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Not the same Tom Brady, Patriots

A couple of weeks ago, as I was watching Tom Brady have another poor outing against the New Orleans Saints, I asked the question on twitter:


I asked the question when Brady failed not once but twice to move the football in the final two minutes of the game against New Orleans. On one of those crunch time possessions he threw a lame, floating interception that seemed so unBradylike, it looked like Dan Marino during his decline.

Then Brady got the ball back a third time in the final seconds and led the Patriots to a game-winning score -- an impressive, arching 17-yard pass to Kenbrell Thompkins -- that rescued the Patriots from defeat and set my twitter followers off on a mockfest of me that only recently subsided.

All because I had the nerve to ask the question that given the result seemed so ridiculous.

And yet, as the Dolphins prepare to play the Patriots on Sunday, I must note that TD pass on Oct. 13 is the only one Brady has thrown in the last three games.

And that game was the only time Brady has completed more than 50 percent of his passes in the last three games. (He was under 50 percent against Cincinnati and the New York Jets last week.)

And Brady's quarterback rating this year is 20 points lower than his career rating. And his completion percentage this year is eight points lower than his career completion percentage.

So if Tom Brady isn't showing some early signs of decline, then the loss of Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez basically has turned him into a mediocre quarterback.

Either way, that is so far not the same Tom Brady the Dolphins are preparing to face this week.

"I'm not buying any of that," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Wednesday.

And I'm not buying that Philbin, a New Englander and someone rooting for the Red Sox to win the World Series, doesn't see it.

Brady simply hasn't been as effective this season as he has in the past. And not all of that is a betrayal from the Patriots personnel department in giving him too few weapons. It has reached a point where Brady spent part of his press availability this week fielding questions about his mechanics, his touch, even the New England offense's poor production coming out for the third quarter.

"We haven’t done great on offense this year period, so there are probably a lot of places we’ve struggled: in the third quarter and at the end of games and third downs and red area and short yardage," Brady said. "So, I think we are trying to work on a lot of things, and it is basic overall execution. There are no special plays or things like that for situations. We just haven’t done a great job executing period at certain points.

"But you know, this a new week, so we are going to go out there and try to execute our best. If we do that, we’re confident that we are going to win. That’s the best part of football, is we get a chance to line it up every week. Guys are focused and losing sucks. It sucks to be around here when we lose, but it’s happened and you move on and try to do better next week."

Dolphins fans are jumping off the bandwagon without parachutes the past few weeks because their team has lost three games in a row. You know what? The Patriots have lost two of their last three outings and that improbable TD pass -- that single TD pass Brady has thrown in nearly a month -- is the only reason New England isn't also on a three-game skid.

The most convincing of those losses came at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals made Brady and the Patriots offense look ordinary. Pedestrian. Borderline inept. The Patriots managed only two field goals. Brady had a a 52-game TD pass streak snapped. He was sacked four times. Afterward, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer got a game ball.

All of that is significant to the Dolphins.


Well, the Bengals on defense are basically a blood relative of the Dolphins on defense. Everything the Bengals do on defense the Dolphins do on defense. The approach is similar. The scheme is similar. That's because Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle came from the Bengals and brought the system with him.

And Coyle has the advantage of having three solid defensive tackles that are a key to beating Brady because the quarterback simply does not like pressure up the middle.

"Brady is  a  pure  pocket  passer, as good as there is in the game and all pocket passers don’t like  people  getting  into  their  comfort  zone," Coyle said. "Hopefully those  guys  will  be  able  to  do  some  things  in  that  nature, in  terms  of  compressing  the  pocket  on  the  quarterback, making  him  have to throw and not  set  his  feet.  All three of those guys is playing at a very high level and having the rotation I think has helped all of their play."

The Dolphins would love to get the kind of results the Bengals defense got against Brady. Frankly, the results the Jets got against Brady was pretty good, too.

If they do, what looks like a time of struggle for Brady -- or the early stages of a decline -- just might continue.


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mark,the only thing worth watching this sun. is 95 on d and 78 on o
no,not my l'il buddy 78 who likes pizza but the 78 nick named wendys triple.

that moron marino inquires 'bout an fo spot at the phinz, he fits right in with all of the other morons in that fo.

