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Did Tom Brady just put together best 3-game stretch of any 38-year-old QB in NFL history?

09.28.15 at 5:39 pm ET
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Tom Brady and the Patriots scorched the Jags on Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the Patriots scorched the Jags on Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In August, when Tom Brady turned 38, we looked at some of the best seasons of any 38-year-old quarterback in the history of the NFL. And so, in the wake of Brady’s scorching start, we wondered where Brady’s current three-game stretch ranks in relation to some of the best three-game performances from some of the best 38-year-old signal-callers to have played the game. (This includes two three-game stretches for Peyton Manning from the 2014 season, his second with the Broncos.)

Tom Brady 2015 — Weeks 1-3 (against Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Jacksonville)
96-for-133 (72 percent), 1,112 yards, 9 TDs, 0 INTs
QB rating: 119.6
(Team goes 3-0)

Peyton Manning 2014 — Weeks 9-11 (against Oakland, St. Louis, Miami)
93-for-133 (70 percent), 986 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs
QB rating: 103.8
(Team goes 2-1)

Manning 2014 — Weeks 1-3 (Indy, Kansas City, Seattle)
74-for-111 (67 percent), 814 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT
QB rating: 108.5
(Team goes 2-1)

Brett Favre 2007 — Weeks 2-4 (NY Giants, San Diego, Minnesota)
89-for-128 (70 percent), 999 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT
QB rating: 110.1
(Team goes 3-0)

Kurt Warner 2009 — Weeks 8-10 (Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis)
66-for-89 (74 percent), 804 yards, 9 TDs, 0 INTs
QB rating: 135.2
(Team goes 3-0)

Joe Montana 1994 — Weeks 1-3 (New Orleans, San Francisco, Atlanta)
71-for-103 (69 percent), 879 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs
QB rating: 106.4
(Team goes 3-0)

Phil Simms 1993 — Weeks 12-14 (Miami, Indy, New Orleans)
41-for-62 (66 percent) 508 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
QB rating: 112.8
(Team goes 3-0)

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Read More: Brett Favre, Joe Montana, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning

Stopwatch: Tom Brady’s quick release continues in blowout win over Jaguars

09.28.15 at 3:39 pm ET
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Tom Brady took an average of 1.99 seconds from snap-to-attempt Sunday against the Jaguars. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady took an average of 1.99 seconds from snap to attempt Sunday against the Jaguars. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

A major focus of the Patriots offense this season appears to be Tom Brady getting the ball out quick, which was again the case in Sunday’s 51-17 blowout win over the Jaguars.

By our count (not including sacks), Brady’s average time from snap-to-attempt was 1.98 seconds over his 42 pass attempts. In Week 1 against the Steelers, Brady was ultra-quick averaging 1.85 seconds and then Week 2 in Buffalo it was 1.99 seconds. Despite the averages being so close, Sunday was different.

Brady was able to create more time for himself on a number of plays and the numbers showed, as he took more than three seconds on six plays, a season-high, and on those plays he was 4-for-6, including his second touchdown pass of the game to wide receiver Keshawn Martin when Brady was forced to scramble and Martin adjusted his route to get free for a 13-yard touchdown.

Over the first two games, Brady had a total of four plays which were more then three seconds from snap-to-attempt.

Overall, Brady was 13-for-15 when taking over two seconds from snap-to-attempt against the Jaguars and 20-for-27 when taking less than two seconds. His first touchdown was thrown to Danny Amendola in the final minute of the first half — No. 400 of his career — which took 2.49 seconds from snap-to-attempt.

As pointed out by Pro Football Focus, it was the same play the Patriots ran on the final play of the Super Bowl, except this time Brady didn’t throw to Julian Edelman on the quick out, he waited for Amendola to cross across the defense and connected with him in the back of the end zone.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked about Brady’s quick release times on Monday and while McDaniels acknowledged Brady is very effective when having a quick release, it ultimately comes down the opponent they are going against.

“I think that has always been and is always going to be something that you want to do a certain portion of the time,” he said. “There’s some things you try and hold the ball and do some different things and other times you want to get it out quick. That’s been a strength of his. He’s a very accurate passer. Depending on the week sometimes it’s more and sometimes it’s less.”

Through three games, the Patriots’ next opponent in the Cowboys have only three sacks, so it may be a game where Brady and the offense looks to create more time to make plays down field.

