NEWARK – Going into this year’s AFC Championship game, Tom Brady had done well against Jack Del Rio defenses – really well.
In seven games against Del Rio, when he was head coach in Jacksonville from 2003 to 2011 and as Denver’s defensive coordinator since 2012, Brady was 7-0, completing 73 percent of his pass attempts (171 of 235, including a 26-for-28 showing in the 2007 Divisional round) for 1,771 yards, 17 touchdowns and no interceptions.
But Del Rio got his first win against Brady when it mattered most, nine days ago, a victory that put the Broncos in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998.
“We had a good plan,” Del Rio said at Tuesday’s Media Day. “We went out and executed a good plan and got to advance and that’s what it was all about. Clearly, the combination of Tom and Bill (Belichick) has been a very productive combination and one that I hadn’t seen a lot of success against.
“I took a lot of pride in the fact that we were able to put together a good plan, go out there and execute, play well and advance.”
Brady still has not thrown an interception against a Del Rio defense, but over the first three quarters against Denver in the AFC title game, he was 13-for-22 for 142 yards and no touchdowns. In the fourth quarter, as the Patriots tried to storm back, Brady was 11-for-16 for 135 yards and a touchdown.