2 watt | October 24, 2013 at 02:35 PM

If your talking about his comments on last nights Inside the NFL on Sho. that isn't what he said! He clearly said he wanted out after the Sr. Bowl given he was studying an OL out of Temple and with all the Coaches and hoopla wasn't feeling the job. If asked today (Elway factor in play) he would consider it knowing now what the job intails.

I think the Dolphins would've made the playoffs both last year and this year if Moore were starting. Giving that up for a Tannehill failed experiment is costly.

For those who say Tannehill not responsible for last lost. What about the Hartline floater int in Buffalo's endzone?

Even an incomplete pass is a chipshot fg. We lost 23-21. With those 3pts we're up 24-20 and Buffalo's forced to score a game winning td, not the fg, after the strip sack. The score's then:

Dolphins 24 Bills 20

The boobirds came out for Tanny last week.

I agree f4l, the Pats haven't rolled over anyone this year. If we get blown out to them then it says more about us and the coaches losing the team than anything else.

yeah, DeVille, because Moore has beat exactly how many teams with winning records in his career?


yeah, DeVille, because Moore has beat exactly how many teams with winning records in his career?


Posted by: Mark in Toronto | October 24, 2013 at 02:51 PM

And people think Tannnehill holds the ball too long and fumbles a lot. I couldn't imagine how many fumbles Moore would have behind this line with his style of play.

What the EFFE!?!? We're playing in London...AGAIN? After the Cleo Lemon fiasco, I never wanted to hear about London again. I know there's over 1/2 the league that's never played over there. Tell THEM to go.

DC, the teams that don't draw well are prime candidates to go. That's why Jax always goes. Dolphisn fans don't draw at home and they are also the most apathetic local fanbase so the Dolphins go ...

Woodshed, refer to my earlier post when I said most here are incapable of holding jobs. Eveident in their logic ...

How bad is the Dolphins OL this year? Well we all know the Dolphins have been a poor team since 2000. BUT The most Jay Fiedler was ever sacked in ONE season was 27 in 2001. A.J. Feeley was sacked 23 times in 2004. Cleo Lemmon was sacked 25 times in 2007, Chad Pennington was sacked 24 times in 2008. The most Chad Henne ever got sacked was 30 times in 2010. Ryan Tannehill has ALREADY been sacked 26 times in six games!! I don't know if Dan Marino himself could be productive behind this OL.

Anyone aware of this ...

We all know Tannehill has got sacked 26 times. Next Geno Smith at 25...

By the way, Tom Brady has been sacked 20 times. With Wake back at 100%, there should eb chances for us.

That's bullsh*t Mark. I never trust a man who drinks warm beer. It's plain Neanderthal.

DC, don't get me started on the Brits!

yes, an inevitable decline for Brady and we've seen it at times earlier in the year too--he'll still play well and even great at times, as legends do, but the chinks are there and he's on the downside.....Father Time is undefeated--no exceptions. Its been an unbelievable run but Pats fans know it....enjoy it for another year or two.

If you get to Brady & shake up his rythm he will mess up every time!!! Just see what the junk jets did & DO THE SAME!!! Why is it so difficult for this team to get the concept??? I just hope the Fins JUST SHOW UP for this game, the past 3 have been really tough to watch, but we need to beat the patsies 1 time & sweep the junk jets to even think about getting to the playoffs!!! GO FINS!!!

Very little margin for error with the fish. They stay in most games but lack the crucial play or commit a crucial mistake.

I see it as a tight game. Patriots just aren’t that good on paper with their injuries. Power running game. I predict this will be our best running game.

Matt Moore is not the answer folks. If he was he would have been given a starting gig on another team during free agency. Has never beaten a good teams.

How can anyone think we can go to New England and beat the Patriots and Tom Brady when we could not beat the Bills at home with their 3rd string QB, their top WR at half speed and their top RB only playing the first half?

Posted by: albert | October 24, 2013 at 03:44 PM

Same way the Colts can beat Denver, San Francisco and Seattle yet lose to us. It happens.

By the way, just did some analysis on the top ten (actually it's 11 since there is a tie for 10th) sacked QBs in the NFL. Interesting group of qbs ...

