Tom Brady likely loathes the month of September, and not just because that was the month in which he once had his knee smashed to smithereens by Bernard Pollard. The fact is, Brady typically gets off to slow starts during the course of a regular season. And in recent years, No. 12 has looked more like Joe Flacco than Joe Montana in the season’s first month.
With things still up in the air as far as Brady’s Deflategate suspension goes, it remains to be seen if he will play in September of 2015. But regardless of whenever he begins play this season, do not expect him to be in February form from the jump.
There was plenty of attention regarding Brady’s poor play in September of last year. He averaged 20.2 completions on 34.2 attempts in the first four games of 2014 and threw for an average of just 197.7 yards. He only threw four touchdown passes total and was picked off twice. The Pats went 2-2 in the stretch, bottoming out on the Monday night from hell in Kansas City.
What has been overlooked, however, is that Brady has sputtered out of the gate for a while now. In September of 2013, the Pats went 4-0 but Brady was the definition of mediocre. He threw for over 300 yards just once and had a passer rating of over 100.0 just once.
In September of 2012, the individual numbers were there as he had a passer rating of over 100.0 in three out of four games. But the Pats lost to the Cardinals at home in Week 2, and the Ravens in Baltimore on a Sunday nighter the following week. By Week 4 of that season, Brady figured things out as the Pats walloped the Bills, 52-28, in Buffalo with Brady throwing three touchdown passes and zero picks.
In 2010 and 2011, Brady had two respective September clunkers. In Week 3 of 2011, he threw four picks at Buffalo in a 34-31 Pats loss. In 2010, Rex Ryan’s Jets made Brady look mortal as he threw two picks and had a passer rating of just 72.5 in a 28-14 loss in the Meadowlands.
As for the here and now, reading into preseason games is a fruitless undertaking. But those who were hoping to see Brady take out some Deflategate anger on the Packers and Saints in the past few weeks were surely disappointed. This August, Brady is 3-for-9 for 23 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Jimmy Garoppolo, meanwhile, has been solid this August. His combined numbers read: 48-of-63 for 428 yards, one touchdown, two picks and an average rating of 85.9.
Brady missing any regular season time is a nightmarish situation for the Pats. But if games are to be missed, September really isn’t the worst time for it.