No quarterback threw for more yards out of play action than Tom Brady in Week 15.
Brady and his New England Patriots targets amassed 135 yards on run fakes versus the Miami Dolphins. According to Pro Football Focus, Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs was the only other NFL quarterback to cross the 100-yard mark under that capacity on Sunday.
With a batted pass resulting in an interception to linebacker Jason Trusnik, play action didn’t start swiftly for New England. It just ended that way, with a six-yard touchdown pass to wideout Julian Edelman in the red zone.
The reason why was something Brady, who finished the game 21-of-35 for 287 yards in all, could not explain.
“That’s a great question. I wish I knew the answer because we would have started that way then,” Brady said in his postgame press conference. “We tried to start fast and got the ball down the field and then the ball got tipped and intercepted. It just didn’t quite go the way we wanted it to in the first half, but we did a good job responding, so it was a good win – great win.”
No. 12 went 10-of-12 on play-action passes in New England’s 41-13 win over Miami at Gillette Stadium. But it proved to be something coordinator Josh McDaniels and the offense turned to heavily after halftime, with the score 14-13.
It was then that Brady found tight end Rob Gronkowski for 34 yards on the first play of the third quarter, following up with play-action completions on two of the next three plays.
By the time the Patriots had scored 27 unanswered, the final second-half tally consisted of nine play-action plays.
- Complete to Rob Gronkowski for 34 yards
- Complete to Jonas Gray for seven yards
- Complete to Brandon LaFell for 13 yards
- Incomplete to Brian Tyms
- Complete to Julian Edelman for five yards
- Complete to Rob Gronkowski for 35 yards
- Complete to Julian Edelman for six yards and a touchdown
- Complete to Brandon LaFell for 19 yards
- Complete to LeGarrette Blount for five yards
The Patriots utilized play action seven times over the course of the third quarter, then twice in the fourth as the lead swelled and the run game became a focal point behind halfback Jonas Gray’s 62 yards.
Brady had gone 8-of-9 for 124 yards with a red-zone score to Edelman by then.