remember).

              • WR

                “The patriots have largely played average or worse as a team outside tom brady in the sb.”

                The numbers behind this are pretty remarkable. In Brady’s last 7 Super Bowls, the Patriots’ passing offense has averaged +13.64 expected points per game. The defense and special teams have combined to average -12.23 expected points.

                • Tom

                  Right…it’s kind of wacky. There’s no disputing (to me anyway) that Brady has had fantastic support during the regular season and the playoffs. But in the SB, that support somehow disappears. Look at these splits:

                  Patriots WPA in the playoffs, 2001-2017

                  All playoff games, WPA per game
                  Off: +0.18
                  Def: -0.15
                  SpT: +0.06

                  Playoffs w/o Super Bowl
                  Off: +0.10
                  Def: -0.05
                  SpT: +0.06

                  Super Bowl
                  Off: +0.48
                  Def: -0.52
                  SpT: +0.05

                  It’s like, in the playoffs, you get somewhat of a balanced attack – offense is good, defense is negative, but considering the defense by its nature gives up points that’s not too bad, and the special teams are good. Notice how bunched together the numbers are. Overall, you have a positive WPA which translates to wins (obviously)

                  But in the Super Bowl, you have this significant drop off in the defense and a ramped up offense! It’s like, he’s blessed with this great team – significantly better than what Brees and Rodgers have had in my opinion – and this, along with his great play, allows him to get to all these Super Bowls. But when he gets there, that support kind of drops off…and that’s including the fantastic plays in 2014 (Butler), 2016, etc.

                  This last game is really skewing the numbers too, it was just absolutely disastrous…the defense gave up -1.25 WPA, which is almost as much as they gave up in the previous three Super Bowls combined.

        • Tom

          I agree that the Pats defense deserves most/all of the blame. But I’m sorry, Brady was brilliant in this game and he deserves little of the blame in my book. His WPA was +0.63, which, by my numbers, is the highest for any losing QB in a SB. You just don’t lose games when you put up numbers like this…unless, of course, the rest of your TEAM plays badly. And that’s what happened.

        • Travis Jones

          Who cares about 58.3% when you’re averaging over 18(!) yards per completion and 10+ y/a? Sometimes completion percentage is over-emphasized. These were, as someone else mentioned, an old-fashioned set of amazing passing statistics, like something out of a 50’s-60’s explosive game. I like it when the passing game is more vertically-focused; you’ll get a slightly lower completion percentage, but what matters is that yards/attempt, imo.

          • sacramento gold miners

            Had Brady been more accurate, New England’s chances for victory increase in this game. The strip sack, and taking a bad sack near the end of the first half also may have affected the outcome of the game.

            • Four Touchdowns

              Yes, if he plays perfect and never makes a mistake, his team’s chances for victory go up,

              Of course, that’s true for everyone else on the team as well…

              However — he made worse mistakes in the previous two Super Bowls and the Patriots won them! He threw a pick six and ate five sacks against Atlanta. He threw two interceptions against the Seahawks, both of which likely cost his team 6-10 points and didn’t play great until the Seahawks lost some of their best defensive players.

              QBs can make mistakes and still win games. If a QB isn’t flawless, the loss is on him? You don’t think the defense giving up 41 points is even a little at fault?

              This seems crazy to me.

              • sacramento gold miners

                It’s not crazy at all, I believe Brady was more accurate against both Atlanta and Seattle. Plus, he didn’t have the colossal mistake of a fumble near the end of those games. As a said before, New England’s defense bears the brunt of the fault for the loss, but Brady isn’t blameless. When you ask one man to carry so much of the responsibility, the margin of error is very slim. A QB not on the short list of GOAT, doesn’t win five Super Bowls in close fashion.

                • Tom

                  There is no colossal mistake at the end if the defense doesn’t give up 41 points. The dude is coming back, drive after drive, trying to win the game for his team. I don’t know or care if he’s carrying the load, or the team is relying on him 100%…I just know that he’s out there scoring points. How many points should they score before you’re OK with his performance?

                  (We’ll, it’s finally happened, I’m a Brady Fanboy)

                  • sacramento gold miners

                    I’m ok with his performance in the context of having a very good game which would have probably been enough to win if New England played better defensively. But that hasn’t been the formula for much of New England’s postseason success, and even a great QB should be held accountable, just like a special teams player. I don’t think anybody is bulletproof, it’s fair to point out the flaws. Brady has now lost three Super Bowls as a favorite, and I’ve said before passing yardage isn’t the end all in judging QB play. Nick Foles was the deserving MVP.

