Is Tom Brady having the most efficient year of his career?
|11.26.12 at 3:50 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After 24 touchdowns in 11 games, and just three interceptions thrown in, you could certainly make the argument that Tom Brady has never been more careful with the ball. Certainly, he’s making a run at his remarkable 2010 campaign, when he threw 35 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
For all of the video-game passing stats he’s posted, like 52 300-yard passing games and being just one of five NFL QBs with a career average of 250 yards passing per game, there’s one NFL mark he’ll probably tell you he’s most proud of: Throwing at least two touchdowns without an interception in each of his last nine games of 2010.
It’s a big reason the Patriots have committed an NFL-low eight turnovers while taking away the ball 32 times, for an +24 ratio, 11 better than the next-closest team (Bears +13).
And that makes Bill Belichick a very happy man. Belichick was asked during Monday’s conference call if he could have ever wished for a more skillful quarterback who takes care of the ball.
“I think we all know the importance of the turnovers and the turnover ratio, and it’s a goal for us every week,” Belichick said. “Tom has done a great job of it and has always made that a high priority of his personal execution as a quarterback. He handles the ball on virtually every play; even if he hands it off, there’s still a certain degree of ball handling and ball security involved up until the point he gives it to somebody else. He works hard at that, he works hard at his mechanics, his technique and certainly decision making. He does a very good job at all those things.
“That being said, each week is its own challenge and just because things have been a certain way in previous weeks, they could always change. I think you have to continue to work on those things on a weekly basis, which he has and which I’m sure he’ll continue to do to make sure each game we go into, our goal is always to play turnover free and to get them on the other side, whether it’s on special teams or defense. Each week, it’s a renewed goal but it’s one that has to be reached or attempted to reach again. There’s really no carryover from anything that’s happened in the past that’s going to affect it in the next game. As good as it’s been, which is nice and probably has quite a bit to do with our record, going forward we’re going to have to continue to work at it and probably work harder than we have in the past to make sure that we do take good care of the ball when we have it. And we’re always looking for those opportunities when we can be disruptive on defense and special teams.