No one can argue with the high level of performance by Tom Brady given his body of work over the course of his career. The biggest statistic of all is 3 rings in 4 appearances. Based on his winning record and passing statistics in the regular season, he should be considered one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the NFL.
Through 2004 in the postseason Brady was impressive both in the regular season and postseason, consistently posting 100+ passer rating numbers with a high TD to interception ratio. But let’s look at his numbers from 2005 to the present in the postseason:
Brady’s statistics since 2005:
TD/INT Rating Yards/Attempt Fumbles
2005 4/2 92.2 8.6 2
2006 5/4 76.5 6.1 2
SD 2/3 57.6 5.6 1
Ind 1/1 79.5 6.8 1
2007 6/3 96 6.8 1
SD 2/3 66.4 6.3 0
NYG 1/0 82.5 5.5 1
2009 2/3 49.1 5 1
2010 2/1 89 6.6 1
2011 6/3 105.8 8.6 0
BAL 0/2 57.5 6.6 0
These are not intimidating or top-level numbers when you consider that an average quarterback over a season has a rating of 82-85. Even in 2007, when he had an average rating of 96, in the postseason he had some very average performances, especially versus San Diego.
Brady is no longer known for his mobility. It’s no secret that you limit his effectiveness by moving him out of the pocket. The Giants certainly showed that in XLII and again in week 9 when he had lowest rating of the regular season (75, to coincide with 2 interceptions and a fumble). Tuck summed up the defense's effectiveness in week 9, where Brady clearly was not as sharp as his usual self:
"I think it starts with hitting him, even when you don't actually get sacks, just keeping people around him so he can't step up," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said Monday. "I think he gets a little frustrated when he has to go to his second or third receivers. You can kind of confuse him sometimes with our coverage. I think there are a lot of things that can get him rattled, but it just seems like not too many people are able to do that."
In addition, Cimini of ESPNNewYork wrote, "In the early 2000 years, they had a pretty good defense," said an opposing personnel executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "They had a very well-balanced team, but the defense got old. Now it's all on Brady. There's a lot of pressure on him and sometimes it gets to him."
This isn’t to conclude that we should expect Brady to perform at below average level or even that Eli has surpassed Brady. But you have to believe that Brady must be feeling the pressure of his post-season performances that are well below what he produces in the regular season. His comments after Baltimore may be an indication of that pressure.
@PachacutecVA Sill, Bad Eli is more amusing--from a deer in a headlights perspective--than Bad Brady.
@emptywheel nah never deer, more like frustration when receivers make wrong hot adjustments in gilbride system. Very very rare this year
@PachacutecVA NEVER DEER!!?!?!?!?! Really? Cause that's what independent observers think. That's perfect deer look!
@PachacutecVA Well, good, bc I don't want to watch yet another game where Bad Eli shows up--they're so common!
@emptywheel put it this way, of all the things I worry about as #nyg fan for SB, "bad eli" is not on the list. i'll tell u what worries me
@PachacutecVA If I'm wrong that Pats win a close one, then it's because Bad Eli doesn't show.
@PachacutecVA Hey, whatever. I believe you can stil ellicit Bad Eli--as shown by his 2011practice. You don't.
@emptywheel he made bade decisions 2010 I'll grant you, forcing balls into bad routes under pressure? 2011 decision making & vision great
@emptywheel or, if you don't want to look at the whole year, just look at the playoffs #enterjimmora
@PachacutecVA My definition of Bad Eli? he gets that stupid look and makes bad decisions. AKA, the Jets game, in significant part.
@emptywheel whatever the media and detractors have tried to fashion as his mythology, it's been wrong, and he's already proven it this year
@emptywheel no, you're really wrong. I'm gonna pull rank on reading character here he's had no fear or intimidation hangdog = exasperation
@PachacutecVA Nah. Bad Eli's a brand he might beat if he wins on Sunday. But it was mere weeks ago that deer-look showed up.
@emptywheel first year as rookie, sure. But after that, no
A little off-topic again, but anyone see the respect that Greg Easterbrook gave "Jersey A's" David Diehl. The crux of it:
Now the 2011 Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back NFL MVP -- David Diehl, left tackle of the Jersey/A Giants.
On his best days Diehl is not the NFL's best left tackle, or even as good, athletically, as Matt Light, who will start at left tackle for the Patriots. (Light was the 2007 TMQ NQB NRB MVP, and my award does not allow repeat recipients.) What Diehl brings to the table is consistently high-level performance. He rarely allows sacks, rarely misses run blocks and never takes downs off. Watch tape and you'll see that even in NFL big games, there are an amazing number of downs on which at least one lineman simply brushes his man and then stands there doing nothing. Diehl never stands there doing nothing. He's always working.
Drafted by the Giants in the fifth round out of Illinois, Diehl became an immediate starter at left tackle, and has remained the team's left tackle starter for nine seasons. He has missed only four games to injuries in his career, starting 150 of a possible 154 games. Thus he's not just a good player -- he has been a good player for almost every game for nine years.
This year's NFC Pro Bowl choices at offensive tackle are Jerome Bushrod, Jason Peters and Joe Staley. They're all top performers but consider their starts -- Peters has started 98 games, Staley has started 68 games, Bushrod has started 49 games. Diehl has performed at a high level significantly longer than any of them.
Offensive linemen tend to be noticed mainly when they blow their assignments. Diehl has started for nine seasons for one of the NFL's highest-profile clubs and drawn hardly any notice: The reason is that he doesn't blow his assignments. Diehl is the kind of player who will never hear the crowd chant his name -- but with him at the most important line position in football, the Giants have won the Super Bowl once, won their division thrice, and take the field for the Super Bowl again this coming Sunday.
@RussWellen Yes, I saw a link on PFF's article in which they were talking about how both our tackles struggled mightily this season.
I can't believe someone would write something like this.
Good reminder of Brady's recent struggles in the playoffs. I remember his difficulties with completions and INTs, but had forgotten until your post how many fumbles he's had too.
One nitpick: Brady did not throw an INT in Superbowl 42 (stat above says 1 TD, which is correct, but says 1 INT, which is incorrect).
CRAZY stat on Aaron Ross :
Cornerback Aaron Ross has played in 102 pass plays in the  playoffs. In that time he has allowed just four catches for 29 yards with 7 yards coming after the catch. He has also had three passes defensed.
Passer rating isn't in % ;)
I've noticed this as well, Brady is 7-5 in his last 12 postseason games - that's going back to 2006) while throwing 21 TD and 14 INT (which goes 15-13 if you take this year's DEN game out).
Yet he had a bad day vs BAL and I don't expect him to have 2 in a row.