How Brady Performs ATS When He Does (And Doesn’t) Get Sacked
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
In 18 NFL seasons, Tom Brady has won 222 games, five Super Bowls and four MVPs. You can’t stop the future Hall of Famer, you can only hope to contain him. One way to limit Brady is with pressure.
As Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The secret to beating Brady is a strong pass rush. One of Brady’s most notable playoff losses came against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII when the G-Men sacked the Patriots’ quarterback five times. Since the 2007 season, the Patriots have won 85.2% of their games when Brady gets sacked one or fewer times, but the win rates drops to 61.9% if the quarterback hits the ground four or more times.
How is Brady’s ATS performance impacted when he does (and doesn’t) get sacked?
After analyzing all 286 games that Brady has started, the key to keeping it close (covering the spread) against the Pats is sacking Brady. New England is 90-43-2 (67.6%) ATS when Brady stays upright most of the game (1 or fewer sacks); however, if opponents get after the quarterback (4+ sacks) the Patriots have gone 13-21-1 (38.2%) ATS.
Can the Jaguars, 7-point road underdogs, harass Brady enough to cover? Jacksonville, or Sacksonville, boasts the NFL’s No. 2 pass rush and accumulated 55 sacks (2nd in the league). All those quarterback hits have translated to success at the ticket window. Calais Campbell & the rest of the front seven sacked opposing quarterbacks two or more times in 14 games this season, resulting in a 10-4 ATS record. The team failed to cover in all four games that they had one or fewer sacks. New England’s offensive line, 14th in the league in pass protection, could struggle to keep Brady clean on Sunday.
Pressuring Brady doesn’t guarantee a win, though the blueprint for covering against the Patriots is sacking TB12.
Photo via Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports