Before we get into statistics, analysis and predictions there has never been a quarterback that has 2-500 yd games. Also note that the ranks given below are from the 2010 season, and as we all know this season is different with players getting older, roster changes, etc.
When Tom Brady threw to Wes Welker for the 99 yd TD to eclipse the 500 yd mark against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, not only did this place Brady and Welker into the record books, but also got some people thinking whether a repeat performance may be possible. When you take a look at the receiving crew Brady has at his disposal: Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and the backfield opposing defensive coordinators and players have a lot to worry about. You can have a couple shut out corners, such as the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Jets, but that only solves 2 of the receivers that Brady has the option to go to. The Tight Ends, Gronk and Hernandez will be the ones that give the biggest fits to these defensive players, and will create mismatches severe enough to gain some serious yardage.
We will dissect the schedule and post the 2010 ranks and averages and see if this may be a feasible feat. Note that this analysis is based on current rosters and does not take into effect that injuries to main players may occur. As you can imagine, late season ‘predictions’ are less accurate as anything can happen in 16 weeks.
Week 2: San Diego Chargers :: 177.8 PYA :: 1st in NFL
San Diego comes to New England having allowed 39 yds to Donovan McNabb. While Brady is of higher caliber then McNabb, San Diego has a great pass defense. Being in New England will help the Patriots, it is unlikely that the defense will give up much more then 300 max unless Brady has to go into pass only mode (whether catch up or shootout)
Max Predicted: ~350 yds :: Prediction: 250-275 yds
Week 3: @ Buffalo :: 192.0 PYA :: 3rd in NFL
While I figured the Bills would defeat the Chiefs, the 41 points laid upon them was surprising. As with San Diego of last season, Brady didnt put up ridiculous passing yardage, but an efficient day. While Buffalo looks to be a better overall team then last year (although Kansas City is not the gauge to set the standard) This is likely to be similar to the San Diego game of this season in terms of final passing stats.
Max Predicted: ~325 yds :: Prediction: 265-290 yds
Week 4: @ Oakland :: 189.2 PYA :: 2nd in NFL
For the third consecutive week, the Patriots will face a top 3 defense in terms of passing yards allowed. Oakland however does not have Nnamdi Asomugha this season and Orton threw for over 300 against them. While Brady could have a field day against Oakland, a 500 yd performance is unlikely to happen.
Max Predicted: ~400 yds :: Prediction: 320-340 yds
Week 5: New York Jets :: 200.6 PYA :: 6th in NFL
If Brady was to put up 500 on another team this year, Patriot fans have to hope its against the Jets. While that fantasy is sure to get any Patriots fan riled up, the reality is its simply not going to happen, barring some serious injuries to Revis and Cromartie. Patriot fans have a reasonable expectation to think the Patriots will be out for blood, and Brady to rub his weapons into the Jets faces.
Max Predicted: ~375 yds :: Prediction: 300-335 yds
Week 6: Dallas Cowboys :: 243.4 PYA :: 26th in NFL
Now is where things get interesting. Dallas gave up over 330 yds to Mark Sanchez, most while the Jets were playing catch up and throwing almost exclusively. I dont think the Patriots will be playing catch up on the Cowboys, and this could be one of Brady’s best chance to have a 500 performance.
Max Predicted: ~475 yds :: Prediction: 375-415 yds
Week 7: Bye Week
Week 8: @ Pittsburgh :: 214.1 PYA :: 12th in NFL
Tom had 350 yds on the Steelers last season, and had the Patriots ahead by as many as 20 early in the 4th quarter. 500 is out of the question here as well, but should have a good day coming off the bye week nonetheless. This is one game I can see the Patriots losing this season, but in a close game.
Max Predicted: ~375 yds :: Prediction: 295-325 yds
Week 9: New York Giants :: 210.6 PYA :: 10th in NFL
The Giants got off to a bad start this season, giving up over 300 yds passing to Rex Grossman. One would think the sting from their Super Bowl upset will still be remembered, and will exact revenge on this day.
Max Predicted: ~400 yds :: Prediction: 315-340 yds
Week 10: @ New York Jets
Patriots play in Met Life this time around so the offense will have a harder time. The Patriots will try to sweep the Jets this season, diminishing their playoff hopes.
Max Predicted: ~325 yds :: Prediction: 230-270 yds
Week 11: Kansas City :: 219.9 PYA :: 17th in NFL
Sorry Chief fans, but this has to be the most overrated team in the NFL. The Chiefs may have won their division last season, but played a 4th place team’s schedule. This time around, they play the big boys of the league. This is another game where Brady will have an outside chance, and should be interesting how Cassel fares against his old team.
Max Predicted: ~415 yds :: Prediction: 350-380 yds
Week 12: @ Philadelphia :: 216.8 PYA ::15th in NFL
This is the other game I can see the Patriots losing a close battle to, depending how Vick is holding up. Now with Nnamdi on hand, the Tight Ends will have to play an enormous role in this game. Ocho and Branch will be well covered, and Welker could see some tight coverage as well. Still Brady has Gronk and Hernandez to keep the Patriots in this game.
Max Predicted: ~325 yds :: Prediction: 265-290 yds
Week 13: Indianapolis :: 214.6 PYA :: 13th in NFL
Before the season I saw a shootout, with the Patriots holding on due to being at home. Now this game could be ugly. With the defense being on the field far more often then in recent years, by this time of the year they may be too worn out to put up an effective resistance. Possible chance for 500.
Max Predicted: ~450 yds :: Prediction: 335-355 yds
Week 14: @ Washington :: 261.7 PYA :: 31st in NFL
Washington was one of 2 teams worst against the pass then the Patriots. As bad as Eli Manning was, he still put up 268 against the Redskins. With the Patriots likely still in the hunt for 1st seed, Washington could be on the bad end of the stick here.
Max Predicted: ~410 yds :: Prediction: 325-345 yds
Week 15: Miami
Miami comes to New England Christmas Eve, certainly not the best scenario for a warm weather team. Brady excels in cold weather, though a 500 yd repeat is highly unlikely.
Max Predicted: ~350 yds :: Prediction: 295-315 yds
Week 16: Buffalo
The final week should see the Patriots resting their starters somewhere midway through the 3rd Q, though a full game isn’t uncommon. Brady will likely have a good game for his limited time, but unless he throws 80 yd TDs in all possessions in the first half, 500 isn’t here.
Max Predicted: ~250 yds :: Prediction: 195-225 yds
While no quarterback has achieved 2-500 games in a career, it is highly unlikely Brady will be able to do so this season if at all again in his career. There are a couple games that may have the looks of a repeat, and should net a couple more 400+ yd performances. Brady should have a stellar season once again, accumulating ~4500 yds with ~40 TD and ~7 INT while being a lead candidate for MVP once again.