100-24. That is the Patriots’ record since the NFL allowed Tom Brady and the New England offense to provide the footballs in every game they played. During the ensuing eight years the team has enjoyed a fumbling rate that, by conservative estimates (the esteemed 528 site, and not Sharp’s original fumble study), holds a 1 in 297 chance of occurring naturally.
The stats tell the story, but so does common sense. Brady likes an illegally-deflated ball so he can get a better grip using his perfectly-manicured, porcelain, baby doll hands. If Tommy Boy has a better grip, then so does every other player using New England’s illegal footballs.
Include the texts, Tom’s defiance, an organization that has cheated in the past, and there is little doubt, outside of the small throng of sad, denial-ridden Pats fans, that cheating occurred and occurred for a long time.
Suppose the Football Gods arrived in Davie back in 2007 and said, “Hey, give us a 1st and 4th rounder, a million bucks, and four early-season games with your backup quarterback starting, and we will grant you statistically impossible ball security for the next eight years.
We would have taken it. Any team would have. The team with even a +1 fumbling differential wins 68% of games. We know Brady lobbied to provide his own balls, and it caused a drastic fumbling turnaround up there in Foxboro that lasted eight seasons before the NFL even thought to check.
Pats fans whining about how severe the NFL’s penalty is are wildly off base. The NFL uncovered just the tip of the iceberg here, and is content to leave it at that. The best move is to shut up and take your this miniscule lump. But no, the Patsies are in full-on tantrum mode. I’d expect nothing less.
This may have just been a quarterback wanting to grip the ball better, but its impact on ball security once it left Brady’s hand is profound. Eight years of a tainted turnover differential, the #1 stat in dictating wins and losses.
Shut up and eat your chowder, Pats Nation. You got off easy.
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