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Four-play: Breaking down Tom Brady’s performances in preseason finales over last 10 years

08.25.13 at 8:00 am ET

In the wake of the sluggish performance from the Patriots’ offense in a 40-9 drubbing at the hands of the Lions — one where New England turned the ball over four times in the first half — it’s worth wondering if Tom Brady will be interested in heading into the regular season on an up note as opposed to what happened in Thursday’s Detroit breakdown.

When it comes to the fourth and final preseason game, he quarterback hasn’t really followed a traditional blueprint. Over the last 10 years, he’s played in three preseason finales — 2011, 2010 and 2003. In those three games, he’s played eight offensive series, or an average of almost three series a game, and has gone a combined 17-for-27 for 230 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Here’s a quick look at his work in the preseason finale over the last 10 years:

2012: DNP. Last year, Ryan Mallett got the start against the Giants and went 8-for-15 for 40 yards and was sacked twice in a 6-3 loss to New York. Brian Hoyer finished up for the Patriots — it was the last game Hoyer played in a New England uniform. (He went 9-for-15 for 96 yards and an interception.)

2011: Brady was 5-for-9 for 116 yards in an 18-17 loss to the Giants. Brady went for 16 snaps — officially, four series. (One series was one play, as the Giants fumbled the opening kickoff and the Patriots punched it in one play later for a quick 7-0 lead.) He gave way to Hoyer with 7:03 left in the second quarter.

2010: Brady was 4-for-8 for 51 yards with one touchdown pass and one pick in a 20-17 loss to the Giants. In that game, Brady played 13 snaps — two offensive series — and officially yielded to Hoyer with 12:01 left in the second quarter after throwing an interception to New York defensive back Antrel Rolle.

2009-2004: DNP

2003: We don’t have the snap information for that one (according to reports, he played two series), but we do know that Brady went 8-for-10 for 63 yards and one touchdown and left after tossing a touchdown pass to Troy Brown in a 38-23 win over the Bears. Rohan Davey finished up, going 13-for-24 for 201 yards and a touchdown.

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