Standing Room Only: Brady's bests


Standing Room Only: Brady's bests

According to this week's New England Football Night trivia, "Tom Brady averages more passing yards against Pittsburgh (337 yards) than any other team."

I found that pretty interesting.

So much so that I decided to go through the numbers and find some other career statistical bests. (For the most part, like with the stat above, I stuck with averages, because otherwise some combination of the Bills, Dolphins and Jets would finish 1,2,3 in every category.)

Without further Apu, here are a few other Brady bests:

Best career QB rating? That would be the 118.4 career mark that he's posted against the Jaguars. In three games against Jacksonville (we're talking regular season here), Brady's thrown for 744 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Jaguars are actually one of only four teams against which Brady's never thrown an interception. The others are the Raiders, Eagles and Giants. Research shows that he's also never thrown an INT against the Columbus Panhandles, Muncie Flyers or Staten Island Stapletons. (Although, he does have two career fumbles vs. the Panhandles; not that I have to remind you).

Most passing attempts a game? Not surprisingly, that's also the Steelers, at a 43.2 attemptsgame clip. However, the Bears are a close second with 42.6 attempts a game. Brady's only played the Bears three times in his career (as opposed to the five regular season contest vs. Pittsburgh) and is 3-0 with 964 yard, six touchdowns and three interceptions.

The one Brady vs. the Bears game that always sticks out to me was during the lost season of 2002 the year after the first title. The 4-4 Pats headed to Chicago for Week 10, fresh off losses in four of their last five games. After all the success of the previous season, it was an unbelievably frustrating time in Patriots Nation even more so after New England went down 27-6 in the third quarter.

At that point, I remember shutting off the TV. I couldn't take it anymore, and unleashed my aggression on about five straight games of Madden. When that was over, I flipped on NFL Primetime, just in time to catch highlights of Brady's latest fourth quarter comeback. Final score: Pats 33, Bears 30. Too bad the season didn't just end there.

And finally, Tom Brady doesn't run much, but when he does, you know he's always good for a yard. Right over center, just how he likes. In those case, it isn't much of a QB scramble as it is, QB put your head down and lunge, but regardless, it's pretty much unstoppable

Against all but two teams: The Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants are the only teams against which Brady has negative career rushing yards. Five rushes for -1 yards against Oakland, seven rushes for -4 against the Giants.

The team against which Brady averages the most yards per "run"? The Green Bay Packers. Brady's run nine times for 32 yards against Green Bay. That's 3.56 a run.

And with that knowledge, we'll all sleep better tonight.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Bruins need to "find a way to start playing with a lead"

Bruins need to "find a way to start playing with a lead"

BOSTON -- There’s only so long that a team can hope to thrive, or even survive, in the NHL if they’re constantly chasing the game on the scoreboard, and chasing the puck after digging themselves a hole. The Bruins have been that team in the first couple of weeks during the regular season, and made it five times in five games that they’ve given up the game’s first goal in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

It’s a pattern that is long past getting old to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who can’t seem to play the front-runner this season despite three comebacks that have allowed for a 3-2-0 record overall this season.

“I hope it’s not a habit. It’s certainly not what we’re looking for, but there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious that with the amount of games we’ve played, five games, we haven’t scored first,” said Julien. “We talked about that this morning, trying to get that first goal, and it hasn’t happened yet.”

The start to the game wasn’t really the problem on Saturday night as it’s been a couple of times this season. Instead the Bruins enjoyed a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes against the Habs, but couldn’t come through and finish off those plays when it might have meant an early lead.

Instead it lead to what Julien termed a “terrible” second period that was flat, full of mistakes and ended with the B’s trailing Montreal by a couple of goals. The Bruins scratched and clawed their way to making it a one-goal game in the third period, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get in losing their ninth straight home game to the arch-rival Canadiens.

“It’s kind of been a story about how things are going for us this far, we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead. If you don’t capitalize on your chances, you see what happens when you come out [flat] in the second period,” said Torey Krug, who finished a game-worst minus-3 in the loss for the Bruins. “We had another poor second period and you know it’s kind of… you got to make sure that we put our hand on that and it doesn’t become a thing for the team this year. You see that when you don’t capitalize on chances early, that’s what’s going to happen.”

It’s been a positive development that the Bruins have shown the willingness and backbone to fight back into games after early deficits, and they showed that quality once again on Saturday night by scoring a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close. But the Bruins would be best served if they can start lighting the lamp a little earlier in these games, and see how the other half lives by playing with a comfortable lead every once in a while.