Brady to Tampa Bay – Super Bowl Contenders, period.

Tom Brady is leaving behind a 20-year legacy for the New England Patriots. He is expected to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The quarterback position is now the house that Brady built. He is the GOAT. Anyone who says otherwise, welp, they’re not playing with a full deck.  Let’s look at some of the events and things that happened in Brady’s run with the Patriots…

  • 9/11 Attacks
  • George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all held office
  • iPod Debuts
  • Gulf War II
  • Google Becomes Number One Search Engine
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Smartphone Revolution
  • Social Network Takeover – Myspace, Facebook, Twitter
  • America’s Recession
  • BP Oil Spill
  • Osama Bin Laden Killed
  • States Legalize Marijuana
  • AirBnB and Uber
  • Same-sex Marriage Legalized
  • Coronavirus

The GOAT now heads down south to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I live near New Orleans and the vast majority of the people I know are Saints fans. I find it funny how much they are minimizing a talented Tampa Bay team as well as the greatest QB of all time. Full warning, you shouldn’t. This team is going to be damn good.

Last year, Tom Brady looked like a shell of himself or at least that is the mindset most have.

Part of that was injuries on the offensive line which left gaping holes until the season’s end, receivers inabilities to get open as well as catch the ball and not much of a run game. We saw what looked like a historically good defense come down to Earth by the end of the season. That being said, the Patriots still made the playoffs. It was easily the worst Patriots team I have seen in the last 15 years.

For all intents and purposes, Brady was on par with most of his analytics. His off target rate was 21.7% meaning one of every five passes (excluding throw away) was under or over thrown. That may seem high, but it isn’t. Here is a look at his off target rate since 2010…

  • 2010 – 15.6%
  • 2011 – 21.6%
  • 2012 – 20.6%
  • 2013 – 21.5%
  • 2014 – 18.9%
  • 2015 – 19.5%
  • 2016 – 18.2%
  • 2017 – 17.7%
  • 2018 – 20.1%
  • 2019 – 21.7%

He was right on par with a number of other passing categories such as play-action, downfield throws as well as his numbers against the blitz. His receivers struggled with drops and he struggled with pressure, something we have seen him do before. In 2013, he had similar QBR numbers against pressure.

The biggest concern for Brady was his redzone struggles where his air yards were 3.5 on average and his QBR was 20.5. His lowest of the decade until this year was 49.4. Is it all Brady? I am going with no. He didn’t have a downfield redzone target after losing Gronk. We know the Antonio Brown case. The Josh Gordon experiment failed. Edelman isn’t that guy.

Has Brady lost a step? Yes. But has he diminished to a Peyton Manning level of a bad? Not even a little bit.

Can The Bucs Win It All with Brady?

100% yes.

Starting with the offense, the Bucs offensive line finished last season 7th thanks to guys like guard Ali Marpet. Guard to guard they were ranked second in pass protection last year which bodes well for Brady. Brady is a stereotypical pocket passer and the Bucs can give him a pocket to step in to.

Brady will have arguably the most weapons in the pass game he has ever had, period. With him being in the twilight of his career, that will go a long way. They already have the best duo at receiver with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin who combined for 153 receptions, 2,490 yards and 17 TDs. Meanwhile, tight ends OJ Howard and Cameron Brate combined for 70 receptions, 770 yards and 5 TDs.

I could see them grabbing a running back in the draft to really make this offense pop. They are a RB away from being an elite offense. With the 14th pick, they could absolutely grab one there.

I was talking hypothetical regarding their situation. If they could land recently released Devonta Freeman and draft D’Andre Swift, that duo would be absolutely filthy.

Now, what about the defense?

The common theme I keep hearing is how bad their defense is. They finished 15th in yards and 29th in points. On paper, that looks bad no question about it.

Take away Jameis Winston’s seven pick 6s and they move up five spots in points per game and they give up 4 less points per game. If it impacted that much of the point total, imagine what 23 other interceptions do to your team’s field position and number of plays.

Tampa finished 29th in number of plays despite holding the 4th best 3rd down defense. They also finished in the bottom in total number of 3rd down plays, the most of any of the teams who finished in the top 5 in conversion rate.

Tampa finished in 1st in rushing yards per attempt at 3.3. They finished 12th in net yards per passing attempt. They were 5th in turnovers forced. They were 8th in yards per play. They were tied for 6th in sacks and 11th in QB pressure rate. They were 5th in Redzone defense. Let’s recap this and make it look sexy…

  • Points Per Game 29th
  • Yards Per Game 15th
  • Defensive Plays 29th
  • 3rd Down Defense 4th
  • Redzone Defense 5th 
  • Rushing Yards Per Attempt 1st
  • Passing Yards Per Attempt 12th
  • Turnovers Forced 5th 
  • Yards Per Play 8th
  • Sacks 6th
  • QB Pressure Rate 11th

That is why DVOA matters more than all this bullshit. It accounts for all of these intricate details that people leave out when they just look at yards or points. The Bucs finished 5th in defensive DVOA. That defense is one of the best defenses in the league, but the numbers were inflated because of poor QB play.

All the numbers suggest the Bucs were much better than the record and it was their QB who held them back. They finished the season 7-9 and six of the 9 losses were one score games.

Brady has never been a high turnover QB. Last year, he threw 8 interceptions in what was one of his worst passing seasons in terms of yards and touchdowns.

The biggest challenge this year will be the schedule. The NFC South is a brutal division and they are matched up with the NFC North and AFC West for 2020.

That being said, a RB and adding some quality pieces to the secondary could take them from (my buddy said it best) a real contender to a real real contender. The Buccaneers should be in line to challenge the Saints for the NFC South throne that they have owned the division for the last three seasons.

That brings me to my next point…Brady v Brees twice! You fucking kidding me!?! I went full chub thinking about it.

 

 

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