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This Week in the world of Tom Brady

Tom Brady went 30/46, 369 yards, 5 TDs and a pick (which was taken back for a touchdown) in Tampa Bay’s 38-31, come from behind win on Sunday. 

It was a rough start for the former Patriots quarterback, after a first drive touchdown pass to a tight end not named Gronk, Brady fired a pick 6 and then went more dormant than movie theaters in 2020.

The Chargers, behind rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, were in complete control with under a minute to go in the first half when in the shadow of their own end zone, the Chargers coughed up a meaningless handoff which the Buccaneers recovered.

Patriots fans have seen this play out a thousand times: Brady gets a gift and cashes it in for points. The comeback was on and Brady wound up throwing 3 more touchdowns in the second half. 

The biggest take away from Tampa’s 3rd win of the season is not Tom Brady’s production, but where and how his production is coming from. Those of us used to watching TB12 firing crossers and screens would hardly recognize the Marino/Favre gunslinger who took the field at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

When the Tampa offense went nowhere, it was on the strength (or lack there of) crossers and dump offs that were either dropped or covered. As Brady stared in disbelief at yet another Ronald Jones drop (3 on the day, none of them difficult, these were all straight up flubs) he had to be thinking of how different it is not having a Kevin Faulk or a Shane Vereen or a James White as your outlet. 

Gronk only had one catch (on one target) but it was good for 29 yards and was vintage Rob Gronkowski. With the Bucs up by 4 and time winding down in the 4thquarter, Brady unleashed a missile to Gronk in the slot. The pass was well covered but 87 did that thing where he puts those giant paws around the ball, the defenders arms/helmet/shoulders, envelopes them all and comes down with the football.

The play ensconced Tampa in field go range, much like George Costanza wanted to be in velvet. This was the first moment where Tom and Rob looked like Tom and Rob. When the game is on the line, TB12 is going to unleash the full strength of Gronk. We won’t see it much this season until the games get much bigger but it’s good to know that it’s still there. 

Tom Brady and Co. have won 3 in a row since dropping the opener at New Orleans. They haven’t beaten great, or even very good teams, (topping Carolina, Denver and the Chargers) and they’ll beat up on the Bears Thursday night before their first big test in week 6 when they’ll host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. 

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