60 TD Passes? Tom Brady's Superhuman Statistical Response to DeflateGate

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 21, 2015


The NFL ignited a national firestorm that crossed from sports into pop culture when it questioned the air pressure in the footballs used by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at halftime of the AFC title game last season – as if a few pumps of air pressure explained New England's success.

It was, of course, a manufactured controversy. The NFL had little evidence and no proof.

A federal judge humiliated the NFL and tore apart its paper-thin case in court. And now Brady appears determined to humiliate the NFL and tear apart opponents on the field.

Brady and the Patriots have played with the most perfectly inflated footballs in NFL history since that moment, analyzed by every football executive, official and fan from coast to coast. And they've been absolutely unstoppable over that period.

Brady since halftime of the AFC title game has:

  • completed 72.3% of his passes for 1,213 yards, 13 TD, 2 INT and a 117.5 rating.

The Patriots have unloaded on the Colts, Seahawks, Steelers and Bills for 124 points over 14 quarters, while going 4-0 in the process.

Here are Brady's numbers since then, projected over the course of a 16-game season:

  • 72.2% completions, 5,542 yards, 60 TD, 9 INT, 117.5 rating

The completion percentage, yardage total and touchdown passes would set new NFL records. The 117.5 rating would be fourth best all time, just ahead of Brady's 117.2 in his record-setting 50-touchdown 2007 season.

The Patriots, based upon their pace since halftime of the AFC title game, would score 567 point this year, the third most in history.

Listen, we don't expect Brady to keep up this torrid pace over the course of the entire season. History, the law of averages and statistical regression say those numbers will come back down to earth.

But these incredible numbers have come against the best teams the NFL can throw New England's way:

The Colts are a perpetually sexy Super Bowl pick. The AFC South champs were humiliated 45-7 in the conference title game, including 28-0 in the second half, AFTER the NFL made football air pressure a federal offense at intermission.

The Seahawks were the defending Super Bowl champs and armed with a defense many argued was among the best in history. Brady and the Patriots ripped it for 28 points, highlighted by the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history. Brady earned his third Super Bowl MVP award in the process. 

The Steelers are a perennial NFL power that prides itself on defense. Brady has embarrassed that team and its defense throughout his career and did so again in Week 1.

The Bills were the NFL's Equipe du Jour after Week 1 of the 2015 season, and led by coach Rex Ryan, who reportedly knew how to contain Brady. That team and that tough-talking coach contained Brady to just 466 passing yards and 3 TD on Sunday. It was the most passing yards surrendered by Buffalo in the team's 55-season history.  

The NFL destroyed Brady's reputation over allegations by an opponent that he was throwing footballs missing a few pumps of air pressure. The NFL even floated faulty information to the media. Now Brady and the Patriots appear determined to destroy the NFL in response. 

Maybe Brady should thank the league for making sure his footballs were perfectly inflated: the best QB in NFL history has never been better.  

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