Is Tom Brady's deep ball an issue?

Patriots don't carve up teams deep, but it's not all about the QB

Updated: November 22, 2013, 9:01 PM ET
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider

Tom BradyStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesSince 2010, Tom Brady is 25th in the NFL in completion percentage on passes thrown 20 yards or more.

Sunday night, we'll get the privilege of watching two of the NFL's best quarterbacks go head-to-head when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos visit Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. After 13 previous meetings, a lot of analytical ground has been covered, but what about the impact of arm strength? No, not Peyton's -- which we've previously addressed -- but Brady's.

Take a look at these numbers: Since 2010, Brady ranks 25th out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks in completion percentage on passes over 20 yards in the air. He has hit on just 30.3 percent of those throws. Compare that to Aaron Rodgers (44.4 percent, No. 2 in that time frame) or even Manning (38.2, No. 7). This season, the contrast is particularly sharp. Manning sits at 41.5 percent in 2013, compared to Brady's mark of just 22.9.

Forget for a minute about the Manning arm strength refrain. Is it Brady who really has the problem on the deep ball? And if he doesn't, is it merely the help?

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.