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Looking at Tom Brady’s history after four-interception games

09.28.11 at 9:45 pm ET

FOXBORO — Sunday will mark a rare return to the Bay Area for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who grew up in San Mateo, still has plenty of family and friends in central California.

‘€œIt’€™s been a while since I’€™ve been there — the last time when we played there I think was in ‘€˜02,’€ he said Wednesday morning. ‘€œI think my parents are the most happy — they don’€™t have to come very far this week. So for us, it’€™s a road game — it’€™s an important one. We’€™ve got to go out there and try to win.’€

Brady has only played one game in the Bay Area in his professional career — Nov. 17, 2002 against the Raiders. In that game, Brady went 18-for-30 for 172 yards with no touchdowns and no picks in a 27-20 defeat to the Raiders. (The Patriots were on the West Coast in 2008 to face the 49ers and Raiders, but Brady missed both games because of the season-ending knee injury he suffered in the opener against the Chiefs.)

For Brady, it’€™s not only a rare chance to save his parents a plane flight, it’€™s also a chance to redeem himself after a four-interception afternoon against the Bills. Brady four-pick outings are Halley’€™s Comet rare — five times over the course of his 11-plus seasons in the NFL. Here’€™s a quick look back at those efforts, and how he’€™s responded the following week:

‘€¢Oct. 28, 2001 against the Broncos, Brady throws four interceptions in a 31-20 loss to Denver. He responds by going 21-for-31 for 250 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 24-10 over Atlanta.

‘€¢Sept. 7, 2003 against the Bills, Brady tossed four picks in the infamous 31-0 ‘€œThey hate their coach’€ loss to Buffalo. The following week, the quarterback went 30-for-44 for 255 yards, three touchdowns and zero picks in a 31-10 victory over Philadelphia.

‘€¢Dec. 20, 2004 against the Dolphins — in what might have been the most shocking regular-season loss of Brady’€™s career — he threw four picks in a 29-28 defeat to Miami. On Dec. 26 vs. the Jets, he went 21-for-32 for 264 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 23-7 win over New York.

‘€¢Nov. 27, 2005 against the Chiefs, the quarterback finished with four interceptions in a 26-16 loss to Kansas City. He turned around the next week against the Jets, and in a 16-3 win, posted a 27-for-37 performance for 271 yards with no touchdowns and no picks.

‘€¢Nov. 5, 2006 against the Colts, Brady tossed four picks in a 27-20 defeat to Indianapolis. The following week against the Jets, the Patriots suffered a rare back-to-back loss (17-14) as Brady finished 24-for-36 with one touchdown and one interception.

In all, that’€™s a 4-1 mark, going 123-for-180 with nine touchdowns and one interception for Brady in the five games following four-pick outings — that’€™s an average outing of 25-for-36 with two touchdowns and no interceptions (actually 0.2 picks per game, but for purposes of this study, let’€™s round down).

Not bad, but certainly not the sort of outing we’€™ve become used to from Brady over the course of the 2011 season. Brady is on pace for one of the best seasons in NFL history through three games — he has more passing yards through the first three weeks (1,327) than anyone in league history, which projects to 7,077 passing yards over the course of a 16-game season. Brady is also on pace to throw 59 touchdown passes, which would break his own record of 50.

On Wednesday, Brady talked about bouncing back as a team this week against the Raiders.

‘€œI think it’€™s really a fresh week for us,’€ Brady said. ‘€œLike I said, there’€™s nothing that we can do about what’€™s happened. We’€™re trying to bring a fresh, new plan, new energy; we’€™re trying to put it together against a damn good football team. We’€™re going to learn more about going on the road and playing a tough opponent than anything more than that. We’€™re trying to get a win.

‘€œWe’€™ve moved on from Sunday, and we’€™re focused on what we need to do in our preparation,’€ he added. ‘€œThere’€™s not much that we can do about last week [and] there’€™s certainly nothing we can do about next week. The only thing we can really do is focus on what we have ahead of us today and then we’€™re going to prepare like we always do and we’€™re going to go out there and put our best out there.’€

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