Monday, September 10, 2012
Brady, Cardinals might want to step outside
Tom Brady, known for challenging defenses with throws to New England's tight ends down the middle, figures to test the Arizona Cardinals' defense all over the field in Week 2.
The matchup on the perimeter could be a good one.
The Cardinals have largely shut down perimeter throws while winning eight of their last 10 games dating to last season.
Arizona held Seattle's Russell Wilson to 6-of-17 passing for 54 yards on throws outside the yard-line numbers Sunday. Michael Adams defended two such plays and fellow corner Patrick Peterson defended one while limiting Wilson to 3-of-8 passing on perimeter throws during the Seahawks' final drive.
Arizona held on to win, 20-16.
The chart, from Doug Clawson of ESPN Stats & Information, shows how much the Cardinals have improved at defending the perimeter during their 10 most recent games.
Brady attempted 20 of his 31 passes outside the numbers during a victory at Tennessee in Week 1. He completed 16 of those 20 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown to tight end Rob Gronkowski. Brady also completed 7 of 11 for 86 yards on throws between the yard-line numbers (he's pretty good everywhere).
Brandon Lloyd, signed from St. Louis in free agency, gives the Patriots a talented outside threat. He caught five passes for 69 yards -- all outside the numbers -- against the Titans.
Lloyd faced Arizona twice last season. He caught three passes for 50 yards outside the numbers against the Cardinals in Week 9. The figures were three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against them in Week 12.