After throwing only two interception in his team’s first 10 games, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has now through six in the last five, including at least one in each game. So how can he reverse that trend as the most important games of the season approach?
“I think it’s just making smart decisions,” Brady told reporters on Friday. “Whenever they get their hands on it, it’s not a good thing for the offense. Putting it in places where only we can touch it or we can catch it is important, especially understanding the situations in the games. We’ve been able to overcome a few of those but, obviously, like at Miami, we didn’t overcome them and ball possession is going to be extremely important in this game [against the Jets]. We always try to do no turnovers. That’s a good goal for us. That’s what we should have every week. I can certainly do a better job than I’ve done protecting it and it’s going to be really important.”
It’s going to be important for some philosophical reasons that Brady addressed, which are obvious but nevertheless critical.
“Turnovers have a great correlation towards winning or losing,” he said. “So when you give the ball up, obviously, it limits your opportunity to score and it increases their opportunity. It’s all risk-reward for a quarterback. I mean, I’m never trying to throw them. Sometimes you try to make a throw and they make a good play. Sometimes you try to make a throw, they don’t make much of a play and they still come up with the ball because I made a really bad decision. If they make a great play, then they make a great play. But you try to eliminate the ones where you just really hand them possession of the ball. We just have to do a great job of it this game and moving forward. We can’t do anything about the past. We’re just going to have to look forward and do a better job of this game, and next game and as far as we go.”
The Patriots are still good enough to overcome an interception; the only game they lost in the last five came when Brady threw two interceptions. (He threw a fairly significant interception during a fairly significant game in February, and things worked out.) As he gets farther and farther past his 40th birthday, it makes sense to monitor whether Father Time has finally whacked Brady over the head with his weapon of choice.