                    • Tom

                      I see what you’re saying, but I just can’t hold that dude accountable in any way in this game. He “dropped” a pass, he was sacked and fumbled at a crucial moment, he ran when he should have thrown, and he missed some passes. Here’s some other things he did:

                      – 50-yard pass to Amendola on 3rd-7, +0.11 WPA
                      – 26-yard TD pass to Hogan, +0.10
                      – 43-yard pass to Hogan, +.10
                      – 30-yard pass to Hogan, +0.10
                      – 46-yard pass to Burkhead (yes, mostly Burkhead), +0.08
                      – 14-yard pass to Gronk on 3rd-6, +0.07
                      – 4-yard TD pass to Gronk, +0.06

                      There’s around 15 more plays like this with positive WPA. It’s ridiculous, it’s the best game by a losing quarterback, hands down.

                    • Paul

                      Im not sure why they did that trick play, it seems like they do them more often then some teams, but it wasnt a great throw and brady isnt a great athlete. Was it really worth it, brady could of easily made a better play without the trickery.

                    • Paul

                      According to advanced stats, the patriots defense rarely plays well in the Superbowl. Theyve hardly ever been impressive in the playoffs either. Some good games mixed with a whole lot of bad.

                • Paul

                  He may have been more accurate against seattle and the falcons, but the passes he did complete in those games werent nearly as effective. 23 of his 28 completions were first downs. He averaged 10 yds/att. The patriots had 25.23 EPA against the Eagles, 10 more then either of of those games. 295 DYAR according to football outsiders.

                  Also, i dont think a sack/fumble is a “colossal” mistake. He was hit in a collapsing pocket on the side where he couldnt see the guy. Last years pick 6 was several degrees worse. Nick Foles played amazing, one of the best superbowl performances of all time. The Eagles won because of that, doesnt mean Brady played worse then the times the Patriots won. It was his best SB performance, and they still lost. It happens every year. According to football outsiders the best team wins the SB only like 42% of the time. A player can play great and still lose.

            • Paul

              Brady wasnt sacked at the end of the first half. He played very well, not his best game ever, but still easily one of them. This criticism seems alittle far fetched. He played great, they lost, im not sure what else you want, him to find the ark of the covenant while destroying the death star with a photon football?

              • sacramento gold miners

                Brady took a horrible sack near the end of the first half near his own 40, which killed any chance at moving the ball closer for a FG attempt. He ran out of the pocket, and drained way too much time on the clock. Brady played well, but his accuracy was below par when compared with his regular and postseason performance. Yardage isn’t the gold standard for evaluating QB play, and fumbling the ball late was very damaging.

                • Renan

                  Running for 6 yards and being tackled instead of throwing the ball away was really a dumb play. I was very surprised to see Brady doing that. But technically, that’s not a sack.

    • Paul

      Foles played well. Brady played better sure. Shouldnt discount foles just because the patriots play defense poorly in the playoffs. Russell wilson, matt ryan, and manning in the 13 afc championship all destroyed the patriots d. But those are 2 great passers and easily one of the best ever doing it. Really only manning outplayed foles in a statistical sense. He earned that performance.

    • sacramento gold miners

      It’s not all about passing yardage. One reason the Pats lost was not getting off to their usual fast start. Brady’s high passing yardage in the first half didn’t generate enough points.

      • Paul

        True. If martellus bennett was healthy those would have been td drives i believe. Outside of gronk the pats wr are too limited in the redzone

      • Tom

        The other reason they lost was that Nick Foles and the Eagles plastered 41 on them. The Pats offense was fine. 7 times this year they scored over 33 or more points on offense. Unless you went in to this game thinking, “Hmm, the Pats will need to put up 42 points to win this game”…

    • Renan

      Foles was OK? Seriously? Does anyone else agree with this?
      Why is NE defense an excuse but not PHI defense?
      PHI pressure was non-factor for most of the game, just like NE.
      Brady had all the time to throw, plus his WRs were completely alone for most of the game. Brady had quite a few long completions that nearest defender was like 10 yards away.

      https://nextgenstats.nfl.com/stats/receiving/2017/22#average-separation

      • Paul

        Phillys defense was substantially better going into the game then new englands. Philly’s d allowed 5.1 ANY/A, New England 6.3 ANY/A. thats a substantial difference. Plus philly played a much better schedule of opposing qbs, so new englands defense is likely worse then that. Hence football outsiders ranking them as the worst defense to ever make the superbowl in the DVOA era. Philly was a good but not historically great defense, that had just made the Vikings and Case Keenum (who lead the nfl in DVOA) look terrible.

        Put in perspective, Tom Brady demolishing a pretty good Philly defense is alot more impressive then Nick Foles playing great against a pretty bad defense, possibly the worst to ever play in a sb. Still, i dont agree with discrediting foles, he still played more than worthy enough to both win the game and get MVP. it was a tremendous performance.

