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Original Issue

Deep Dive


This 10-yarder to Brandon Lloyd against Denver in '12 debunks the notion that Brady has only mid-level physical tools. LB Joe Mays blitzed; CB Champ Bailey opened his press coverage, ceding the inside; and FS Rahim Moore came up to jump the pass. Brady took a three-step drop, which is designed to nullify the rush; here, he used it to negate safety help. On his first two steps he looked left, making Moore pause. On step three Brady fired. The throw demanded velocity, precision and a quick release. A QB without those tools wouldn't have even attempted it.


Same game. The Patriots played "man-free lurk": man-to-man on every WR, with FS Patrick Chung over the top and a "lurking" SS, Tavon Wilson, underneath. Chung doubled Brandon Stokley; the lurker clogged the lane to Demaryius Thomas. Manning moved right, despite no pressure; the lurker followed, opening a window to Thomas. Manning also opened his throwing motion outside, as if he might hit the shallow crossing WR, and he glanced back at Stokley, discouraging the FS from jumping Thomas. Brilliant quarterbacking; 15-yard completion.