Tom Brady is clearly at the top of the MVP ladder after a huge Monday Night Football performance, in which he asserted himself and the New England Patriots as the top dogs in the NFL. We’ll see if they can keep that going next week against the San Francisco 49ers, but let’s just give Brady some more credit and bask in the glory of a huge 42-14 win.
I know ESPN’s TQBR statistic is not a popular one for many people, but I love using it as a tool to evaluate a quarterback’s performance for one particular game. With a TQBR of 95.6, Tom Brady played one of the best games any QB can play, and he did it against a very good team. Granted, the Texans secondary is a subpar one that has struggled mightily in recent weeks, but posting a 125.4 normal quarterback rating against any defense in the NFL is just insane.
Brady averaged 8.5 yards per attempt and has the most games in NFL history with at least four touchdowns and no picks. He hit four touchdowns right on the nose, with two of them going to Aaron Hernandez. His deep ball was working well against a Texans pass defense that is susceptible to it, and he truly did seize the day on day that needed to be seized.
The home fans were treated to an aerial assault by Brady that included some excellent work against the pass rush. Sebastian Vollmer was better than he was last week against Cameron Wake and the Miami Dolphins, but you can tell that he is still not at full strength. J.J. Watt did not record a sack, but he put four hits on the QB. The good news is that the Patriots did an excellent job in limiting him from making any batted passes or sacks to actually swing the momentum of the game, and Watt’s forced fumble on Danny Woodhead ended up giving seven points to the Patriots after an alert Brandon Lloyd pounced on the ball.
Tom Brady was hit six or seven times in this game, but he was only sacked once by Whitney Mercilus on a blitz that was one of many blitzes drawn up by Wade Phillips. The Texans love to blitz the QB, but that didn’t work against Brady. He was merciless against the pass rush by throwing three TDs when the Texans brought the heat on him. The Pro Football Focus notes that Houston blitzed 56% of the time and Brady completed 67% of his passes against the blitz.
He finished Week 14 as second in EPA (22.5, 0.1 away from Cam Newton) and adjusted yards per attempt (8.0), according to Advanced NFL Stats.
MVP! That chant after his first down scramble on third-and-five was just awesome; Foxborough was rocking the Texans all night.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.