INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The Dolphins Vs. Tom Brady

Posted Oct 25, 2013

Sunday’s game will mark the 23rd time the Dolphins have faced Brady

The Dolphins travel to Gillette Stadium this weekend when they will face the difficult task of trying to stop — or least contain — quarterback Tom Brady.

This has not been a typical Tom Brady season so far, with his numbers through seven games the worst they’ve been since his rookie season in 2000 when he appeared in only one game and attempted only three passes.

Despite New England’s 5-2 record, Brady has completed only 55.4 percent of his passes after never finishing under 60.2 percent since his rookie season. His passer rating stands at 75.3, more than 20 points below his career average of 95.7. Since posting a 42.4 rating after completing 1 of 3 passes in 2000, Brady has never finished with anything lower than 83.9, and that came in 2008 when he was injured in the first half of the season opener.

Brady also is on pace to finish with 3,904 yards and 17 touchdown passes. The yardage total would be his lowest since 2010 when he finished with 3,900 and the 17 TD passes would set a new career low for a complete season, which currently is the 18 he threw in 2001 when he replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe for the Patriots.

All those numbers aside, Brady’s history suggests he’s bound to start putting up bigger numbers, particularly since he has tight end Rob Gronkowski back to help him.

Sunday’s game will mark the 23rd time the Dolphins have faced Brady and — like every other team in the league — they’ve had their trouble with him at times. But the Dolphins have had some success as well. In fact, they’ve been one of the better teams when it comes to defending Brady.

The one stat that stands out is this one: Tom Brady has three career games where he attempted at least 15 passes and failed to throw for 100 yards. All three of those games were against the Dolphins:

Oct. 7, 2001 — Brady went 12-for-24 for 86 yards as the Dolphins won 30-10 at Miami.
Oct. 10, 2004 — Brady went 7-for-19 for 76 yards, although the Patriots still won 24-10 at home.
Dec. 10, 2006, Brady was 12-of-25 for 78 yards as the Dolphins won 21-0 at Miami.

That last game was one of only two shutouts Brady has suffered in his career, the other one coming at Buffalo in the 2003 season opener.

Of Brady’s 17 lowest yardage totals in games with at least 15 pass attempts, six came against the Dolphins.

Brady’s single-game high for interceptions is four, which has happened six times. Naturally, the Dolphins were involved in one of those games, the shocking 29-28 Monday night victory in 2004 when Miami came into the game with a 2-11 record and the Patriots were 12-1 on their way to a second consecutive Super Bowl title.

Brady has thrown 39 career touchdown passes against the Dolphins and been intercepted 18 times. That ratio of 2.17 touchdown passes for every interception is good, but it’s actually Brady’s fourth-worst against AFC opponents, with only Baltimore, Cleveland and Kansas City doing better than Miami in that department.

In his 22 starts against Miami, Brady has averaged 219.4 yards through the air. That’s his third-lowest average against an opponent. He has averaged 196.7 against Green Bay and 215.5 against Detroit, although he has faced the Packers only three times and the Lions only four times.

Another interesting Brady tidbit is that he has punted once in his career and he has caught one pass. Both, of course, happened against the Dolphins. The catch, good for 23 yards, came at New England in December 2001 and the 36-yard punt came at New England two years later.

Brady’s career totals against the Dolphins include a 60.2 completion percentage and a 91.1 passer rating, both below his career averages.

The Dolphins’ 18 interceptions against Brady are spread among 15 players, with Patrick Surtain, Sammy Knight and Vontae Davis leading the way with two apiece. Knight is the only Dolphins player to have picked off Brady twice in the same game, a feat he accomplished in that Monday night game in 2004.

Interestingly, safeties have had ball-hawking success against Brady, with eight of the Dolphins’ 18 picks coming from that position. Along with Knight, other Miami safeties to pick off Brady were Brock Marion, Arturo Freeman, Yeremiah Bell, Travares Tillman, Lance Schulters and Reshad Jones, who did it last season.

The only Dolphins defensive lineman with an interception against Brady is Jared Odrick, who picked off the Patriots quarterback during the 2011 season opener. When it comes to the pass rush, the Dolphins have sacked Brady 44 times in 22 games, an average of exactly two per game. Miami’s single-game high for sacks against Brady is four, which the Dolphins have done four times, most recently in the teams’ meeting in Miami last season.

The Dolphins also sacked Brady four times when they shut out the Patriots in Miami in December 2006. Among current Dolphins players, Cameron Wake leads the way with 5.5 sacks in eight career games against Brady and the Patriots.
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