        • Renan

          I didn’t say PHI defense was bad in the regular season.
          So because a defense plays well in the regular season, they can’t have a horrible game?

          Did you see the link that I posted? Amendola, Hogan and Gronk had big separation with high depth of target? Amendola depth of target in the regular season was 8 yards with a separation of 2.9 yards. Yesterday he had 4.5 separation with 14.3 depth of target. Hogan 4.1/15.9.

          This is not usual. This is a clear indication that NE WR were wide open for most of the game.

          • Paul

            Stepon Diggs had 3.5yds of separation and Jarius Wright had 4.5 in the NFC-C. They combined for 121 yds on 11 receptions, across 18 targets, or 6.7 yds/att.

            The Philly D gave lots of space to the Vikings in the NFC-C and still blew them away and Case Keenum had his worst game of the season. At the end of the day it still takes a qb making good decisions and good throws in the right areas.

            Over the course of the season the patriots had the least amount of average separation in the NFL and Tom Brady was still the MVP. My conclusion is the importance of separation is overblown and good ball placement that allows a WR to make a move after the catch is underrated.

            • Renan

              You left TAY out of of analysis. Keenum depth of target on those throws was 8.1. Brady depth of target was 13.9. That’s a HUGE difference. Of course Keenum Y/A is going to be lower without YAC.

              Brady MVP numbers are nowhere near close to this game. Look at his Y/A and Y/C. How can you compare to his regular season?

              I don’t know how you concluded that importance of separation is overblown. Brady numbers in the regular vs SB is an evidence against what you said.

              • Paul

                From my understanding of those breakdowns, YAC isnt incorporated at all into TAY. Its how far the ball is traveling before the reciever catches it, so is that more on the reciever or Brady for being able to consistently make good throws 15 yards before the receiver catches it? Alot of people complain brady doesnt have the skills to make down field throws, that he dinks and dunks, well he made accurate, well placed downfield throws and now the conclusion is its all the receivers skills letting him do that.

                I like watching tom brady play, as i do drew brees and did peyton manning. Im not a tom brady apologist, if he plays bad he plays bad. I believe he played well in the superbowl. I think its odd people are making excuses for him having a good game.

                • Renan

                  You’re confused. I didn’t say TAY has YAC. I said if one QB is throwing 8 air yards, he’ll have less Y/A. The only way he has more Y/A is through YAC, which he didn’t. Got it?

                  Lest me be clear. I never said Brady didn’t have a great game. My only problem is saying Brady performance was more impressive because he played against a better defense. Like I said before, just because they were better in the regular season, it does not mean they can’t have a bad game. Good offenses/defenses can have a bad games, bad offenses/defenses can have good games.

                  PHI defense had a horrible game. From the tape it was clear and I provided stats that show the same thing. NE WRs were open in a very unusual way. It’s not Brady’s fault and he took advantage of it.

                  But throwing longer passes with huge separation is not difficult. I don’t understand how you can even question this. Amendola, Gronk e Hogan separation during the regular season were below 3. It’s a huge difference.

                  • Paul

                    No, i wasnt following what you meant about YAC. i see what you mean now, does make sense. Im not sure if you can determine which player is more responsible for high TAY, the quarterback with good throws/reads or recievers with good routes. I dont follow how a high TAY is indicitive of Brady facing a poorer defense. It still takes a good read, decision-making, and throw to make a downfield pass like brady was.

                    I think we each have varying opinions on this. I appreciate your conclusions but dont think well agree on it.

                    • Renan

                      The problem is you’re still leaving information behind from what I said.

                      First you only focused on SEP. Now you focus only on TAY. Why? I’m saying from the beginning that you have to look at BOTH.

                      Of course it’s impossible to judge if the QB was making difficult throws by only looking at TAY. In fact, it’s usually true that high TAY means the QB is making more difficult throws.

                      But SEP is created by the WR. If the QB had high TAY with low SEP, it means he was making deep throws in tight coverage. But 4+ yards of separation makes the QB life much easier. Getting this type of separation on 10+ yards downfield is every QBs dream.

        • Anders

          The Eagles defense was terrible against no huddle/up tempo teams going into the SB. The crazy thing was that, it was only the Giants and the Rams a little that used it against them

      • Richie

        How the heck were some of those guys getting so wide open?

        • sacramento gold miners

          It’s the nature of today’s NFL, defenses are really handcuffed, and Philadelphia played well off New England’s receivers. The Eagles were also well aware the SB officiating crew called a high percentage of defensive pass coverage penalties.

