NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

November 8, 2012

Patriots' Brady enjoying another strong season at midpoint

FOXBOROUGH — The numbers say Tom Brady is having another outstanding season.

Sixth in passer rating.

Tied for fifth in touchdown passes.

Third in yards.

And first in fewest interceptions per attempt.

The New England quarterback has also completed more than 60 percent of his passes in each of the first eight games for the first time. But the Patriots are just 5-3 and he’s a key contributor to some of those losses — and very nearly a fourth.

“Tom’s always trying to get better and is always working hard at it,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “There are certainly things that he can do better than what we’ve done in the first portion of the season. I know he’ll work hard at trying to maximize his performance.”

The 13-year veteran is coming off his best game of the year with four touchdown passes in a 45-7 win over the St. Louis Rams. But the two games before that were some of his worst of the season.

Brady threw two interceptions, one into the end zone, and was called twice for intentional grounding in a 24-23 loss in Seattle. Then he couldn’t get the Patriots out of their own territory on two consecutive drives after they took a 23-13 lead over the Jets late in the third quarter. That helped New York rally and go ahead 26-23 before Brady did enough to set up two field goals for a 29-26 win in overtime.

“Those last couple of drives, we moved the ball better,” he said after that game. “I wouldn’t say they were great drives, but they were good enough.”

He was much better a week later against the Rams, one of the NFL’s weaker teams. Now, after a bye week, he’s preparing for Sunday’s game with the slumping Buffalo Bills (3-5), a team the Patriots already have beaten 52-28.

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