Why is Tom Brady (the GOAT) Struggling?

by ASA, Inc.

Many of the great quarterbacks have switched teams late in their career like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and even Joe Montana. Tom Brady attempted that feat this season and joined a loaded Buccaneers team led by a Bruce Arians downfield passing scheme. Everyone was curious how he would fit in a new system and how the most decorated quarterback ever would play with weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. Brady, for the most part, has been a bit underwhelming with his performance. 

A brand new system, shortened off season, or the fact Brady is a ripe 43 years of age could all play a part here. One of the main issues that he has struggled with is holding onto the ball longer than he is used to. In his years with New England he focused on getting the ball out early and on time. Now Bruce Arians has asked him to push the ball down the field. However, it takes time for receivers to get downfield and the pass protection has not held up against some of the elite pass rushes (Saints, Rams, Bears). In Brady’s 5 losses he has been sacked a total 11 times while only 5 times in his 7 victories. 

Overall, Brady’s stats are on par with the rest of his career as he’s on pace for 39 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has only thrown for 39+ touchdowns once in his career, but the 14 picks would tie his career high. What has made Brady so good over the past 20 years has been his ability to simply WIN. During the last 19 seasons, only twice did someone other than the Patriots win the AFC East. Going further, only 3 times in that span did a team (besides the Pats) win over 10 games. 

The Buccaneers defense has also been to blame as they rank 13th in points allowed this season.  They have solid total defense numbers, however they’ve struggled against Top 10 total offense teams (Chiefs, Chargers, Rams, and throw in the Saints just outside the top 10).  Comparing that to Brady’s 19 years in NE where he had an average defense of 7th in points allowed is a change we are not accustomed to. Only 3 of Tom’s seasons in NE did he not have a top 10 defense in terms of points allowed. 

Following their bye this weekend, Brady and the Bucs have 4 very winnable games in coming weeks and they should be favored in each.  The face the the Vikings, Lions, and mix in the Falcons twice. All 3 of those teams are ranked 21st or lower in sack percentage so Brady could be in line for some big games down the stretch.  The Bucs are in a good position to snag a wild card spot and if they can protect Tom, he always has a chance to do what he is best at, WIN. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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