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Tom Brady has been in a strange, Gronk-reliant semi-funk

Tom Brady hasn't been standard Tom Brady recently.

While the future first-ballot Hall of Famer has been the ultimate criticism-silencer in his career, I'm not insinuating he's "done" or anything of that nature.

Just simply stating a trend based in fact.

In his last three games, Brady has passer ratings of 82.4 (at Bills), 59.5 (at Dolphins), and 87.6 (at Steelers), which marks the first time he's had three-straight outings with a quarterback rating under 90 since the final three regular season contests in 2013.

Over this year's three-game stretch, Brady completed 62 percent of his passes at 7.31 yards per attempt with two touchdowns, four interceptions and seven sacks. Not having Rob Gronkowski against the Dolphins was majorly impactful.

In 2017, Brady does have a higher passer rating at home (109.3) than on the road (100.3) but has a better completion percentage (68.2 vs. 65.4) and yards-per-attempt average (8.1 vs. 8.0) away from Gillette Stadium than he does on his home turf.

Also, his sack rate is 7.1 percent in home games and 4.5 percent on the road.

In his three most recent games – at Bills, Dolphins and Steelers – Brady has been very reliant on Rob Gronkowski, as I pointed out (on a more grand scale) earlier this week.

Quantifying Rob Gronkowski's impact on Tom Brady

Brady's completed 23 of 32 passes to the All-Pro tight end in those games for 397 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. That equates to a ridiculous yards per attempt average of 12.4 and a quarterback rating of 121.4.

Also, check this tweet from Adam Harstad:

On 89 throws not intended for Gronkowski in the last three games, Brady's mustered 49 completions and 474 yards with two touchdowns and three picks. That's a yards-per-attempt average of 5.64 and passer rating of 67.2.

While there are no guarantees Brady's downward trend and ultra-reliance on Gronkowski would continue, it's a safe bet to assume every pass thrown not in the tight end's direction will be a huge "win" for Buffalo's defense on Sunday.

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