More Sports Nerdery

While basking in the glow of the Sox magnificent triumph over the Indians and the Patriots absolutely RIDICULOUS blowout of the Dolphins, I spent the morning pondering a few things which quite frankly, are blowing my mind.

* Thru seven games, Tom Brady has thrown 27 touchdown passes to 2 interceptions. In three post-season starts, Josh Beckett has 26 strikouts to 1 walk. Eerie.

* Tom Brady is currently on pace to not only break, but OBLITERATE the NFL single-season records for completion percentage (Brady: 73.8, record: 70.6), passing touchdowns (Brady 61, record: 49), and passer rating (Brady: 137.9, record: 121.1).

* Brady has been an absolute model of consistentcy over his career. In six seasons as a full-time starter (with one of those seasons being only 14 starts), he has put up almost identical numbers each season, regardless of the team’s fortunes or the quality of talent he had surrounding him. Consider the following:

His his single-season completion percentage has been within FOUR percentage points each season (low of 60.2, high of 63.9). Even allowing for a drop-off, he will most likely finish 2007 in the vicinity of SIX percentage points higher than his career BEST (or about 7 1/2 higher than his career agerage).

His touchdown totals (in the five seasons in which he started a full 16 games) were never more than a difference of 5 (low 23, high 28). Barring something unforseen, he will eclipse his career high in week 8 – HALF A SEASON – and finish with a total that is roughly DOUBLE his career average.

His passer rating has never fluctuated more than 7 points (low 85.7, high 92.6). He should finish this year about 25 points higher than his previous best.

Also, in six seasons he has thrown 12 interceptions 3 times and 14 interceptions 3 times. At his current pace he’ll throw 5, and in reality probably won’t throw more than 8 or 9.

Which is just incredibly scary when you think that coming into the season he was already considered a can’t-miss Hall-of-Famer. Yikes.

* All you really need to know about the emotional roller coaster that every Red Sox fan rides can be seen in the following:

Red Sox playoff series since 1999

2003 vs Oakland – went the distance (won)
2003 vs New York – went the distance (lost)
2004 vs Anaheim – sweep (won)
2004 vs New York – went the distance (won)
2004 vs St. Louis – sweep (won)
2005 vs Chicago – sweep (lost)
2007 vs Anaheim – sweep (won)
2007 vs Cleveland – went the distance (won)

Think about that: of the last 8 playoff series the Sox have played, four ended in clean sweeps, four went the full compliment of games. There were none of those emotionally easy series where one team dominates but the other team saves face with a win or two. Everything was either the ultimate high (sweep and win), the ultimate low (sweep and lose), or the ultimate heart-attack (winner-take-all final game).

The frightening follow-up is that ever since Aaron Bleeping Boone hit the walk-off homer to end the 2003 ALCS, the Sox have done the following in the playoffs:

won 3 games
lost 3 games
won 8 games
lost 3 games
won 4 games
lost 3 games
won 3 games

Yup. That’s what it’s like being a Red Sox fan. Up and down, but never in the middle.


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