S/R Staff


Projecting the Patriots Passing Success

Projecting the Patriots Passing Success
S/R Staff
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Passing Success for Patriots is on Brady’s side


For the last few months one of the biggest arguments for a Patriot down year has been the turnover at WR and TE.  On the surface, I can see why it would appear that way and the homer in me screams “look at the last decade”.  That is quickly answered with, “what does that have to do with this year?”  Well, let me attempt to show you.

Coaching and QB continuity are a given.  No need to discuss.  Strong OL.  Check.  Quality running game.  Check.  But, none of those things matter, because the turnover at WR and TE is the biggest problem.  But….is it?  Here’s a long list of Brady’s top receivers for each year he’s started, with yards and TDs.  Each players first year with Brady will be have their name typed in BOLD.  Let’s see if we can find us some stanknuggets!

2001:  Troy Brown – 1199 yds 5 TD (944 yds in 2000, sub 500 yds years prior)

David Patten – 749 yds 4 TD (most yards of career up to this point)

Terry Glenn – 204 yds 1 TD (lowest career yards, last with Pats)

2002:  Troy Brown – 890 yds 3 TD

David Patten – 824 yds 5 TD

Deion Branch – 489 yds 2 TD (rookie year/2nd round pick)

2003:  Deion Branch – 803 yds 3 TD

David Givens – 510 yds 6 TD (rookie year/7th round pick)

Troy Brown – 472 yds 4 TD

2004:  David Givens – 874 yds 3 TD

David Patten – 800 yds 7 TD

Deion Branch – 454 yds 4 TD

2005:  Deion Branch – 998 yds 5 TD

David Givens – 738 yds 2 TD

Troy Brown – 466 yds 2 TD

2006:  Reche Caldwell – 760 yds 4 TD (FA acquisition/only year with Pats)

Benjamin Watson – 643 yds 3 TD (rookie year/1st round)

Troy Brown – 384 yds 4 TD

2007:  Randy Moss – 1493 yds 23 TD (FA acquisition)

Wes Welker – 1175 yds 8 TD (FA acquisition)

Donte Stallworth – 697 yds 3 TD (FA acquisition)

2008:  Wes Welker – 1165 yds 3 TD

Randy Moss – 1008 yds 11 TD

Faulk/Gaffney – less than 500 yds per

2009:  Wes Welker – 1348 yds 4 TD

Randy Moss – 1264 yds 13 TD

Benjamin Watson – 404 yds 5 TD

2010:  Wes Welker – 848 yds 7 TD

Deion Branch – 706 yds 5 TD

Aaron Hernandez – 563 yds 6 TD (rookie/4th round)

Rob Gronkowski – 546 yds 10 TD (rookie/2nd round)

2011:  Wes Welker – 1569 yds 9 TD

Rob Gronkowski – 1327 yds 17 TD

Aaron Hernandez – 910 yds 7 TD

2012:  Wes Welker – 1354 yds 6 TD

Brandon Lloyd – 911 yds 4 TD (FA acquisition)

Rob Gronkowski – 790 yds 11 TD

2013:  Danny Amendola, Kenbrall Thompkins, Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, and Matthew Slater Danny-Amendola meme


Analysis:  9 times a receiver working for the first time with Brady ended the season among his top 3 receivers.  Those 9 names collectively appeared 16 MORE TIMES in Brady’s top 3 receivers again.  Of the 9, 5 were rookies and 4 were FA acquisitions.  If you look at the years the Patriots won SBs, they did not get huge numbers out of any one guy.  The ball was being spread around.  In 2007, Brady had 3 FAs in his top 3 receivers and they made passing/receiving history.  After that, however, is where this gets interesting (and seals up my projection).  In 2008, Brady’s attention started to really go to a couple guys.   In 2010, the two TE sets increased with the additions of Herny and Gronk, which seems to have got the ball spreading around for 2 years until 2012 when Gronk got hurt and Welker was getting force fed the ball.  Lloyd had a solid year, but you’d think he actually lost YAC.  This year, 4 rookies should contribute pretty fairly to the offense over the course of the year (Thompkins, Dobson, Boyce, and Sudfeld) along with a FA (Amendola).  Outside of those individuals, Edelman, Vereen, Hooman, and Gronk should all contribute.  If by chance things are rockier than anticipated, then Lloyd, Branch, and Stallworth are all FAs and likely on BBs rolodex.


Projection:  Brady has enjoyed some years with continuity, but he’s also had his fair share of change and adapting the offense to different talent.  Based on some of the names in the list (David Patten), I think he’s shown he can get something out of guys.  But, I believe the offense will be fine, even if not quite as “machine-like”.  They’ll have some bumps and bruises, but I think getting Brady back to “the open guy” mentality should provide continued success.

Editors Note: I believe that this was written by WOM


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