        • Renan

          Take a look at these plays.
          https://youtu.be/OFogKSowm7I
          0:15 – 28 yards to Hogan – Wide open plus a lot of YAC.
          0:55 – 50 yards to Amendola – How is he so open?
          1:33 – 23 yards to Cooks – Wide open
          1:47 – 46 yards to Burkhead – Screen pass with a lot of YAC.
          2:35 – 23 yards to Amendola – Useless screen pass to end the 1H.
          3:56 – 30 yards to Amendola – Wide open.

          These are probably one of the easiest 200 yards I’ve ever seen in one game. 200 yards!

          Before someone suggests that Brady didn’t make great throws.
          2:06 – 43 yards to Hogan. This is a great deep throw hitting the WR in stride.
          2:55 – 24 yards to Gronk. Great coverage.

  • Tom

    I can’t help but think that if the Pats get a Hail Mary at the end to win the game, anyone who disagrees with the idea that this was Brady’s best game, would suddenly agree with it. That’s how powerful the One Ring is…

    • Mark Growcott

      If Brady had completed that 51 Yd Pass he would have finished with a whopping 556 Pass Yds, the most in any game in NFL history. Not withstanding that, his 505 Yd effort was mighty impressive given his age.

      Amazing to think that when Kurt Warner was voted into the HOF (12 months ago), he had the 3 highest Passing yardage games in SB history, now after yesterday his top 3 efforts are ranked 3rd, 4th and 6th.

  • Nothing to do with Brady, but I love how awful Kerry Collins’ performance is in Super Bowl XXXV, even adjusted for the defense. “We expected you to be awful, but not THAT awful”.

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  • Deacon Drake

    Brady had by far the best playoff games of his career, even though he missed terribly a couple time. 28 completions for 500 yards is like straight out of the 60s/70s. They did not punt. The lost their primary deep threat and kept going… Lewis has not been a factor the last 2 games, muting the run threat.

    Not sure who was more at fault for the strip sack, as Brady looked like he was about to chuck a ball up for grabs anyways… just looked like a bad play, mixed with a bad read, mixed with poor 1-on-1 execution on the line. The fact that he posted that game and the Patriots still needed a TD and a 2 pt just to TIE is a testament to how bad the defense played.

    • Renan

      NE ran for 113 yards with 5.1 Y/C. That’s a very good run game.
      Also, M. Jenkins covered the RBs basically the whole game. Eagles were able to stop the RB catching passes, but that’s probably the only thing they did well on defense. I question Schwartz for not putting him on Gronk or Amendola in the 2nd half.

  • Tom

    My own ranking of Brady’s Super Bowls:

    1. 2014 vs. Seahawks (W)
    2. 2003 vs. Panthers (W)
    3. 2017 vs. Eagles (L)
    4. 2016 vs. Falcons (W)
    5. 2011 vs. Giants (L)
    6. 2001 vs. Rams (W)
    7. 2004 vs. Eagles (W)
    8. 2007 vs. Giants (L)

    • Renan

      I would put the 2004 game in #5.
      Is the GWD really enough to put 145 yards with 5.37 Y/A ahead of the 2004 game?
      He had less than 100 yards with 1 min left and his team was still tied 14-14 against that great Rams team.

      • Paul

        My opinion is the 04 philly should be at 4. Brady played great for 1 and a half quarters against the falcons. Against the eagles he was efficient the whole game, although his numbera werent spectacular, they were very good. Plus that philly defense was far better then atlanta’s from 16′.

        Truthfully, the 01′ win was so much of a team win. The Rams were suprisingly good on defense that year, which alot of people forget, but Brady was hardly masterful that day, though it was only his 17 start i believe.

        • Tom

          For fun, I meshed what I had with what Chase has here (see above)…the 2004 game jumps to #4.

          Yeah, the 2001 game is a total team win…great defense, great special teams (Vinny kick) and Brady clutch drive.

        • Travis Jones

          Yeah, that was the same Rams-D that intercepted Favre 6 times a few weeks before the SB, and generally ranked high in all defensive categories in the regular season. The ’99 Rams also had a really good defense. I remember that being one of the first teams I heard the term “team speed” being focused on by the press, meaning both sides of the ball.

      • Tom

        My ranking is based on WPA, that’s why the 2004 game is so low…he obviously wasn’t “bad” in that game by any stretch, he just wasn’t in too many “high leverage” situations.

        A better ranking would be to blend what I’ve got and what Chase has? Something like this (using Z-scores, but who cares):

        1. 2017 vs. Eagles
        2. 2003 vs. Panthers
        3. 2014 vs. Seahawks
        4. 2004 vs. Eagles
        5. 2016 vs. Falcons
        6. 2001 vs. Rams
        7. 2011 vs. Giants
        8. 2007 vs. Giants.

