For former sixth-round draft pick, Tom Brady, the majority of his legendary career is nothing short of skillful and brilliant. In fact, he has been so good over the course of his 16-year career that many people question whether or not the man is human. Well, to prove that No. 12 can in fact make mistakes, Brady has experienced a handful of forgettable performances — some costing his New England Patriots critical games.
Even if those performances are few and far between, we likely saw Brady near his worst in the Patriots’ 2015 AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos. With a redemption officially in the books after a decisive win against the Falcons a year later, here are the seven worst games of Tom Brady’s career, ranked in chronological order.
1. New England vs. Buffalo (2003)
A year after missing the 2002 NFL Playoffs, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots hoped to rebound and see a much more successful year. However, the way that the 2003 season started must have made Patriots fans feel like they were in for another long, heartbreaking season. The team traveled to play their division rival Buffalo Bills and simply never got off the plane, as the Bills walloped them 31-0. Brady completed a mere 50% of his passes and threw four interceptions. The game still stands as the worst loss of his storied career. Of course, that season New England rebounded to finish with a 14-2 record and a second title in three seasons, so things ended much better for the Pats.
2. New England vs. Kansas City (2005)
Any time Brady throws four interceptions, it’s surprising for his fans and critics alike. We saw him do this against the Bills in 2003, but he’s only done it six times in 256 career games (including the playoffs). Well, this game against the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2005 saw No. 12 look vulnerable once again. Aside from throwing four picks, Brady was only able to complete a little over 50% of his pass attempts. To make matters worse, the Patriots also lost the game 26-16. Brady went on to lose in the playoffs for the first time in his career following the 2005 season after nine straight postseason wins.
3. New England vs. Indianapolis (2006)
In a season that saw the Patriots fall to Peyton Manning and the Colts in the AFC Championship game, Brady also struggled with Indianapolis during the 2006 regular season. It was another one of those horrific zero touchdown/four interception games for Brady, as New England lost by seven points at home. Brady failed to reach a completion percentage of 60% in the loss against his friend and rival Manning.
4. New England vs. San Diego (2006 playoffs)
Tom Brady always steps up his game when it comes to the postseason. Well, almost always. After losing to the Denver Broncos for his first career playoff defeat, Brady and the Patriots returned for the 2006 season looking for another Super Bowl ring. The San Diego Chargers nearly tripped them up in the divisional round that season thanks to Brady’s lackluster three-interception performance. However, this was a rare game when the Patriots won in spite of Brady’s mistakes; they moved on the AFC Championship with a three-point victory. Unfortunately, the Colts beat them in that championship game.
5. New England vs. Baltimore (2009 playoffs)
This game stands as the worst loss of Brady’s epic playoff career, as the Baltimore Ravens came into Foxborough and ran over the Patriots in the wild-card round, winning by a score of 33-14. No. 12 only accumulated 154 yards while completing 54% of his passes and throwing three interceptions. The 2009 season also stands as one of only two times Brady has experienced a “one-and-done” postseason appearance.
6. New England vs. Baltimore (2012 playoffs)
After the 2009 loss to the Ravens in the playoffs, it’s likely that Brady never wanted to see Baltimore in the playoffs again. Well, the 2012 postseason matched him up with those Ravens again; this time in a rematch of the previous season’s AFC Championship game. As an underdog team, Baltimore came to New England and stomped the Patriots by a score of 28-13 on their way to the Super Bowl. Brady did not help New England’s cause. He completed a low percentage of his passes and tossed two interceptions.
7. New England vs. Denver (2015 playoffs)
Brady has participated in 33 career playoff games. Before the 2015 AFC Championship, he never experienced a completion percentage under 50% in any of those games. However, Brady did just that against the Denver Broncos’ fierce pass rush, as he completed just 48% of his 56 pass attempts prior to a Patriots loss, 20-18. He did manage to pass for over 300 yards in this game, but he threw two costly interceptions (and another on the two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game). Brady simply could not get into a consistent rhythm. Many say that Denver’s defense on Sunday was the best Brady has ever faced. Despite that fact, this was still one of the worst games of his legendary career.
Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.