Stats & Info: Brandon Browner
July, 25, 2014
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Stew Milne/USA TODAY SportsThe Patriots will be counting on Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski again this season.
1. The Patriots have won the AFC East in 5 straight and 10 of the last 11 seasons. New England is the only team since the merger to win 10 division titles over 11 seasons. Some potential milestones for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady this season:
• Belichick needs 1 postseason win to tie Tom Landry for most all-time
• Brady needs 1 regular-season win to break a tie with John Elway for third-most in NFL history
• Patriots can become first team to win 6 straight division titles since mid-1970s (Steelers – 1974-79; Rams – 1973-79)
• Patriots can become second team to win at least 10 games in 12 straight seasons (49ers – 1983-98)
2. Since Tom Brady’s first season as a starter in 2001, the Patriots have been the NFL’s most successful team with 158 regular-season wins (19 more than any other team), 18 playoff wins (6 more than any other team), 11 division titles (3 more than any other team) and 3 Super Bowl wins (1 more than any other team). However, since Brady and Belichick went 9-0 in the postseason en route to winning Super Bowls following the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons, they’re just 9-8 in the playoffs.
3. Last season, Tom Brady had his lowest completion percentage since 2003 (60.5) and his fewest yards per attempt since 2006 (6.9) and ranked outside the top 20 in the NFL in both categories for the first time in his career. Brady was the league’s 11th-highest rated QB last season, with his lowest Total QBR (61.1) since 2006 (first season for which data is available).
4. One reason for Brady’s relatively average (for him) 2013 could be that he threw a career-high 163 passes to rookies, 35 more than any other QB in the NFL. When throwing to rookies last year, Brady completed 48 percent of his passes. When throwing to veterans, he completed 67 percent of his passes. Patriots rookies dropped 8 percent of Brady’s passes last year. Patriots veterans dropped just 5 percent of Brady’s passes.
5. Along with more experience at wide receiver, a healthy Rob Gronkowski should help Brady be more productive in 2014. Gronkowski, coming off surgery to repair torn knee ligaments suffered in Week 14 last season, led all tight ends with 85 receiving yards per game last year. In his 4 seasons with the team, Brady has 42 touchdowns vs just 6 interceptions when targeting Gronkowski. Over that span, Gronkowski’s 42 receiving TDs are the most by a TE in the NFL and second most by any player behind Calvin Johnson.
6. After appearing in 16 games in each of his first 2 seasons, Gronkowski has missed 14 games with injuries over the last 2 years. Over that span, Brady has a Total QBR of 78 with 33 touchdowns and 8 interceptions when Gronkowski is on the field and a Total QBR of 60 with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions when he is off the field. He’s missed even more in the red zone, where Brady has a Total QBR of 94 over the last 2 years with Gronkowski in the game and a Total QBR of 67 with him on the sideline.
7. The Patriots “bend but don’t break” defense has allowed the most yards in the NFL over the last 3 seasons (386 per game) but ranks seventh in the league in points allowed over that span (21.1 per game). A key for the unit is the ability to generate turnovers. Over the last 3 years, the Patriots lead the league in takeaways (104) and turnover margin (+51).
8. Less than a week after Pro Bowl CB Aqib Talib left for the Broncos via free agency, the Patriots signed 5-time Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis to a 2-year deal with $11.5M in guaranteed money. New England also signed former Pro Bowl CB Brandon Browner, who will be suspended for the first 4 games of the season, from the Seahawks. The Patriots allowed Peyton Manning to pass for 400 yards in last year’s AFC Championship loss.
9. Returning to the Patriots defense will be nose tackle Vince Wilfork, who tore his Achilles in Week 4 last season and missed the rest of the year, and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who tore his ACL in Week 5. From Weeks 6-17, the Patriots allowed the fourth most rush yards per game (142) and fifth most yards per rush (4.6) in the NFL. Rookie first-round pick Dominique Easley, coming off his own season-ending injury (torn ACL at Florida), is expected to push for playing time on the defensive line.
