NCsports: Tom Brady and his New Weapons - NinosCorner™ Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

NCsports: Tom Brady and his New Weapons


NCsports: Tom Brady and his New Weapons
by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle
If you've been sleeping under a rock today, you may have missed the fact that Tom Brady, 20-year-NFL veteran and New England Patriot's quarterback, has agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  According to Bleacher Report, Brady will earn more than $30 million per season.

Aside from the money, Brady will be inheriting one of his most talented set of receivers and tight ends he's been able to work with since his near undefeated 2007 season with Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Although, statistically, this might have been his best season, I believe Brady's most versatile offenses were initiated at the beginning of the 2010 season, when the Patriots drafted two outstanding tight ends to be accompanied by one hell-of-a wide receiver.

In 2010, the Patriots drafted Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.  Although the Patriot's offense had more yards in 2009 with Randy Moss and Wes Welker on the team, the 2010 team was more efficient and balanced than the previous season.  Brady led the NFL and passed for 36 touchdowns in 2010, as opposed to 28 touchdowns in 2009.  Brady also threw only 4 interceptions in 2010, which is 9 interceptions fewer than the previous 2009 season.  The 2011 Patriot's offense was even more efficient than the previous two.  Brady passed for 5,235 yards, a career high which bested his 2009 season by 837 yards, and his 2012 second best passing season total by 408 yards.

Alright...alright.  I know you're wondering why I'm throwing all these stats at you.  Well, the answer is that Brady has not had the weapons that he will have in Tampa Bay since those 2010 and beyond seasons.  Brady now has the likes of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at wide receiver; as well as O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate at tight end.

If we're just looking at the wide receivers, Chris Godwin finished as the NinosCornerSports #1 most efficient wideout in the 2019 season, posting a 74.54 NinosCorner Number (NCN), which was nearly 8 points higher than the nearest competitor.  Fellow Bucs wide receiver, Mike Evans, posted a 60.38 NCN, registering him as the 8th most efficient wide receiver in the NFL.  Furthermore, Breshad Perriman, who is currently a free agent, but was Tampa Bay's third wide receiver option last season, posted a 54.01 NCN, ranking him as the #21 most efficient wide receiver in the NFL.  Brady’s signing could sway Perriman, the speedy 4.2ish wideout, to sign back with the Bucs rather than explore free agency.  Tampa Bay's wide receiver talent is an enormous upgrade from what Brady had at his disposal in the previous season.  The Patriot's highest ranked wide receiver, in terms of efficiency in 2019, was Julian Edelman, who ranked as the #42 most efficient wideout in the league.  The next most efficient receiver in New England was Mohamed Sanu, who ranked #65.  This receiver corps that Brady is inheriting in Tampa Bay is far, far better than what he's seen since the 2009 season that featured the aforementioned Welker and Moss.

The tight end situation is also in a much better state in Tampa Bay than New England.  For starters, the end-of-season NCN for tight ends only accounts for those who have at least 32 targets.  The Patriots did not have one single tight end who reached that target quantity.  On the other hand, the Bucs had 2 tight ends, OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, who logged at least 32 targets, as well as at least 34 receptions each.  Howard ranked as the #28 most efficient NFL tight end in 2019, according to NinosCornerSports, while Brate ranked #30.  These numbers may seem low, but I believe that both could have been used more effectively than they were this past season.  In fact, OJ Howard finished as the #3 ranked tight end in the 2018 season, achieving a NCN of 63.81.  When Brady's offense had at least one efficient tight end, his team's offensive philosophy changed drastically, creating the refined offense that propelled Brady to 5 more Super Bowl appearances and 3 more championships on the backend of his career.  The combination of Howard and Brate can lift this offense to heights Brady hasn't seen since his 2010+ seasons.

The 2020 Tampa Bay season should be a fun one to watch.  With the infusion of talent now surrounding Brady, we can finally settle the debate of whether Brady is the GOAT because of the system surrounding him, or whether it is truly because he is "no-kidding" the GOAT player (not quarterback) of all-time. We shall see.

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