        Kind of a nice arc…the whole thing is bracketed by the games the Patriots lost!

        • eag97a

          This FO article might help you. Interesting that Brady played better than his SB opponent qb by both DYAR and DVOA except for the 2007 SB where Eli had a slight advantage in DVOA but still lost the DYAR battle.

          Here is the link; http://footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2018/postseason-qb-stats-2017-update

          • Tom

            Pretty cool…my “blended” ranking somewhat matches. 1st, 2nd, 4th and 8th are the same, some juggling in the middle. Surprised to see 2016 so low and 2001 so high. But in any event, pretty cool.

            • eag97a

              It’s a gold mine on info about post season performances by elite qbs. Hope FO manage to work back to at least 1970 or even 1966 sow we can have advanced stats for older qbs.

  • He was great. I’ve rarely seen a QB play better. I would be curious to see a full-postseason version of this leaderboard, though I’m afraid discussion thereof would turn into yet another tiresome Brady/Manning debate.

    • sacramento gold miners

      Having seen Brady’s entire career, I’d give the Super Bowl a “B” grade. Joe Montana has the slight edge for me as the GOAT QB, the game has so radically changed in favor of the pass, I can’t place too much emphasis on yardage.

    • Four Touchdowns

      As a Manning fan, the sad thing is that Rodgers and Brees should be in that debate!

      And that’s just their era…

    • Renan
      • I have no idea how I completely missed that post but I did somehow. Thanks!

  • Travis Jones

    I think you could still make the case for Montana’s performance, if I understand the formula correctly. He had only 30 less differential-yards than Brady, but with significantly less dropbacks in a game that quickly got out of hand. I think you could easily make that argument that if Elway and co. had put up any kind of resistance, say a TD or two at least, that a few more Montana passes would put him at or over Brady’s performance. But I understand my argument is entirely based on presumption. Still, that Montana game was one of the most flawless I can remember. Brady definitely missed on some passes, not to take too much away from what was a truly phenomenal game by “The Pharaoh” (is that a real nickname for Tom, or did you guys just make that up?)

    • sacramento gold miners

      Agreed, and I continue to believe fans underrate how much easier it is today to throw the football. In 1989, defensive backs were allowed more contact with receivers, player safety rules were virtually non-existent, among other differences. I would also like to point out that 1989 Denver defense had players like Atwater(a possible HOF selection), Mecklenberg, and Fletcher. And a guy named Elway on the other side.

      • Paul

        Well, the 49ers were running a completely different offense then all the other teams, and likely benefitted greatly from that. Not much of a coincidence that steve young posted better numbers then montana when he took over, including in his only sb appearance. Now every offense is as advanced as the 49ers where back then, so passing efficency has exploded. Thats my take on it. Its not a knock on montana, since he was still great, i simply believe he benefitted from a far better offensive scheme then the rest of the nfl was using back then.

        • sacramento gold miners

          I get what you’re saying, but by 1989, other NFL teams had plenty of tape on that 49ers attack dating back to 1981. I don’t think there were any surprises by the late 80s, but just great offensive execution by the Niners. As far as Steve Young, he’s a notch below Montana for me. Better runner, but he inherited a great situation when Montana was injured. I also believe Montana was superior on the bigger stage.

          • Paul

            Fair point. Montana did play great. Ive just read some articles at fivethirtyeight.com that concluded the reemphasis of pass interference and holding/contact penalties since 04′ havent correlated well with increassd efficency. Theyve slowly been called less since the league reemphasised them and passing stats have still improved. It may be a fundemental issue that defenses just play different because of the more liberal penalty situation regardless of whether they actually get called as much as say, 04′ when the league really cracked down on contact. I tend to believe the dissemination of advanced techniques and offense schemes and wide spread use of the “west coast offense”, plus mike martz “greatest show of turf” strategies, in addition to a complete restructuring of nfl offenses based on shotgun formations has led to the current high passing totals. I wouldnt say quarterbacks are better now then the past, theyre just using better techniques, strategies, and game designs, and at a much younger age. Theyre learning it in middle school now a days. With such easy access to technology everyone can study and use these schemes just by finding them on the internet. Now these qbs are coming into the league already prepared, hence the huge upswing in quality rookie qbs in the past 7 years.

  • Paul

    I wonder what the standings would be in chase’s greatest qb articles with 4 more seasons of info now?

    • WR

      Neil Paine published an article at fivethirtyeight after the Pats-Seahawks SB that had Brady 2nd to Manning, and it was based on a modified version of Chase’s formula. Given that since then, Peyton had one subpar season, and Brady has 3 seasons over which he has the best numbers of any QB in football, even a conservative estimate suggests Brady is now at the top of the list. And even if he isn’t, it must be breathtakingly close.