Ryan Tannehill, QB
Geno Smith, QB
Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Brandon Weeden, QB
Tom Brady, QB
Carson Palmer, QB
Joe Flacco, QB
Terrelle Pryor, QB
Russell Wilson, QB
Eli Manning, QB
Alex Smith, QB

I wanted to see how he compared to all these guys just to see how the rate of sacks impacted his performance. Check this out, his completions per game, completion %, yards per game, touchdown rate, INT rate, QB rating, and # of wins were all at either the average or above average.

So it really does lend credence that if you improve the line, you will get very good quarterbacking...

DC Dolfan,
The Colts are a darn good team. The question is How the Hell did they loose to us? I guess we are their Buffalo.

Mak In Toronto

I think if Tannehill had a decent OL he would be doing much better. It's hard to play QB, specially when you are trying to learn the position, when you are getting killed every time you drop back to pass.

Mark if you consider sacks taken because Tannehill held the ball too long, Tannehill would rank somewhere between #3 and #5. Think about it?

Tannehill's season will end on Sunday, and McKinney won't play this season. Matt Moore will start for a few games until he, too, is injured. In comes Devlin, and (in the words of John Madden), BOOM, down he goes. All 3 qb's on IR. LOL. I have to make jokes because the state of this team seems so sad to me:(

I really do think Tannehill will be injured this Sunday. IR

Tannehill's 2 ints Sunday came when he wasn't being hurried. So you guys can smooth things over about Tannehill all you like. Truth is there are still warts to be found in his game.

Oline blocking only adds to hem.


Sam I Am
Maybe Tannehill is holding on to the ball too long because the receivers are not getting open. Did you ever think of that. You or I don't know for a fact because we don't see the coaches film or now the play that was called.

Jj if all 3 qb's go on IR, Ireland definitely needs to be fired. For all of his socalled offseason wizardry, he failed to adequately address the oline.


GREAT post, Mark @ 3:49!!!

Albert it only means Tannehill should then just throw the ball away. Did you ever think of that?

albert, that's the point. Any team can be any team's 'game-they-lost-to-an-outmatched-opponent'. It's unlikely, but if Miami plays mistake-free, exceptional football, and the Patriots play like they've been playing (or worse, like they did vs. Cincinnati) they we have a chance.

There have definitely been sacks that are on Tannehill himself. H should have just quickly gotten rid of the ball for incompletes and live to fight the next down.

Tannehill had a horrible 1st quarter against Buffalo. No doubt he sucked. BUT to his credit he came back and threw 3 TD passes and gave us a 4 point lead going to the 4th quarter. That the defense allowed Buffalo to drive over 60 yards and kick a FG then the Ol line again imploded is not Tannehill fault. You can also make a case that if Calib Sturgis makes the 51 yard FG we may have won.

DC not once this season has Miami played mistake free football. So why expect it now?

Albert it was Tannehill who dug the grave. A pic 6(7pts) and the Hartline endzone pic( 3-7pts off of the scoreboard).

The defense gave up 17pts. The offense scored 21pts. See anything wrong with those numbers?

Sam I Am,

If you are in the pocket and throw the ball away you get intentional grounding. Did you see how quick Mario Williams got to him? It was less than 3 seconds. I don't think Tannehill had enough time to fart never mind throw the ball away.

Sam, I get what you're saying about Tannehill. He needs to improve, but he's inexperienced. Maybe his accuracy won't ever improve, but it's not awful. I think he's instructed to stay in the pocket. If he was allowed to freelance more and allowed to "feel" the game without showing improvement, then all bets are off. I would like to see how he plays with decent pass protection.

Ok boy's. Have to go. It's been fun. Hope everyone has a good night.

Albert when I speak of Tannehill holding the ball too long I am not speaking of against the Bills. I'm speaking of a problematic season long issue.

I didn't see it so much against the Bills, just stating a fair share of the season total sack numbers are on Tannehill himself. This is public knowledge, no fans are in denial about this.

Folks Phil-Ben and Cher-Man suck. Your boy Ireland stocked the shelves in the off-season and these two nincompoops are making alibis for each other for play calls.
At least Coyle admits when he had a bad performace as in the Saints games but these two are like Abbott and Costello.

Sam @ 3:58, of course he would still throw INTs, everyone does. But the fact is he throws fewer INTs per game then the rest of the guys who get sacked anywhere near to his rate.