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Read More: Josh McDaniels, Stopwatch, Tom Brady,

Tom Brady’s success with age not surprising to Josh McDaniels

09.28.15 at 1:07 pm ET
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Tom Brady's success even with age hasn't surprised Josh McDaniels. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tom Brady‘s success even with age hasn’t surprised Josh McDaniels. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Tom Brady might not be getting better with age, but he certainly hasn’t regressed, as despite being 38 he’s still considered one of the top five quarterbacks in the league.

Through the first three games this season Brady has thrown for the most passing yards (1,112) and tied for the most touchdowns (9). He’s the only quarterback in the league to throw for over 1,000 passing yards, with Matt Ryan being the next closest at 946. He’s also one of just three starting quarterbacks not to throw an interception this season.

None of this is surprising to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

“It’s very similar to me in terms of the years that I’ve had a chance to coach him — each year seems about the same to me because each year he comes in with a list of what he wants to do a little bit better than the year before, and he always works hard at his fundamentals, his preparation, understanding the game plan, knowing the defense,” McDaniels said Monday. “Very little surprises me with him because of the way he approaches his work and his life. It’s very important to him that he comes out and tries to execute whatever it is we tell him that we need him to do on a week-to-week basis.

“He wants to make sure he never lets his teammates down, and just his his whole approach to playing this position for this team is a great example for all the players and coaches alike. That’s what we ask of everybody here and he’s a great example of what we need from everybody.”

Brady’s work ethic doesn’t start when he heads to the Gillette Stadium facility at the start of the season — he works just as hard during the offseason as he does during the season. Even with the Deflategate drama, McDaniels said this year wasn’t any different for the quarterback.

“He works extremely hard to prepare for every season,” McDaniels said. “This was no different. Had a good spring, good summer, training camp and he’s doing all the things that he’s always been very good at. Not making mistakes. Taking the profit in he passing game, getting us out of bad plays and just running the offense as efficiently as he can.”

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Read More: Josh McDaniels, Tom Brady,

Longtime Patriots assistant coach Ivan Fears lends historical perspective to Tom Brady’s 401 career touchdown passes

09.28.15 at 1:05 pm ET
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Ivan Fears

Ivan Fears

FOXBORO — Ivan Fears is the only guy left on the Patriots coaching staff who predates Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The running backs coach — in his 19th season as an assistant coach in New England — has seen every one of Brady’s 401 career touchdown passes. On Monday afternoon he took a few moments to reflect on having a front-row seat for history.

“I call myself blessed to be with … you say you ride a certain horse? I got on the right horse. That’s how I look at myself,” Fears said with a smile the day after Brady topped the 400-touchdown plateau. “I got on the right horse. That was Tom Brady. That horse is a hell of a stallion. He really is.

“That guy … we don’t give him everything that’s due him, all the greatness that’s due him,” he added. “I think we struggle with that because people have their little biases, their prejudices. Whatever. They look at it and they don’t like a guy who wins too much. Whatever, because he’s been doing it for so long. But he is a really special quarterback. He is really a special quarterback. And I’ve been very, very fortunate to be here and have watched him throw every one of those 400 touchdown passes.

“That’s the only way I can put it. It’s been a great run for me.”

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Read More: Ivan Fears, Tom Brady,

LB coach Patrick Graham says veteran Jerod Mayo still ‘big part’ of Patriots defense

09.28.15 at 12:49 pm ET
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Jerod Mayo was a first round pick of the Patriots in 2008. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jerod Mayo was a first-round pick of the Patriots in 2008. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Patriots have utilized a lot of nickel and dime defense over the first three games of the season. As a result, veteran Jerod Mayo has been the odd man out on several occasions, as New England has leaned heavily on the likes of athletic youngsters like Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower fairly regularly at the linebacker spot.

But linebackers coach Patrick Graham said Monday afternoon that just because the 29-year-old Mayo — who has seen his last two seasons come to a premature end because of injury — isn’t on the field as often as he was in the past, it doesn’t mean the former All-Pro isn’t contributing.

“Jerod is doing a great job of being a leader on the defense, being out there on the field and playing well when he’s out there on the field,” Graham said. “We’re doing what we think … we’re just going to keep pushing toward our goal in terms of the team getting better and working together. Whether it’s [Jonathan] Freeny, Mayo, Collins, Hightower, whoever we think. Whoever we have out there on the field, they’re going to play. But [Mayo is] doing a great job. His role is just as big as it was in any other year. Mayo is a big part of this defense.”