      Here’s the link: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tom-bradys-statistical-place-in-the-pantheon-of-nfl-qbs/

      • Paul

        Thanks WR, was actually rereading that earlier today, great article. The playoff multipliers are alittle extreme, i like chase’s better, they dont make 1 game more valuable then an entire 200 game career. Ive done most of the passing ANY/A calculations that chase does for brady, manning, brees, and rodgers, based on his SOS adjusted methodology, only excluding this year so far, so im kinda aware where they’d rank right now. But chase does such a good job writing the articles im still looking forward to it.

  • Mr. Dunwich

    Sorry, I have to break from the narrative here and say that Foles was absolutely the better QB in this game, regardless of the W. I also have to shrug at using ANY/A differential as the primary (or only) qualifier for determining the “best passing performance” in the Superbowl or any other game.

    Having gone back and watched the highlights from this game yesterday, a few things I noted:

    1. Brady didn’t “shred” the Eagles defense on his own. Whether it was the Patriots receivers doing an exceptional job of creating separation, or the Eagles D playing soft coverage, or both, it was clear that Brady unlike Foles had some pretty wide open targets. Look at Brady’s first big throw to Hogan. In truth it was a poorly thrown ball under pressure, a lob that Hogan had to turn completely around for and virtually stop for, but worked out because of how wide open Hogan was. This pattern of loose coverage was rife in the game on the Eagles defensive side.
    2. On the flip side, the Patriots defense played very tight on the Eagles receivers, and this required some great catches from the receivers and accurate throws from Foles. By and large, the Patriots defense did a great job of playing tight coverage, with the Eagles D leaving people frequently wide open.
    3. In regards to accuracy, Brady was somewhat sloppy in the game. He had three deflections, with two of them being nearly picked. He threw to three ghost receivers that didn’t exist, with the ball hitting the ground around nobody. Foles might have an interception on the stat sheet, but he was definitely the more accurate, less mistake prone passer.
    4. Under pressure, Brady struggled much more than Foles did. Throwing to ghosts, throwing bad passes for easy breakups, etc. Foles did pretty good under pressure, with one of the most important passes of the night (4th & 1 in the 4th Quarter to Ertz) coming under duress. Neither took any sacks (barring the late game strip sack on Brady), but it was clear that Foles was the one doing the better job in this department.
    5. This was Brady’s 8th Superbowl, so the experience was there. This was Foles first, and he handled the pressure of it equally as well as Brady, if not a little bit more so.
    6. Foles is a much better receiver 😛

    Don’t get me wrong, it may look like I am trashing Brady…I am not. He still played a great game, and while I mentioned the mistakes above, it was only to highlight the difference between the two QB’s. In truth he made few mistakes, and those he did weren’t particularly detrimental.

    All this said, I don’t think this was close to the best Superbowl performance, nor the best post-season performance that I have seen, regardless of what the ANY/A differential may show. Much more to things than ANY/A. QBR also rated Foles higher than Brady, and I suspect PFF will as well.

    • Paul

      ESPN rated Brady at 88.3 Total QBR, Foles with 84.9. Since no one knows how they create those numbers, i dont know much stock can be placed in them.

      PFF is useful for their stat breakdown, downfield passing, pressure rates, ect. But i find their grading to be alittle off, it never matches the eye test, largely because its completely subjective. Everyone interprets things differently, id rather trust something conclusive like stats then truat someone elses judgement calls.

      • Mr. Dunwich

        Not sure where you are getting ESPN QBR Rating from, but directly from ESPN it shows Foles at 88.6, and Brady at 83.8. (http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400999173)
        This means both QBR and PFF show Foles as the better QB.

        Secondly, the eye test matches up with what I said above. Philly might have had a better rated Defense through the season, but their coverage was extremely loose in the game on receivers, where as the Patriots defense was not. Roughly half of Brady’s throws were to very much open receivers, and while we give him credit for finding them, Foles had to make much tighter window throws throughout the game.

        Finally, “It crazy people just cant admit Brady played great” is one of the most absurd statements I have ever seen in regards to Tom Brady. Most people call him the GOAT, and to quote my own message “Don’t get me wrong, it may look like I am trashing Brady…I am not. He still played a great game”.

        The truth is Foles was the better player, in my opinion and others opinions (ESPN and PFF, and likely others). Just because he was better doesn’t mean people are dishing on a player you happen to favor.

        • Four Touchdowns

          Yeah, I didn’t think you were saying Brady played poorly or that Foles is better overall. I think your points are fair — there is a difference between throwing to a receiver whose basically not covered and fitting it into a window or into a bucket against tight coverage.

