Brady vs Jags: another day for the record books

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 26, 2009

Jacksonville learned little about stopping the Patriots passing attack since the last time the two teams met, back in the 2007 playoffs.
On that night, in a 31-20 New England victory, Tom Brady completed 26 of 28 passes, setting an all-time NFL record (regular season or playoffs) for accuracy in a game (92.9%).
He picked right up where he left off Sunday: Brady completed 23 of 26 passes (88.5%) for 267 yards, 10.3 YPA, 4 TD (three to Randy Moss), 0 INT and a 149.0 passer rating.
The Patriots won, 35-7. Both games stand among the 10 most accurate passing days in pro football history (see list below; since 1960).
Here's Brady's performance in his last two games against the Jaguars:
  • 49 of 54 (90.7%), 529 yards, 9.8 YPA, 7 TD, 0 INT, 147.1 passer rating.
These numbers come on the heels of our controversial look last week on at the quality of the pass defenses the NFL's elite quarterbacks have faced this year. We made two assertions in that piece: that Brady had outperformed every quarterback in the NFL based upon the quality of the pass defenses he's faced this year and that he, Moss (4 catches, 45 yards, 3 TD) and Wes Welker (13 catches, 138 yards) would produce big days against Jacksonville. All came through with flying colors.
The story is not just the greatness of Brady and his battery mates. His proficient day is also a product of the futility of the Jacksonville pass defense.
Three times in their last 32 games, from their loss to the Patriots in the 2007 divisional playoffs through Sunday, the Jaguars pass defense has surrendered three of the 10 most accurate passing days in NFL history. Jacksonville surrendered the most accurate passing day in regular-season history to Kurt Warner and the Cardinals earlier this season.
Here's a look at the top 10 most accurate passing days in NFL history in all games (regular season and postseason). The NFL requires a min. 20 attempts to qualify for "official" records. (Stats compiled with the aid of the Game Finder.)
1. Tom Brady (New England) – Jan. 12, 2008 – 26 of 28 (92.9%), 31-20 win vs. Jacksonville*
2. Kurt Warner (Arizona) – Sept. 20, 2009 – 24 of 26 (92.3%) – 31-17 win at Jacksonville
3. Vinny Testaverde (Cleveland) – Dec. 26, 1993 – 21 of 23 (91.3%) – 42-14 win at L.A. Rams
4. Ken Anderson (Cincinnati) – Nov. 11, 1974 – 20 of 22 (90.9%) – 17-10 win vs. Pittsburgh
5. Lynn Dickey (Green Bay) – Dec. 13, 1981 – 19 of 21 (90.5%) – 35-7 win at New Orleans
6. Steve Young (San Francisco) – Oct. 20, 1991 – 18 of 20 (90%) – 35-3 win over Detroit
7. Rich Gannon (Oakland) – Nov. 11, 2002 – 34 of 38 (89.5%) – 34-10 win at Denver
8. Mark Brunell (Washington) – Sept. 24, 2006 – 24 of 27 (88.9%) – 31-15 win at Houston
9t. Tom Brady (New England) – Dec. 27, 2009 – 23 of 26 (88.5%) – 35-7 win vs. Jacksonville
9t. Chris Chandler (Houston) – Sept. 24, 1995 – 23 of 26 (88.5%) – 38-28 win at Cincinnati
* playoff game
The group provides us a perfect case study of the importance of efficient passing stats (passer rating, YPA, completion percentage) compared with the utter meaninglessness of big-volume passing stats.
You might remember that just last week, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became just the 10th quarterback in history to pass for 500 yards in a game. (We published the entire list here.) Brady this week compiled the 10th game in history in which a player completed more than 88 percent of his passes in a game.
The 10 500-yard passers went just 5-5. The 10 88-percent-plus passers went 10-0 and mostly won in blowouts.

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