The last time Tom Brady was in a competitive in-game situation came against the Philadelphia Eagles on Super Bowl Sunday, a game the New England Patriots lost despite an otherworldly performance by its quarterback. Since then, the greatest passer of all time has only appeared in practices as he was inactive during last week’s preseason opener against the Washington Redskins.
Whether or not Brady plays in week two is up in the air, but a look back at the last few years shows that he usually enters the field during the second week of preseason:
2009 vs Cincinnati Bengals: 4 of 8, 57 yards
2010 vs Atlanta Falcons: 10 of 12, 85 yards, 1 TD
2011 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11 of 19, 118 yards, 2 TDs
2012 vs Philadelphia Eagles: DNP
2013 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11 of 12, 107 yards, 1 TD
2014 vs Philadelphia Eagles: 8 of 10, 81 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
2015 vs New Orleans Saints: 2 of 5, 13 yards
2016 vs Chicago Bears: DNP
2017 vs Houston Texans: 6 of 9, 67 yards, 1 TD
Only once since returning from a torn ACL that robbed him of most of the 2008 season did Brady sit out both of the Patriots’ first two preseason games: in 2016, with the four-game Deflategate suspension on the horizon, he did neither play against the New Orleans Saints in week one nor the Chicago Bears in week two. All other years over the past decade he played in at least one of New England’s first two contests.
If history serves as an indicator, the 41-year old will therefore likely start tomorrow’s contest and play between one and four series. And while the stakes are obviously much lower when compared to the last game Brady played in, it will nevertheless be an important next step towards the 2018 season — and recapturing the Vince Lombardi Trophy from the Eagles.