        • Paul

          http://www.espn.com/nfl/qbr/_/seasontype/3/type/player-week

          Its true Raw QBR lists Foles as better, but in Total QBR they list Brady with the higher score. I dont know the difference between the scores.

          • WR

            Total QBR is opponent-adjusted, Raw QBR is not.

    • ammek

      I think I agree with this for the most part, although it does bring up the question of what constitutes an interceptable pass. A couple of Brady’s throws were defensed and, with some difficulty, might have been picked; I made a mental note that those were dangerous, and that I should adjust Brady’s stats accordingly. With Foles, meanwhile, I can’t quite grasp the extent to which he was at fault for the interception he did throw. What’s more, at one point he whizzed a pass between two defenders which had all three of the analysts on the UK broadcast holding their breath. It looked like more luck than judgement that the defenders did not make a play on the ball. Brilliant or fortunate? I could make a case for either, but because the defenders didn’t get a touch, if I hadn’t seen the replay I’d have missed how close they were. Sure, the stats don’t tell the whole story, but the ‘eyeball’ doesn’t always do so either.

      One thing I noted about Chase’s numbers is that, if Jake Delhomme had dropped back as often as Brady, at the rate he was going he’d have accumulated 310 yards above expected – that is to say, precisely the same number as Brady. Perhaps if SB38 had gone to overtime, or if the game script had been slightly less favorable to the Panthers, Brady’s performance would only have been the second best of all time by this measure, narrowly behind one of the more Folesian quarterbacks to have played in the superbowl.

  • Four Touchdowns

    Quick note to Chase — you should also tag this article with “Passing” and/or “Quarterbacks”. 🙂

  • Tom

    Other stuff to chew on:

    The Pats have never allowed more than 29 points in a Super Bowl, until this game. The average before this game is 22.4.
    The Pats offense has only scored more than 33 once and that was last year. The average points scored by the Pats, in the SB, before Sunday is 24.1

    So…
    Offense: +8.9 points above SB average, +4.4 above 2017 regular season average
    Defense: -18.6 points below SB average, -22.5 below 2017 regular season average

    Think about it: the Patriots scored more than they normally score, and they allowed more than they normally allow.

    So if you’re looking at Brady and the offense to find reasons why the Pats lost on Sunday, you’re looking in the wrong place.

    • Mr. Dunwich

      Yeah, definitely can not pin the blame on Brady and the offense. What simply happened was the “Bree’s Effect”, wherein the defense gives up so many points it almost doesn’t matter at all what the offense achieves. Obviously it is not endemic to Bree’s alone, but as we have seen (at least assuming people who watch the Saints) throughout his career with the Saints, you really need your defense to be onboard.

      Uncharacteristic mistakes from special teams, and a failure to achieve Belichick’s “Bend not Break” philosophy on the defensive side of the ball, is what lead to this defeat. Even looking back at the previous Superbowl, the Patriots Defense got it’s act together in the 2nd Half and really got after the Falcons, thereby allowing the offense to do what it needed to do. Not this game though.

      • Tom

        The “Brees Effect”…I love it, that’s exactly it. You have a HOF quarterback, great offense, throwing up 30+ points, and it just doesn’t matter because you’re giving up 40+. It’s like fans talking about Tomlin’s 4th down play calls, onside kick botch, etc. and other stupid stuff in the Steelers loss to the Jags. It’s like, “Hey, how about we take a look at the old scoreboard there…Jags scored 45…hmm, maybe that’s why they lost?”

        • Paul

          Im not sure if any player has ever been screwed more often in big games then brees. Hes got arguabely the best playoff stats of any player in nfl history, and continually that team finds was to lose. Case in point this years NFC-C. he didnt start the game great but sure ended it well and had his team in a position to win, then a botched tackles loses it, sometimes it seems luck never favors the saints.

          • Mr. Dunwich

            Yeah, I was really rooting for a Patriots-Saints Superbowl match up. Regardless of how it went, I felt assured that it would have had epic performances by both the QB’s and would have been a bowl worth remembering. Interestingly it leads back to the defense, Brady rallied back against the Jags in the 2nd Half and won. Bree’s rallied back in the 2nd half and lost. The difference, defense. Patriots stopped the Jags in the 2nd half, the Saints didn’t. Shame really, two HOF QBs duking it out would have been nice to see.

            • Paul

              An aaron rodgers-brady sb and brees-brady sb. Almost had both several times, and its never happened, the chances are running out now.

      • Four Touchdowns

        The Brees Effect — yes, perfectly put. People are nuts with how they will always blame a QB.

