Sensor Data Places Tom Brady Below Top-10 Elite Deep-Ball Passers

June 3rd, 2022

Joe largely respects and appreciates the objective nature of the NFL’s official NextGen stats, data derived from sensors in equipment and concrete mathmetical formulas.

This week, the league’s spreadsheet nerds set out to determine the 10 most effective deep ball throwers. Quarterback throws of 20 “air yards” or more qualified. So dumping a ball off to a running back who scampers for 21 yards doesn’t count, and neither does a 16-yard pass to a reciever who adds five yards of YAC.

Tom Brady did not make the list, though he was lumped in with three other QBs just outside the top-10 tier.

Josh Allen led the way, but most surprising to Joe was former Falcons QB Matt Ryan checking in at No. 2. You can read the complex report here.

On deep shots, Ryan was 20-of-42 for 718 yards, with 3:1 TD-to-INT ratio and a 107.7 passer rating

This sort of backs up Joe’s own research on new Bucs receiver Russell Gage’s potential ceiling in Tampa. It’s very rare for a receiver to improve when he leaves Matt Ryan’s nest.

As for Brady’s deep ball, Joe wouldn’t trade him for anyone. Sorry, NextGen.

48 Responses to “Sensor Data Places Tom Brady Below Top-10 Elite Deep-Ball Passers”

  1. SB Says:

    Didn’t he lead the league in deep passes last yr?
    I am cornfused.

  2. GOB Says:

    I’ve noticed Brady becoming more dependent on high arcing throws, especially on deep balls. His accuracy on those deep balls has suffered as a result. He’s now an average deep ball thrower overall. He has lost some arm strength over the years. The numbers show that. He’s still great where it counts, which is the short and intermediate passing game. on level 1 throws (on a line) 10 yards or under. Brady is at the top of the league. He’s also near the top in level 2 throws (over LBs and in front of DBs) it’s not like he’s below average on deep throws, just average. For a man who has made his career on the horizontal passing game, it’s nothing to worry about.

  3. SKBucsFan Says:

    Who cares? I woukd rather TB12 march it down the field and keep our defense on the bench than watch them implode and not double cover the top receiver in the game. Ya I’m still bitter. Lol

  4. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    I guess Brady only has an “average at best” ring collection too, then. AmIRight???

  5. Bucsfan13 Says:

    It seems like Joe has been hinting around that Ryan is better than Brady. I guess we should’ve traded for Ryan🙄. Remember, Gage would be the third option in our offense. He will probably replace AB at the Z position. I believed he played mainly at the X position in ATL and was Ryan’s biggest target outside of Pitts. I can’t imagine he will see as many targets in our offense as we have Godwin and Evans. Finally, Gage had chemistry with Ryan that Brady has yet to develop with Gage. Your disingenuous argument comparing Sanu’s arrival to NE was ridiculous. Sanu at that point was washed and no where near the skill level when he played in ATL. He also arrived in the middle of the season.

    I really appreciate Joe’s research. You cited Sanu and Taylor Gabriel of all people who’s production dropped after leaving ATL. Could you tell me how many receivers have succeeded since they left Brady?Are they even still in the league? Also, how many TDs has Ryan completed with one of the best receivers ever in Julio Jones? Seems a bit low to me. Since Brady joined the team Evans has enjoyed the most TDs in his career. I believe you wrote an article about it.

  6. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @GOB. His velocity was still strong, and that’s what really matters when you’re asking him to throw the deep curls and seam routes, which is big in this offense. I’m not worried about deep throws down the field. He and Evans have established good chemistry on those go routes, and that’s what matters. The offense features a lot of go routes. I don’t mind the lollipop throws. I’ve also seen Wilson and Rodgers make high arcing throws. In training camp, I want to see if his velocity has declined. Velocity is more important than power throws.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    Three-step quick passes are not conducive to deep balls.

