Stats & Info: Kenbrell Thompkins

Brady's rookie targets let him down

October, 23, 2013

Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesTom Brady's numbers are down this year throwing to an inexperienced receiving corps.
Tom Brady has been below average statistically this season, despite the New England Patriots sitting atop the division with a 5-2 mark.

The Patriots fell to 5-2 after their loss against the New York Jets on Sunday. Brady posted a 29.5 Total QBR at MetLife Stadium, his third game with a QBR below 30 this season. Brady had only six such games in his previous 97 starts from 2006 to 2012.

He ranks 19th in the NFL in Total QBR this season with a 48.5 mark, below average on the QBR scale of 0 to 100. His five interceptions in seven games are only three shy of the number he threw in 16 regular-season games last season. His 6.0 yards per pass attempt would mark a career-low.

But the numbers indicate that Brady should not be the sole source of blame for the slow start.

Patriots rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson have dropped nine percent of the passes thrown their way (NFL average is 4.3 percent). Three of Brady’s five interceptions this season were thrown when he was targeting rookies.

Let’s break down the performance of his rookie targets:

• Kenbrell Thompkins has caught 42 percent of the passes on which he was targeted, the second-worst rate among any qualified player in the last four seasons, regardless of experience.

• Aaron Dobson has a team-high five drops, tied for the third-most in the NFL among all pass catchers. Dobson has dropped 11 percent of his targets, the second-worst rate among all players with at least 40 targets.

Josh Boyce has played 50 snaps for the Patriots this season. He has one catch on six targets.

Zach Sudfeld had three targets (two of which were intercepted) in three games with the Patriots. One of those interceptions resulted from a Sudfeld drop. He was cut on October 3 and in a twist of fate, played for the Jets in their win over the Patriots on Sunday.
Julian Edelman
• Veteran Julian Edelman has been Brady’s only consistent target this season, leading the team in receptions (46), yards (455) and receiving first downs (21). He’s dropped only three percent of his targets.

• Tight end Rob Gronkowski made an impact in his first game back, recording a game-high 114 yards through the air. Danny Amendola continues to nurse injuries, but has been effective when on the field. Help could be on the way to get Brady's numbers back to the level he's performed in the past.

Brady's clutch heroics lead Pats to victory

October, 13, 2013
AP Photo/Stephan SavoiaTom Brady threw a game-winning touchdown pass with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Tom Brady still has some late game magic left in him.

When it looked like the game might be over, Brady led the New England Patriots on a game-winning drive in the final minute of the fourth quarter to shock the New Orleans Saints.

The Patriots took over possession with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter. Brady completed 5 of 8 passes on a 70-yard drive that lasted 68 seconds, capped by a 17-yard touchdown strike to rookie Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds remaining.

It’s the latest fourth-quarter go-ahead touchdown pass of Brady’s career. It’s only Brady’s third career go-ahead touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. He threw a game-winning, 20-yard touchdown pass to David Patten in 2002 to beat the Chicago Bears, and he threw an 8-yard score to Aaron Hernandez in a game against the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.

Brady was five seconds away from having zero touchdown passes in consecutive games for the first time since 2006, but instead he threw his 342nd career touchdown pass to tie Fran Tarkenton for fourth on the all-time list.

Brady still struggling on deep throws
Brady was 1-of-9 for 23 yards on throws deeper than 20 yards downfield, continuing his season-long struggles.

Brady has completed 18 percent of his throws at least 20 yards downfield this season with no touchdowns and two interceptions on those passes. Fifty-five percent of his pass attempts at least 20 yards downfield have been off target this season.

What went wrong for the Saints?
Jimmy Graham had been an important key for the Saints over their previous four games, accumulating at least 100 receiving yards in each of those games. But it was quite the opposite on Sunday. Graham was held without a catch for the first time since his rookie season in 2008 (Week 10).

The Patriots defense held Drew Brees to 0-for-6 passing with an interception targeting Graham. It was the first game of Graham’s career with multiple targets and no catches.