Brady looks at why his interceptions are on rise

Brady looks at why his interceptions are on rise
November 9, 2011, 7:29 pm
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FOXBORO -- Forget the passing yards and touchdown passes, the most amazing statistic Tom Brady's rolled up as a quarterback is his TD pass-to-interception rate.

Coming into this season, he'd thrown 261 touchdowns and 103 interceptions in 153 games. In 2007 and 2010 combined, he threw 86 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

He's never thrown more than 14 interceptions in a season. Last year, he set the record for consecutive attempts without throwing it to the wrong team.

Compare and contrast:

Drew Brees was 235-131 coming into this year. He threw 22 picks last year.

Eli(te) Manning? 156 and 113. He threw 25 picks last year.

Peyton Manning? 399 and 198. He threw 17 picks last year.

Ben Roethlisberger? 144 and 86.

Aaron Rodgers? He's one that actually compares with Brady. 97 and 32 entering this year; 24 and 3 so far this season.

But this year, Brady's been on an interception binge. And Sunday's two-pick game against the Giants was actually worse than Brady's four-pick game against the Bills earlier this year. Against New York, Brady hesitated on a Deion Branch slant and threw into converging coverage. On the other pick, Brady looked right then, without checking the area came back and fired in the direction of Rob Gronkowski. Deon Grant intercepted. Against the Bills, tipped passes and undercut routes were the problem and an element of bad luck is in play there.

Brady's got 20 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. His personal high of 14 seems in danger.

"Just decision-making," Brady said when asked about the interceptions. "Just gotta make better decisions."

Sunday night, the Patriots play a critical game against the Jets. The teams are tied at 5-3 atop the AFC East along with the 5-3 Bills.

"We need to go out there and execute well this week," Brady explained. "Last time we played them we were a bit inconsistent as well even though we scored more than 30 points. I think we can be more consistent."

Over the season's first three weeks, New England's passing offense was mult-pronged. Now it's been trimmed to Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch (all with 50-plus targets). The next highest target is Chad Ochocinco (21).

Asked whether balance between targets is a goal, Brady said, "If they're open, they get it. If they're covered, you throw to someone else. If you put other guys in position and they're open first, they get the ball. Really the guys who are gonna get the ball are the guys who are open. We're not trying to just force the ball. I don't think I ever -- well not ever but -- pick a guy before the play. But usually that doesn't go very well.

"A lot of times you just try to read it out," he added. "You know the route, you know the coverages, you know the matchup, you read it and make your throw using good technique and try to throw the ball with accuracy. We could bring one of you guys out there and throw if we told you where to throw it before the snap."

Don't know how many we'd complete, but sure we could. Actually, if you told us to throw to Ocho, we'd complete about as many as Brady has over the past three weeks. Zero.

The diligent defense of Ochocinco continued Wednesday. And while Senor Nueve receptions has been an unmitigated disappointment in terms of production at least he's trying.

"He is and he's continued to do a great job in practice in the role that he's carved out for himself and he's gonna continue to be out there and hopefully make a few plays for us," said Brady. "One of these days it is really gonna all click for us and the offense is gonna (kick it in)."