Brady Suspension (05/08/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Life without Brady, what impact would a suspension have on the Patriots' season.



The Wells report, an NFL investigation released Wednesday, found that New England Patriots personnel more probable than not deliberately deflated balls during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. The findings also implicated Tom Brady, saying that the quarterback was probably “at least generally aware” of the rules violations.

The NFL is expected to make disciplinary decisions regarding the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. Possible penalties include a fine, a loss of one or more draft picks or potential discipline for Brady.

How would a suspension of Tom Brady impact the Patriots season?

If Brady played a full season, New England's average record after 50,000 simulations would be 10.1 wins (4th highest win total in the NFL) and 5.9 losses. The Patriots would win the AFC East by 1.1 games. Brady would complete 63.6 percent (364-of-573) of his passes for 4,435 yards, 35 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The nightmare scenario for Pats' fans, the NFL drops the hammer on the organization and suspends Brady for a full season. In this scenario, New England finishes with a lousy record of 6.8 wins, 9.2 losses (sixth lowest win total in the NFL). The Patriots without Brady finish 2.5 games behind the Bills and Dolphins in the AFC East.

Without their future Hall of Fame quarterback, the Patriots would likely turn the ball over to second year player Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady's understudy as the starter would be projected to complete 300-of-524 (57.2%) passes for 3,277 yards, 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Of course a season long suspension is unlikely for the All-Pro quarterback. A more probable suspension would be a few games. The impact of Brady's absence, even in one or two games, is significant.

Assuming Brady plays, the Patriots at home in Week 1 are projected to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 64.7 percent of the time. In Week 2, on the road against the Buffalo Bills the Patriots are the projected winner 51.4 percent of the time in our simulations.

If Brady were suspended for the first two games of the season the Patriots would be expected to lose both matchups. New England's win probability against the Steelers would decrease from 64.7 percent to 44.5 percent and from 51.4 percent against the Bills to 33.9 percent.

Will Brady be suspended, maybe, and for the defending champs life without their quarterback is grim.

New England Patriots Season - With and Without Tom Brady

Projected Stats Record Win AFC East
Record 10.1-5.9 6.8-9.2
Win AFC East? Yes No
Win Total 4th Highest 6th Lowest