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Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Did Pats rookies ruin Tom Brady in 2013?

By Jason Vida


Elsa/Getty ImagesThis was a familiar pose for Tom Brady, who had one of his worst statistical seasons in 2013.
Tom Brady is coming off his least efficient season in some time, but his average output in 2013 might not have been entirely of his own making.

The numbers suggest that youth on the Patriots roster, especially at the wide receiver position, played a big role in Brady's struggles.

2013 Was a Down Year For Brady
Tom Brady completed just 60.5% of his passes last season, his lowest completion rate in a season since 2003.

He ranked 22nd in the league in completion percentage, behind Matt Flynn, Matt Schaub and Chad Henne, among others.

Brady's 6.9-yard average per pass attempt was 24th-best in the league.

It’s a steep decline from 2011-12, when Brady averaged 8.1 yards per attempt, third best in the NFL.

Brady’s 25 pass touchdowns were his fewest in a full season since 2006, when he threw 24. Julian Edelman led the team with 6 TD catches, which tied for 30th in the NFL.

The Rookie Factor
But Brady's down season didn't occur in a vacuum.

He attempted 163 passes to rookies last season, the highest total of his career and 35 more than any other quarterback in the NFL.

On average, those pass attempts weren't particularly successful. His completion percentage on those throws was 47.9%, compared to better than 67% to all other targets.

That low completion percentage wasn't merely a symptom of poor chemistry. Patriots rookies dropped 8% of the passes they received from Brady, compared to a drop rate of 4.7% by other Patriots players.