News & Analysis

A trademark fourth-quarter performance from Brady helps send the Patriots to Super Bowl LIII

By Mark Chichester
Jan 21, 2019

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Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates while leaving the field after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs during overtime in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady‘s 2018 season is an incredibly interesting one to look at from a statistical perspective. Through 17 regular-season weeks, his completion percentage of 65.8% was his lowest mark since 2010, his 11 interceptions were the most since 2013, his 26 big time throws were eight fewer than a season ago and his 14 turnover-worthy plays tied a career-high. After he ended his 2016 and 2017 regular seasons – in which he arguably played some of the greatest football that we may ever see from a quarterback – with top-ranked overall grades of 95.2 and 92.9, respectively, his fifth-ranked 2018 overall grade of 91.1 signified a very real drop-off from the incredible production that we’ve become accustomed to.

That in itself tells you all you need to know about the New England Patriots‘ quarterback. In a down year statistically, Brady still ranked fifth among quarterbacks in overall grade, and despite not having Rob Gronkowski at anywhere near full strength, despite losing Josh Gordon after Week 15, despite his defense allowing the most passing touchdowns (28) and registering the fewest run stops (190) by a Patriots defense in the PFF era, Tom Brady still found a way to win.

That trademark tenacity and determination was on full display during the Conference Championships on Sunday, where Brady put on a trademark fourth-quarter/overtime performance to lead his team down the field at Arrowhead Stadium and into the ninth Super Bowl appearance of his remarkable career.

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