New England Patriots: Tom Brady Must Protect the Football


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had a career postseason career. However, interceptions have been an issue at times.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds several postseason passing records but one that he would prefer not to have is the all-time interceptions mark, which he set last week against the Houston Texans. With 30 interceptions in his 32 postseason games, his ratio of touchdowns to interceptions and interceptions per game are still at an impressive level.

When he does throw passes to the other team in the postseason, they tend to come in bunches and the AFC Championship is the game where that happens the most. With the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town on Sunday, it is imperative that Brady does not give them any extra scoring opportunities.

Going back to the 2006 season, some of Brady’s worst playoff performances have come in this round going back to the collapse in Indianapolis. In that game Brady only threw one interception but it was on the final drive. The following season, the “almost perfect” year, Brady was well below par in this game, throwing to the Chargers three times, however, they were unable to take advantage of those opportunities.

It would be four years before the Patriots got that far again and in a classic against the Ravens, Brady threw another three interceptions without any touchdowns. He did redeem himself with the go ahead score on a one-yard sneak but it was hardly the vintage Brady fans had become accustomed to.

In the rematch twelve months later, the Patriots were shut out in the second half and Brady threw two fourth quarter interceptions as they desperately tried to overcome the deficit. Seven years after this trend started against a Peyton Manning led team, it took a brief break as the Patriots went down to Denver in the 2013 AFC Championship season.

More from Musket Fire

Brady did not throw an interception in that game despite being under pressure for most of the game. Even in the fairly routine victory over Indianapolis in the next year, Brady threw an interception just before halftime which had some… other off field consequences which mean certain NFL officials will not be visiting Gillette Stadium anytime soon. Finally, in 2015, Brady returned to Denver and threw two second quarter interceptions to Von Miller and Darien Stewart, one of which resulted in a Broncos touchdown.

In his seven most recent AFC Championship appearances, Brady has thrown eleven of his total interceptions, four of which have been multiple pick games. This Sunday against Pittsburgh, there will be pressure on him to not make those same mistakes.

Next: Ranking Remaining Playoff Teams

Both of his interceptions last week came from deflected passes but there were other bad reads which were brought on by pressure that could have resulted in more if the Houston defenders were a touch more efficient at catching the ball.