        I remember chatting at a party with some guys and they were saying he wasn’t elite. I said, “Are you kidding me? The guy is throwing for 5,000 yards like every other year and it’s his fault they can’t make the playoffs?!” And they responded unironically, “Yeah, but a lot of that is garbage time…”

        It’s simply unbelievable.

    • Four Touchdowns

      On a side note, I just had a conversation on FB and used passer rating to illustrate a point about how this just can’t be put on Brady or the offense.

      According to PFR, since 1970, QBs with a 115.4 passer rating or better have a record of 2,137-199. That’s a winning percentage of about 92%.

      During that same time period, defenses who allow 41 points have a record of 26-925. That’s a winning percentage of about 3%. Or if you want to put the three points from that strip sack on Brady, we can see that defenses who allow 38 points have a record of 66-1,437 for a win percentage of about 4%.

      I mean… come on. Using PFR’s Expected Points, the Pats’ passing offense generated +25.23 while the defense generated -29.59 and the special teams kicked in -4.32.

      How can this even be a conversation? It’s like Matt Ryan last year all over again. The mind boggles.

      • Four Touchdowns

        Just saw this — “Yardage isn’t the best statistic, though, and a better measure might be that the Patriots never had to punt on Sunday. They scored six times, missed a field goal, had a drive end on downs, fumbled away the ball, and had a possession end at the conclusion of each half. Teams occasionally lose without punting, but it’s usually because they turn the ball over a bunch. The Pats turned the ball over only once.

        You won’t be surprised to hear that teams that don’t have to punt and don’t turn the ball over usually win, too. No team has ever lost a game in which it didn’t have to punt and didn’t turn the ball over. The only other team in modern league history to lose a game with no punts and one turnover was the 2003 Chiefs, who fell 38-31 to the Colts at home in the divisional round. Those teams were previously a combined 39-1-0 since the merger.

        An even better measure is points scored, and while teams have certainly scored more than 33 points while losing, no team has scored more points and lost in a Super Bowl than New England just did. Teams that had gotten to 33 points in the Super Bowl were previously 19-0. Teams that have dropped exactly 33 points in any game over the past decade had gone 67-12 (.848). The Pats’ offense did enough to win.”

        http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/Barnwellx180205/2017-nfl-playoffs-how-philadelphia-eagles-beat-new-england-patriots-super-bowl-lii

      • Tom

        Good stuff. Goes back to your initial comment…winning in the NFL is so closely tied to the QB – not only because of the questionable QB win stat, but because of these narratives we create (I’m guilty too) that it’s just “inconceivable” that a QB can have a good game and lose. Fans can’t wrap their minds around it… the hero of the story must always win….it creates a kind of weird dissonance.

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  • Johhny Ohrl

    Not Brady, but Foles had…

    I mean Brady went against a half defense: The whole defensive backfield of PHI didn´t show up. Now I don´t wanna take anything away from the likes of Hogan and Amendola. They are top athlets, but they are certainly no James Lofton or Jerry Rice. And still they created separation like them. Again and again. Ouch!… That´s what I meant with “watch out boys, something grotesque will happen on Sunday”… So while Vegas tried its best to cut losses, they fell short. Next time they better have the QB and/or refs in the pocket (as the usual blueprint goes)…

    Otherwise, it went as predicted: PHI came out throwing, Foles shone against NE, jumping to an early lead, while NE had to play from behind in a comeback bid… But I didn´t expected Foles to be greater than great. And the PHI receivers (& the OL ofc) did an excellent job too. The receivers caught passes in tight spots all day long. Even the Int (which was not harmful, because a punt would have had the same outcome) was almost a one-handed catch by the receiver…

    Big props to Pederson and Beli: That´s how to call a game. Aggressive from the start, working like a constant two minute warning, coupled with some surprises, and no punting/kicking on 4th and short… Winners play to win, losers not to lose (hello Andy Reid, Norv, and all the other timid kick-away-games coaches. Did you learn something from this?)

    • Renan

      Actually, NE went for a FG on a 4th and 1 from PHI 8 yard line. NE missed the FG. This could be the difference in the game.

      • Johhny Ohrl

        Oh thanks. Didnt recall it was only one yard to go… Maybe it was 1 1/2 😉
        Anyway, in the overall picture it was an aggressive called game on both sides… And as I read today, Foles urged Pederson to go with the “Philly-Play” on 4th down just before the half. Makes the game of Foles even greater. A perfect one…

      • Tom

        Don’t understand that call from Belichick…don’t they usually go for it in situations like that? Isn’t Brady like, automatic at the QB sneak? Really odd…

        • Renan

          Really odd. I can’t understand it at all.