In the history of the NFL, from the leather helmet days until 2015, no team had ever thrown fewer than five interceptions in a season. Then came the 2016 Patriots.
New England, incredibly, threw just two interceptions all season, shattering a longstanding NFL record of five in a season, a record that several teams had tied but no teams had beaten. Even in the old days of 12-game seasons and teams only throwing 10 passes a game, no team had ever thrown fewer than five interceptions in a season. Until the Patriots, this season.
Tom Brady threw both of the Patriots’ interceptions this season, and with just two in 432 pass attempts he had what may have been his best season yet. During Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension, Jimmy Garoppolo threw 63 passes without an interception, while Jacoby Brissett threw 55 passes without an interception.
The Vikings threw only five interceptions this season (all by Sam Bradford), which tied the previous NFL record. But the Vikings did it in an offense that relied almost exclusively on short, safe passes, which is why Minnesota averaged just 9.9 yards per completion, tied for last in the NFL. The Patriots averaged 12.1 yards per completion, tied for fifth in the NFL.
What Brady & Co. did this season was incredible, and a big part of the reason that they’re the favorites to win the Super Bowl.