Standing Room Only: Brady's bests

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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 rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

CLEVELAND – There are 240 minutes of play in an NBA game, but Boston’s 112-99 Game 4 loss to Cleveland came down to seven (six minutes and 46 seconds to be precise).

That would be the amount of time left in the second quarter that LeBron James spent on the bench with four personal fouls (a first for him in the first half of an NBA playoff game ever) and Boston ahead by 10 points.

Boston could not have asked for a better scenario than that, especially considering how well they had played up to that point in the game and again, knowing that James wasn’t about to set foot back on the court until the third quarter.

But here’s the problem.

Boston’s 10-point lead when James left with four fouls.

Halftime rolled around and Boston’s lead was still at just 10 points.

Celtics players agreed that not finding a way to increase their lead with James out was among the more pivotal stretches of play in Game 4.

“They did a really good job of not letting it (the 10-point lead) get out of control while he was on the bench,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told CSNNE.com. “Every time we scored, they came back and scored.  They answered back with everything we answered.”

While many will point to that stretch as a time when the Celtics failed to make the necessary adjustments to increase their chances of winning, it wasn’t as if the Cavs are a one-man team.

“They still have two All-Stars out on the court,” said Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens, referring to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. “With the best player in the world they go to unreal, but they’re still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there.”

Irving had a playoff career-high 42 points which included him scoring 12 of Cleveland’s 14 points in the final 6:46 of the second with James on the bench.

“He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA, and you know, you can tell he puts in a lot of work in his game, a lot of respect from myself, my teammates,” said Avery Bradley. “We have to do a better job at defending him as a unit, trying to make everything hard on him. He definitely got a great rhythm going tonight, and I felt like we had a chance to make it harder on him.”

James still finished with a strong stat line for the night – 34 points, six assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

As good as he was on the court, the Celtics have to be kicking themselves for not doing more with the time James on the bench in the second quarter which in hindsight, was among the bigger factors in them now returning home facing elimination as opposed to being tied at two games apiece in this series.

“What are you going to do?” said Cleveland’s Kevin Love. “You have to continue to fight through it. At halftime, we were down 10. We made some adjustments on the defensive end and we just fought; we needed to. They got everything out of us tonight in that second half, but we played more inspired basketball as well.”