  8. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @SkBucsfan. You’re absolutely right. Brady is an absolute surgeon. Logan Ryan called him the most patient QB in history. He will kill you with a thousand cuts. I for one wouldn’t mind more methodical drives down the field. I don’t care if we have 20 screen passes on a drive. If it results in points, who cares! Some fans are more worried about a damn highlight show.

    Long drives will also help our defense. There were too many three and outs where we were trying to take too many shots down the field. There’s a reason why Bowles specifically said he will have more input on the offense in 3rd and 1 situations. He knows the deep shots in those situations are inefficient. Moving the chains is more important.

  9. D-Rome Says:

    Doesn’t matter. Brady led the NFL in completions, yards, and TDs while competing an astonishing 67.5% with that kind of load. He should have been MVP.

  10. D-Rok Says:

    That long TD pass to Evans in the Rams playoff game was a thing of beauty. After that play, I thought to myself, “Brady STILL has great touch even on long balls.”

  11. PassingThru Says:

    The deep ball has never really been an elite Brady strength. Is he very good at it? Yes, but you can find better in the NFL.

    But there’s far more to being a QB than just having elite, deep throw ability. Brady reads the field and takes what the defense gives him. An elite QB is one who can move the chains, control the game’s tempo, and score. That’s Tommy Boy, and that’s why he remains the best ever at his craft.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    I hear there’s a better, more accurate measure of success for QB play. WINS!

  13. WillieG Says:

    Joe, please forwarding this to Brady. Add some fuel to his fire. Thanks.

  14. Marine Buc Says:

    At times TB12 throws deep balls that have a very low probability of completion just to make the opposing DBs poo their pants. This keeps them honest and makes them respect the deep routes which clears the way for the throws underneath to Gronk, Godwin and the RBs.

    People wonder how Gronk gets so open on just a simple straight line seem route.

    This is how…

  15. GOB Says:

    Bucsfan13, you are correct on one point. Wilson is #2 as far as high arcing throws the past three seasons, on deep balls. Brady’s velocity has declined. If it hadn’t, then why are his deep throws more high arcing? It’s okay to admit he’s lost some arm strength. I said don’t worry about it. Brady hasn’t lost any noticable velocity where it matters most, which is short and intermediate passing. To suggest he hasn’t lost velocity on deep throws, is simply not accurate. If you don’t believe the stat nerds, use your eyes. Go watch some Brady/Moss highlights. He can’t do that anymore, and his deep ball accuracy has declined. It doesn’t mean he can’t complete long throws. He just isn’t as accurate as he once was on those throws. Taking the top of the defense isn’t necessary to win anyway. Is it nice to have a cannon like Josh Allen? Of course, but it’s overrated.

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    *seam not seem…lol

  17. Letsives Says:

    Hey, Joe falls outside the Top 10 in least disdainful of TB12 sports writers! You and Tom Brady are now BOTH outside the Top 10 of something. Congrats Joe!

  18. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @GOB I agree he’s lost some arm strength. I just disagree that the other are in big decline. It’s not just physical. He still has that big brain of his. He’s nowhere near Manning’s level in his last year or Brees. I think he’s self aware enough to know what he can or cannot do. He and Manning are the biggest rivals. It would drive him crazy to go out like Manning.

    I personally thought he should’ve retired after the last SB. He absolutely had nothing else to prove and he would’ve went out on top. This team isn’t SB material this year. He’s just chasing a high right now. He’s addicted to football like crack, and Gisele and company have enabled his addiction.

  19. Whistlingdixie Says:

    HeyaJoe! Greetings from Andorra!

    Your ability to hide your disdain for Tom Brady just fell outside the Top 10! Must feel good to be underrated. You had some sneaky hate but you need to be more careful or your readers will catch wind!

