When he finally does decides to call it a career. . .something that he says will happen when he starts to "suck". . .current New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady will go down as one of the all-time greats at the position. He has also enjoyed pretty good career numbers against the Minnesota Vikings, as he's posted a 3-0 record against our favorite football team and tossed eight touchdown passes to just one interception.
But on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium, Brady is going to see a different Minnesota Vikings' defense, and it will be led by new head coach Mike Zimmer. Yes, George Edwards is the team's defensive coordinator, but the defense has Mike Zimmer's fingerprints all over it. How has Brady fared against defenses led by Zimmer over the years?
Well, his teams have done fairly well. However, Brady's numbers haven't been all that spectacular.
|2003||Dallas Cowboys||15||34||212||0||0||2||W 12-0|
|2010||Cincinnati Bengals||25||35||258||3||0||0||W 38-24|
|2013||Cincinnati Bengals||18||38||197||0||1||4||L 13-6|
It should be pointed out that in the 2010 game, the Patriots got both a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown to aid in that final score.
So, in three cracks at a Mike Zimmer-led defense, Brady has had one very good game (2010), one slightly below average game (2003) and one game that was pretty bad (2013). And Brady, a 63.3% passer for his career with a career quarterback rating of 95.5, sees those numbers drop to 54.2% and 78.7 against Mike Zimmer.
Now, how good were Zimmer's defenses in those seasons? Well, the 2003 Dallas Cowboys went 10-6 and were second in the NFL in points allowed at just 16.2/game. The 2010 Bengals finished the season at 4-12 and were 24th in the NFL in points allowed at 24.7/game. And last year's Bengals were 11-5 and were 5th in the NFL in points allowed at 19.1.
Obviously, we don't know how the 2014 Minnesota Vikings will finish as far as those kinds of defensive numbers are concerned, but we know they got off to a pretty nice start in Week 1. According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings generated pressure on 17 of the 41 dropbacks by St. Louis Rams quarterbacks, including six of ten times when they blitzed. And if the team brings the pressure on Sunday, the odds are pretty good that Brady is going to feel it.
Why do I say that? Well, according to Pro Football Focus. . .man, Mike Zimmer is going to love this post if he gets a hold of it. . .no quarterback in Week 1 saw more total pressure than Tom Brady did. Overall, the New England offensive line allowed three sacks, six other hits, and 14 hurries for a total of 23 pressures in Brady's 56(!?) dropbacks.
Tom Brady, while having had success against the Minnesota Vikings over the years, hasn't really been wildly successful when Mike Zimmer has been standing on the opposing sideline. If the Vikings want to beat the Patriots on Sunday afternoon, they're going to have to get enough pressure on him to ensure that trend continues.