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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Is Brady's string more impressive than Kosar's?

By Marla Published: December 29, 2010

In Sunday's victory at Buffalo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady surpassed former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar's NFL record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception.

Ironically, both men played for coach Bill Belichick when the mark was set. 

"I didn’t realize he broke that,’’ Belichick said of Brady Sunday. “That’s great. Tom does a great job of managing the game and taking care of the ball. I think he deserves that [record]. He’s pretty careful with the ball.’’

Brady's streak now stands at 319 attempts and counting. He hasn't thrown an interception since an Oct. 17 overtime victory over Baltimore. Kosar set the mark of 308 in 1991, but his string began in 1990.

I would argue that Brady's string is more impressive. The defenses are more specialized and sophisticated; the defenders bigger, stronger and faster.

And Brady has done it without deep threat Randy Moss, who was traded to Minnesota on Oct. 6. Moss was replaced by Deion Branch, who is 31.

Brady's top receivers this season are Wes Welker (86-848-7), Branch (48-706-5) and rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez (45-563-6) and Rob Gronkowski (36-444-9).  Kosar's targets were players in their prime -- Webster Slaughter, Eric Metcalf, Reggie Langhorne, Brian Brennan. Future Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome played his final season in 1990.

Compared to the season Brady is having, Kosar's numbers were average in 1990-91. Kosar threw for 2,562 yards and 10 TDs with 15 interceptions and a 65.7 rating in 1990, when Mike Pagel also saw some action. The following season, Kosar passed for 3,487 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions and an 87.8 rating.

Belichick cut Kosar in 1993.

Brady's numbers have put him in a two-man race with Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick for the league's MVP award. Brady has thrown for 3,701 yards and 34 touchdowns with four interceptions and a 109.8 rating.

In the last eight games, starting with a Nov. 7 loss in Cleveland, Brady has thrown at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions, extending his NFL mark previously held by Don Meredith (six in 1965-66). If he throws one TD pass Sunday against Miami, he will become the sixth quarterback to throw for at least one score in all 16 games.

Since the loss to the Browns, the Pats have recorded 22 takeaways without a turnover. They're now plus-27 in that category.



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