  20. Wade Landry Says:

    Matty Ice….nice…good guy…great career…(a little tentative when it counts)…best arms..Allen ..Mahomes….and best of all ..Rodgers(Brady’s golf buddies)….but Tom Terrific/Capt. America greatest competitor….ever…he used to piss me off when he played with the Bellicheats….sure am glad he flew south…outside of Moss and Gronk…look at his receivers in N.E…..he makes everybody better around him..Brady will be President…❤️✌🏽🤟🏽✊🏾🇺🇸

  21. SOEbuc Says:


    Seriously. It might be a marketing scheme by the NFL every year that puts Brady as an underdog. Eats that sh!t with his Subway guac foot long. They better buy some Hurtz life insurance cus Brady is gonna kill ‘em…I’m aware of how corny that was, but he strives for nothing but a W, and he’s still good at it.

  22. GOB Says:

    Wade, so before the laundry change, you called Brady a cheater? I get it. Here’s the truth. Brady deflated footballs, hence he’s a cheater. You can’t have it both ways. If Bill is a cheater, so is Brady. Did Brady not benefit from all the cheating? How many titles do you want to take away?
    The Patriots were picked on for doing what everyone else was doing. Go look at the punitive punishments. Did Peyton Manning get labeled a cheater? The man had HGH delivered to his house, and blamed it on his wife. The Colts cranked up the temperature in a dome. The falcons pumped in crowd noise (which is a hell of a lot more egregious than taking air out of the ball) and got off easy. If you’re going to use the silly term “belicheat” at least have the honesty to use the same term for Brady. By the way no evidence exists that the Patriots taped the Rams walk through. The reporter who broke the story, had to walk it back. Just because Marshall faulk and the indoor QB bag boy are sore losers, proves nothing.

  23. GOB Says:

    Oh yeah, and Rodgers admitted to actually liking more air in the football than is allowed. Is he a cheater too?

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well, this settles it….time to move on to Trask……

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Yeah but the difference is when the game is on the line and you need a big play who do you want out there?

    This is why people say stats are for losers. It doesnt matter what the stats are Matt Ryan is gagging away games in 4th quarters.

    That throw to Grayson against the Jets, the one to Evans against the Rams, the one before halftime. Thats the difference. Heck Brady iced the Patriots game with back to back dimes to Brown and Antinio choked and nearly lost us the game.

    Thats why team wins is still an offical stat for QBs.

  26. GOB Says:

    Bucsfan13, I never said Brady has lost any noticable velocity on short or intermediate passes, just his long ball. Of course he’s not Peyton Manning at the end. That guy could barely grip a football, and relied almost entirely on his brain. Poor Drew Brees had to throw the ball with so much anticipation, the DB’s had as much change of making the catch as his targets. Brady has the benefit of still having both. He can still make all the necessary throws, and can dissect a defense with his knowledge. I agree, the bucs are a Superbowl ready roster, mostly because of Brady. If they don’t win, I guarantee it won’t be because Brady has lost some arm strength.

  27. Biff Barker Says:


    Please remember we all endured the TB Bucs cesspool of QB’s for an eternity. Freeman and JayMiss being the bottom of the landfill. This article is lost on many here. Stats don’t matter… the only number Tommy cares about is the number SB rings.

    I really appreciate our offense and the FO has done a nice job dealing with changes this offseason. Let’s just enjoy a few years of winning.

  28. Boston Says:

    @GOB Why high air under the football? It gives the receiver a better look and a better angle to catch it. On the deflated footballs. No one did anything. The laws of physics dictate the pressure. As the football cools down the pressure goes down. It does not matter what people think. The Ideal Gas Law. Physics is physics and it does not care about you or Brady or me or a bunch of uneducated people at the NFL.

  29. Listnfrmafar Says:

    It’s tough to read GOB’s posts, he writes like he knows these players or studies them in depth for a living. Other than 2007 when have you ever seen Brady rely on the deep ball. How can he be losing arm strength when the last two years he’s led in almost all QB stats? FYI, what was Brady’s last TD pass?

  30. Buccos Says:

    At the end of a big game when you need a score to win I wouldn’t want anyone else throwing that deep ball

  31. GOB Says:

    I guess the truth is no longer allowed here.

  32. GOB Says:

    I fail to see why I’m being silenced.

