Following a Sunday off the Patriots are back at work getting ready for their Monday Night opponent, the surprising Carolina Panthers, fresh off of an impressive 10-9 win against the defending NFC Champion 49ers in San Francisco. The 2013 Panthers have become much more than the Cam Newton Show of the past couple of seasons, coupling a strong defense, led by Boston College’s Luke Kuechly, with an offense that has produced 30 or more points in five of the past seven games. With the New England defense decimated by injuries, especially in the front seven, the burden to win will fall more on Tom Brady & Co. more than it has at any point of the past few years. For Tom Teriffic, there’s no better time to start than on a Monday Night. Here are a few reasons why:
- The game in Charlotte will be the Brady’s 18th Monday appearance of his career, tying him with Danny White and Phil Simms for 10th alltime among quarterbacks, moving ahead of Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb (17) yet still 20 behind the front-running duo of Brett Favre and Dan Marino (38 apiece).
- The Patriots are 13-4 in Brady’s previous Monday Night games, a .765 winning percentage that places him behind only Billy Kilmer (.800) and Kenny Stabler (.781) among all QBs with at least 10 Monday appearances.
- The Pats’ signal caller enters the game just four yards behind Manning for fifth alltime in Monday Night yards (4,715 to 4,719). He trails fourth-place John Elway by 297 yards, a number Brady has topped for just the second time all season in the last game against Pittsburgh but has attained in six of his previous MNF games.
- Brady is fourth alltime in Monday touchdown tosses with 41 and with his first against Carolina will tie Steve Young for third alltime behind only Marino (74) and Favre (69). He's thrown for at least two scores in 13 of his 17 games and for at least three TD in nine (both trailing only Favre and Marino).
- Brady is one of just six quarterbacks with a MNF passer rating over 100.0, ranking fourth at 102.2. The only passers with at least 100 attempts above him: The NFL’s overall leader Steve Young (104.0), Jeff Garcia (103.5) and Stan Humphries (103.2).
- In five MNF games since the start of the 2010 season the Patriots are 5-0 and are averaging a staggering 40 points per game, with a low of 34 points scored against the Chiefs on Nov. 21, 2011 in a 31-point win.
- Earlier that season on Sept 12, 2011 Brady set a MNF record against the Dolphins by throwing for 517 yards in a 38-24 win, shattering Joe Montana’s old mark by 59 yards.
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.