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Read More: Jerod Mayo, Patrick Graham,

Bill Belichick: ‘Don’t think I’ve ever been on a team where anybody was unhappy to have a bye’

09.28.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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Bill Belichick is looking for more consistency. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick is looking for more consistency. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — There will be no complaining about an early bye week coming out of Gillette Stadium.

Bill Belichick made that much clear Monday when asked if there are any challenges to having a bye week after just three games or whether his team would like to keep playing after putting up 91 points in the last two weeks.

“Whenever it’s scheduled, there’s nothing really we can do about it, so we just try to take advantage of the time we have and use it the best way we can use it,” Belichick began. “I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team where anybody was unhappy to have a bye week, whenever it comes. So, you take advantage of the chance to rest, get caught up, take some time analyzing what you need to work on and have a good plan to do the things that can help your team improve during this time and when the team returns to really start in on our preparations for Dallas.”

The Patriots have this week off before returning next week to get ready to take on Dallas on Oct. 11 at AT&T Stadium.

“These guys have been going really hard since the end of July,” Belichick said. “Even though we’ve had a couple days here and there, training camp rolled right into the opening game of the year, which came on Thursday, so there was a lot of urgency just coming out of preseason and into the start of the season without really any cushion. Then we had an extra couple days there for Buffalo, but Buffalo is always tough so there was a lot of catching up to do that week.

“And then we rolled right into Jacksonville, so these guys really haven’t had much of a cushion from the end of July. And I’d say usually you get some of that during that last week of training camp and prior to starting your preparations for the opener and all the roster cuts that weekend and kind of Thursday, Friday before the weekend, but we didn’t really have that this year. So, this is an opportunity for some of these guys and really all of them, players and the coaches, to after seven games and nine-plus weeks of training camp and football here to catch our breath for a short time and then we’ve got a long stretch ahead of us.”

The Patriots and their coaches usually have at least six or seven games of film under their belt to break down and use for self-scouting in years past. This year, they have just three games of film to break down.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, bye week, New England Patriots,

Bill Belichick downplays good start: ‘It’s nice to be 3-0, but I mean, big deal’

09.28.15 at 11:12 am ET
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Bill Belichick is downplaying his team's 3-0 start heading into the bye week. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick is downplaying his team’s 3-0 start heading into the bye week. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Leave it to the master to downplay a perfect start to the season after three games for the Patriots.

During a conference call Monday morning, Bill Belichick sounded the tone of a coach that is expecting much more from a team that hasn’t lost yet and has trailed for only 10 minutes, 58 seconds in 180 minutes of game action.

“It’s nice to be 3-0, but I mean, big deal,” Belichick said. “Three wins isn’t going to get anything in this league, I’ll tell you that. Probably would just get a lot of coaches fired and the players would go right behind them.”

The Patriots are coming off a 51-17 win over Jacksonville and have scored 91 points in the last two games. They have set a new NFL record with 88 first downs in their first three games.

“It’s not a big deal,” Belichick continued. “We have a lot of work to do. We have a long way to go. I don’t think we’re doing a good enough job coaching or playing, really in any area. We need to execute better. We need to be sharper on a lot of things. I think we’re improving. I think we’re making some progress. We need to move faster and just do everything better.”

The Patriots now have a bye week to rest up and work on getting better before their showdown with the Cowboys in Texas on Oct. 11.

“We’ll work hard on that,” Belichick said. “I’m sure we’ll be saying the same thing in a couple of weeks because there’s still going to be a lot of football left and we need to keep getting better all the time. We leave some plays on the field and [there are] some things we can definitely do a better job of coaching on. Really everything, so I don’t think there’s any balance to it at all. It’s pretty clear cut. We have 13 regular season games left. Three wins in this league isn’t going to get you anything.”

There were two teaching moments in the first half that Belichick pointed to where he was critical of his own coaching. The first came on the first drive, when Tom Brady came to the line of scrimmage at the Jacksonville 8 on a 2nd-and-goal situation. Dion Lewis came up to Tom Brady for a signal call, then Brady took a look at the defense and called timeout.

“We were kind of caught in between,” Belichick said. “In that situation, it ended up taking longer than it should have. That’s really probably more of a coaching issue. I’ve got to do a better job on that, just cleaning it up. It didn’t happen [in] a timely way as it should have. That’s really my responsibility, more than anybody’s.”

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