  33. GOB Says:

    We can’t talk about deflate gate?

  34. GOB Says:

    Listnfrmafar, the stats on Brady’s long ball accuracy are fair game. Joe brought it up, not me. If you think he’s as accurate on long throws as he was 14 years ago, you’re wrong. The stats don’t support it. I never said he is dependent on the deep pass, quite the contrary. Brady’s bread and butter has always been the short and intermediate throws. The TD to Evans is one freaking play. You know better. Brady is an average deep ball thrower now. Nothing wrong with that. Like I said, he can still make all the necessary throws. WTF are we even arguing about? You folks confound me sometimes

  35. GOB Says:

    @Boston, go read the text messages

  36. GOB Says:

    @Boston, any time you want to discuss the merits of deflate gate, whenever it’s allowed here, bring it on. Like the terminator said, I have detailed files

  37. Austin Says:

    Dudes dropping dimes in buckets lol

  38. Listnfrmafar Says:

    GOB, I have watched Brady for his entire professional career. Other than the avoidance of the big hit, he is playing as well if not better than he ever has. You also said Gronk was washed up, yet prior to him fracturing 5 ribs and a punctured lung his stats were as good as any in the league. Coming back and playing was short of a miracle, yet you expect him to jump in right where he left off. If he doesn’t he’s washed up in your eyes. This is why I don’t value your input.

  39. GOB Says:

    Listnfrmafar, sorry you feel that way about ole GOB. I value your opinion here. Gronk has endured tremendous punishment. When healthy (big when) he’s still quite effective. He can’t be depended on.

    Bucs TEs had 10 catches on 29 targets in the games gronk missed last year. Nobody loves Gronk more than me. He’s the greatest TE to ever play, and one of the best weapons in the history of the league. They are all one hit away, but to tackle Gronk you must go at his thighs and knees. I expect him to play this year. I also think he’ll play around 10 games. I have serious doubts he’ll be available in the post season.

    How many weeks after the rib/lung injury was the divisional loss? He had 4 catches on 10 targets, and a pile of flat out drops.
    Licht’s answer was do nothing in FA, and draft a developmental TE. Counting on Gronk is very very risky. Simply because you disagree with my opinion, doesn’t make it any less valuable to the conversation. I played this game at a high level.

  40. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    One thing that separates THIS site from the others is the astonishing knowledge of several of the posters. A good many of you could be working for ESPN. I salute you.

  41. HC Grover Says:

    Brady is #1 in the most important stat. Knowing how to win the Super Bowl. The rest is just noise from lame writers. He throws them open.

  42. Eddie Marz Says:

    Since Matt Ryan threw the bal 560 times last year, 42 attempts represent .075% of his throws. What did he do the other .925 %? I’ll stick with Brady. LOL GOBUCS!

  43. matthew veal Says:

    Demarker points for Brady? Still elite.

    The 3 step drop is the opposite of trasks game at uf, his plays were often ten seconds or more before the opening came.

    Fa I r questions. Love both guys

  44. Buc1987 Says:

    It’s a Pats fanfest in here again…..ugh!

    You guys suck…do you know that?

  45. Bucbucgoose Says:

    High arcing throws allow rhe receiver to get under it and if done properly is the best way to throw it deep. Pretty difficult for a DB to play a ball that’s 5 yards over his head and drops in the WR’s hands vs a ball streaking over his shoulder to the WR.

    Evans and Brady just seem better some games than others, idk if Brady thinks Evans is a bit faster or he doesn’t have the strength to be as accurate and is putting more on the ball to get it there.

    Brady is still deadly on 15+ yards over the middle to a crossing receiver which is way more fun anyway.

  46. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I’m confused, is there another way to throw a deep ball than to lob it up and have it drop into the receivers hands?

  47. Stone crab sam Says:

    Yada yada yada. I’ll take ole Tommy 7 rings over the field. Everytime.

  48. Boston Says:

    @GOB try getting out of a freshman physics class before you bring it. The laws of physics have never been violated because thay can’t be.