Will the Bills have Tom Brady on the run Sunday? (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)
Turns out the media and fans aren’t the only ones who’ve been pretty amazed at what Tom Brady has done in his three games back from suspension.
Rex Ryan, the next coach who gets a chance to contain him on Sunday in Buffalo, thinks the Patriots quarterback could be playing the best football of his career.
To wit, Brady has completed 76 of 101 passes (75 percent), throwing eight touchdown passes without an interception while posting an astronomically high 132.6 quarterback rating in three games. Philip Rivers is next at 102.4 in his seven games.
“I mean it’s almost like, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him better,” Ryan beamed during Wednesday’s conference call with reporters. “I mean he he’s played in the league for 17 years, 18 years, something like that. Obviously, he puts the work in and everything else and it’s just a real credit to him. Like, I keep thinking if I stay in this conference long enough, that maybe that dude will retire but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
Brady, himself, said just two hours before Ryan’s conference call that he’s feeling good at this stage of the season.
“I always feel pretty good, I really do,” Brady said. “It feels like I’m just kind of getting going in football season and it’s already the halfway point.”
What does Brady expect from Ryan on Sunday in Buffalo?
“I think he does a really good job of playing to the strengths of his players. I think that’s what he does really well as a coach,” Brady said. “I think there’s an element of what you prepare for, you may not get many of those things. We’ve played him sometimes when he’s been blitzing a lot, and he doesn’t blitz as much at all. Then he hasn’t been blitzing much at all and then he blitzes us at all. I think you just have to be prepared for everything, which is a bit of a challenge because there’s only so much time in the week that you have to prepare.
“You’ve got to try to nail down what you think you’re going to get, then practice it and be able to adjust if need be when you get out there. But I think [Rex Ryan] does a good job of getting his guys, the guys he feel confident in the positions, that they need in order to make the plays that they’ve been making, because they’ve been making a lot of plays on defense.”
Brady is 11-4 lifetime against Ryan, including the 28-21 playoff loss in Jan. 2011. Ryan hasn’t beaten Brady since Oct. 20, 2013, the 30-27 overtime game at MetLife Stadium. Brady has won the last five meetings and nine of the last 10.
Ryan thinks he does have one hope on Sunday: Get Brady to scramble, something he did successfully at times against the Steelers last week.
“I’d like to see him do it more often. Put him in the option. Let him run the option,” Ryan chirped. “That’s the one thing that really doesn’t scare you much. You’ll live with that. What scares you is when he lets the ball go. You know, when he releases it. But the scramble I mean know what you’re saying. He’s able to pick up a few first downs. I think we might have the edge in the running threat at quarterback this week. I might go out there and make that bold statement. But they may be a little more worried about that than me worried about Tom running.”