As a matter of fact only he and Big Ben are the ones that are at the group average or above average in all key metrics for those qbs who are under siege.

Not even Super Bowl winners Flacco, brady, and Manning can claim that.

Sam, every Qb again has sacks that are attributed to him but if you are saying most of the sacks or a signficant portion of the sacks are due to him and his OTs have been fucntional then I don't know what your're watching.

I would venture 90% of the time at least he's sacked under 4 secs of taking the snap. There is no time...

Jj the guy I blame most is Ireland. 2nd yr qb and you're not going to do the very best to make sure he's well protected going in?

What Ireland did to do this in offseason is nearly blasphemous. Trusting a 2nd yr LT, who had issue last year playing both RT and LT? Then bring in a 32yr old RT who could fall apart any day?

Add this to a 2nd yr qb and a unstable oline. There we have recipe for the perfect storm. Ireland should have traded for Branden Albert. That was the BEST AVAILABLE move. Ireland's pride wouldn't allow him.

Sam I Am, because if the saying "All good things must come to an end" is true, then so is the opposite. Plus, you take away 1-2 plays, and this is a 5-1 team instead of a 3-3 team. The NFL is about parity if nothing else.

Any team can be any team's 'game-they-lost-to-an-outmatched-opponent'. It's unlikely, but if Miami plays mistake-free, exceptional football, and the Patriots play like they've been playing (or worse, like they did vs. Cincinnati) they we have a chance.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | October 24, 2013 at 04:02 PM


It must be bad when even you look at Miami's chances like that.

Mark bottomline I blame Ireland for everything. Hiring the coaches and assembling the personnel.

I really see no way we come from underneath this avalanche to finish .500. But of course Ireland throws the coaching staff he hired underneath the bus and they get canned by Ross and Ireland stays.

Ross will never get a credible hc to come work under Ireland. It's beginning to look like career suicide for hc's.

DC great post, but Ireland is still GM. As long as Ireland is GM I'm beginning to lose all faith as a dolfan.

But back to your post, if all bad things soon come to and end, one day Ireland gets canned too. Now that's Amore'!

You know how we speak of qb's having "IT"? As a GM Ireland definitely does not have "IT".

You guys notice how the Thursday night games almost always kinda just drag on, not that exciting, the teams seem to look like "Oh man, we actually have to play already"...

Doesn't it seem like the Dolphins look like a Thursday night team, but on most Sundays? Even when they have won?

The Mando Jinx has just been put in place. No doubt, Brady will now light it up.

Decline? are you focking kidding me Armando? Ive been a Dolphin fan since 1969, and I love my Dolphins and go thru hell every Sunday they play because there is nothing easy for us, But having said that...Tom Brady is a beast! no matter who lines up he gets them the ball, and yes, he is human, and he can miss a pass once in a while,or his receivers drop the ball. go ahead and write about the Dolphins we have plenty of problems..again...again...and again.

Pretty sad when a fan sitting at home watching the game,knows the play by the snap count.Do you think other defenses have realized this?And we need to hire a young,ballsy OC,and use our weapons on O correctly.

Well, Sam, I had not realized that with a FG we would have been 24-20 and Buff then would have needed to score a TD to win. I retract my former statement that the Coaches were probably right we could not have stopped Buff in the last 2 min. One thing is a FG, another a TD they had to score.

My reasoning for supporting Sherman's statement that they thought they would not have been able to stop Buff O was that I saw that our D was extremely tired. Bur red-zone play is a smaller field to play in, and tired and everything, we would have had a chance to stop them there.

btw, the reasoning Sherman offered for their decision to not go for a field goal and instead for increasing the 1 point lead, I did not like. He said Philbin saw that Lewis had driven the Team for a score with 2' left in Buff's previous Game and he thought the same would happen here. That reasoning shows something that I have noticed in this Coaching staff, a COMPLETE lack of confidence in the Team and it's Players, either on O or D. This fateful reasoning was a prime example of it, along with not going up the middle on 3rd and 1", and other wrong decisions that have been taken by this Coaching staff.

Sorry for the bluntness of this opinion but I have always had to call it as I see it.


I still hate Flatline I mean Hartline.

We will finish the season with at least 6 more wins. First one Sunday to end this skid!

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