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Thursday, September 30, 2010
Breaking down the Patriots' road woes

By ESPNBoston.com

Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN Stats and Information dug up some troubling numbers on the Patriots' woes on the road, where they are 2-7 since the start of last season (which counts a win in London).

Here is a sampling:

* Blame it on Brady?: In his past eight true road games, Tom Brady has a 50.8 passer rating in the second half compared to a 101.6 passer rating in the first half. The numbers get downright ugly in the fourth quarter, when Brady has a 29.3 passer rating courtesy of one touchdown and five interceptions. Quite simply, that makes Brady the worst quarterback in the NFL on the road in the fourth quarter since 2009. Not rookies Mark Sanchez (29.7) or Matthew Stafford (33.4). Not even quarterbacks who lost their jobs, such as Derek Anderson (33.4) and Kerry Collins (42.2). No one has been worse than Brady.

* The defense has been just plain bad on the road. In three of those seven true road losses, the Patriots allowed 21 points in a single quarter. Overall, they are allowing 25.4 points per game on the road since 2009, the seventh-worst average in the NFL. By contrast, the Brady-led offense is putting up a middle-of-the-pack 19.5 points.

Here again, the contrast with home performance is stark, particularly with regard to the much-maligned pass defense. While holding opponents to 10 fewer points on average, the Patriots have twice as many interceptions at home.

In fact, when in Foxborough, the Patriots have had arguably one of the best defenses in the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks have a 73.4 rating there since 2009, which is the ninth-lowest of any stadium.

In true road games, it's quite the opposite. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 278.3 yards and a 103.9 rating, the third-highest in the NFL, putting the Patriots behind both the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions.