Patriots

7 stats showing how the Patriots have dominated December in the Brady-Belichick era

Tom Brady has historically been at his best as a runner in December.

Tom Brady directs traffic during blizzard conditions against the Dolphins in December, 2003. The Patriots won, 12-0. Via Globe Sports

Though the month of December brings cold weather and less daylight, it also spells great news for Patriots fans.

During the course of the Brady-Belichick years in New England, making a dominant stretch run has been a signature move. Since Tom Brady became the starter in 2001, the Patriots have gone 54-10 in December. That’s the best in the NFL.

Here are a few other December-related stats from the Brady-Belichick years:

The Patriots have gone undefeated in the month seven times: Six of those were with Brady, while the 2008 Patriots (somewhat unbelievably) also went undefeated. Put another way, that’s as many undefeated Decembers over the same span as the Broncos, Colts, Cowboys, Packers, Ravens and Steelers combined.

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Also, the Patriots have gone undefeated in December more times than they’ve even gone .500: 7 vs. 2. Every other NFL team has had at least one sub-.500 December since 2001, while that has not happened in New England.

Tom Brady owns the month: In the course of his career, Brady has won more in December (51 wins) than any other month. His win percentage (0.836) is also at its highest in December. By comparison, Brady’s longtime rival, Peyton Manning, has fewer wins (49) in more games (70, to Brady’s 61).

Brady as a receiver: Though not exactly a trait of pure dominance, it’s worth noting that both of Tom Brady’s career receptions have happened in December. In 2001, he caught a pass from Kevin Faulk against the Dolphins. And in 2015, Brady caught a 36-yard pass from Danny Amendola on this cleverly designed play. He retains a 100-percent catch rate.

And Brady as a rusher: Of his 936 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, a majority of each has happened in December. Brady has totaled 342 yards rushing as well as seven touchdowns when the weather has been coldest.

The defense has been at its most dominant: Belichick’s defenses have posted eight shutouts since 2001. Five have come in December, with three occurring in all other months combined.

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Patriots return touchdowns have happened most frequently in December: Be it a kickoff return, punt return, fumble return, blocked field goal return or merely a pick six, the Patriots have score more non-traditional touchdowns (20) in December than another other month.

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