10. Patriots Top Transactions This Offseason
Draft picks: DT Dominique Easley, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB James White
Additions: CB Darrelle Revis, CB Brandon Browner, DE Will Smith, LB James Anderson, WR Brandon LaFell
Departures: CB Aqib Talib, RB LeGarrette Blount, LB Brandon Spikes, S Steve Gregory
July, 16, 2013
By Douglas Clawson | ESPN.com
From our statistical perspective, we looked at four things:
On/Off the Field analysis: How a team fares with their lockdown cornerback off the field.
Throws outside the numbers: Looking at statistics pinning the best cornerbacks, matched up against the best wide receivers outside the painted numbers.
Throws by distance: Which cornerbacks take away the big play?
Team performance: The best cornerbacks make their team's pass defense better.
Here’s a look at some of the NFL’s most successful cornerbacks from the last several seasons.
Richard Sherman & Brandon Browner
Richard Sherman leads the NFL with 12 interceptions and 34 passes defended or intercepted since he joined the league in 2011.
Sherman played 95 percent of the defensive snaps last season, and his numbers speak for themselves. However, his absence was felt during his rookie season, when he played 70 percent of possible snaps.
The Seattle Seahawks intercepted one pass every 19.4 attempts with him on the field, and one pass every 78 attempts with him off the field in his rookie season.
Sherman’s teammate Brandon Browner has nine interceptions in the last two seasons, tied for fourth in the NFL among cornerbacks, despite missing the last four games of last season due to suspension.
The tandem has shut down outside passing lanes for opponents. Against passes 10-plus yards downfield and outside the numbers, the Seahawks pass defense ranked among the top five in Total QBR, interceptions and completion percentage last season.
Perhaps their biggest impact is near the goal line, where their physical presence (Browner is 6’4” and Sherman stands 6’3”) shines. The duo has combined for four interceptions in goal-to-go situations over the last two seasons. No team has more than four interceptions in goal-to-go situations over that span.
Darrelle Revis missed the final 13 games of the 2012 season after tearing his ACL in Week 3. Over the last two seasons, the Jets have allowed 15 touchdown passes with 23 interceptions with Revis on the field, holding opponents to a 41.4 Total QBR. With Revis off the field, the Jets allowed 20 touchdown passes with seven interceptions and a 50.5 Total QBR.
His value is also seen in his team’s overall defensive prowess. Since 2009, the Jets lead the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed, completion percentage allowed and are second in Total QBR allowed.
Revis' 2013 impact will be for a new team - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Patrick Peterson intercepted seven passes in 2012, including an NFC-high four passes on throws more than 20 yards downfield. That is as many or more interceptions on such throws than 24 NFL teams.
The Cardinals defense had the fourth-best Total QBR and allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards per game last season, their highest ranks in the past five seasons.
Peterson has been a big part of the turnaround, playing a team-high 2,209 snaps (96 percent of defensive snaps) since he joined the league.
Peterson has impacted the game in many ways as he forced seven fumbles last season and led the NFL with five fumbles recovered.
He tied an NFL-record by returning four punts for touchdowns in his rookie season (2011), and his 699 punt return yards were the second-most in a single season in NFL history.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Tim Jennings led the NFL with 9 INTs last season.
Tim Jennings led the NFL with 9 INTs last season.
Tim Jennings made his first Pro Bowl and led the NFL with nine interceptions in 2012 for the Chicago Bears, after never intercepting more than two passes in a single season in his career.
Eight of Jennings’ nine interceptions came outside the numbers, a total that no other player topped during the last two seasons combined.
Jennings' teammate Charles Tillman forced 10 fumbles in 2012, and returned all three of his interceptions for touchdowns, tied for most in the NFL. Tillman has six interceptions over the last two seasons, returning a league-high five for touchdowns.
Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph has made two straight Pro Bowls, but was part of a Texans’ secondary that fell apart down the stretch last season.
The Texans allowed 26 pass plays of 30 or more yards, second in the NFL behind the New York Giants.
Including the postseason, the Texans allowed 31 pass plays of 30-plus yards, including 20 from Week 11 on.
They allowed 17 touchdowns and had three interceptions outside the numbers last season. Only the Vikings had a worse touchdown-to-interception differential on such passes.