Think back to 2007 for a moment.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots were fresh off the Spygate controversy and ready to stick it to each and every NFL team. They did, too – all the way up until the Super Bowl. We won’t get into what happened there.
The point is, that season the Patriots beat up on the NFL like a Div. I college team does to a small college team that paid its way onto their schedule.
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Now it’s 2015, and fresh off the Deflategate controversy, it looks like Tom Brady may be taking a similar approach.
One week after his four-touchdown game against the Steelers, Brady threw a whopping 59 times for 466 yards and three touchdowns.
As is tradition, Brady had Rex Ryan kicking rocks all the way to the podium.
The 61 attempts (he was sacked twice) are second most in a game during Brady’s career. The 38 completed passes were also the second-most in a game, one shy of his personal record.
Through two games, Brady has a 119.9 passer rating and has thrown for 754 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception.
Despite those numbers, though, it’s not Tom Brady vs. NFL (Brady already won that case this summer). The goal is the same as always: do what’s best for the team.
"We go into each game trying to game plan and do what we think is best and then as we get into the game sometimes that can change a little bit based on how the game is going situationally, and also what the matchups are, what's working and what isn't,” Bill Belichick said.
Of course, the Patriots will go as far as Brady will take them. It’s a quarterback-driven league and that’s never been more apparent than it is now. Brady fought for these first four games of the season, and clearly it’s been worth it.
“I think when you look around the league, last year there might have been two teams in the league, maybe it was one, but not many, that threw the ball less than they ran it,” Belichick said. “So every team is basically over 50-percent passing. Some teams were up in around 70-percent if I remember correctly, like the Bears, teams like that, so that was last year. But it's kind of the general trend in the league.”
It can and will change, though. Weather is an obvious factor in the passing game as is opponent strengths. How many times have we seen the Patriots run it down the Colts’ throats? While Brady would undoubtedly love to throw for 1,000 yards in Indianapolis on Oct. 18, it just might not be the game plan.
“We'll just have to be prepared for the game to go however it goes,” Belichick said, “and once we get into it, adjust and do what we feel like's best in that particular situation."