Impressed, Tom Brady continues to be THE story within the NFL
Tom Brady has been phenomenal all October after slow launching in Tampa
The older Tom Cruise gets, the more spectacular the anti-aging stunt seems to be in his Mission Impossible films. It's a bit like Tom Brady on a soccer field.
Neither Brady nor his cinematic namesake possess unmatched physical aptitudes, nor are they the wacky, seedy athletes or assassins of their respective disciplines at this point in their careers. But both are still high on your list of seasoned protagonists.
No matter how hard you try to hide from it, a 43-year-old Tom Brady after 20 years is still history in the NFL.
It was a point in favor of the team Brady should have kept in week seven when Cam Newton and the New England Patriots stalled in an alarming manner against the San Francisco 49ers.
November 3, 2020, 1:00 a.m.
Brady's successor at Foxborough threw only nine out of 15 for 98 yards and three interceptions, with the scheme recalibrated to incorporate the reading option and quarterback design runs after two decades of a pocket passer losing its pre-season luster would have.
Earlier that day, when the Bucs beat the Las Vegas Raiders, Brady had set up a clinic, finished 33 of 45 for 368 yards and four touchdowns, and crept from one yard to another.
The Good Morning Football crew contemplates the opposite fortunes of Tom Brady and Cam Newton when Brady's Bucs pounded the Raiders while his former team lost their third straight
In the latest installment of Mission Impossible, Cruise battles Henry Cavill on the edge of a cliff, hanging on the edge at one point in a helicopter that he has just crashed, before pulling the key from a detonator that threatens to fire two atomic bombs .
In the final episode of Brady's thrilling finale, he rolled back the days of his time with Wes Welker as he skillfully navigated his pocket before dropping an inch-perfect pass onto Scotty Miller's path in the far corner of the end zone for a 33- Yard touchdown.
"That used to be me," came a distant Julian Edelman with a five-foot-ten-flag Miller, a pick-out from Bowling Green from round six of 2019, from Brady's new, undersized target in Tampa .
Poor Scotty was ignored amid the excitement over the guns Brady was waiting for upon his arrival in Tampa. For him, it is a sign that his quarterback is making this offense his own when he leads the team 365 yards out of a shared second with 22 catches.
Brady drops 33 yard cents on the broad receiver Scotty Miller
Brady's 18 touchdown passes and four interceptions are the third best ever after seven games, while his 15-1 touchdown interception ration has been number one in the NFL for week three.
It shouldn't come as a shock that it took him some time to settle in a new setting. Playing in unison with a team for 20 years, especially the way the Patriots do things, has always taken time, even more so when you consider delays in training camp and the lack of a preseason.
Much of the early concern was largely due to the opening game loss to the New Orleans Saints when Brady was intercepted twice and Janoris Jenkins returned one of them for a touchdown.
The Bucs offensive was out of sync, a battered Mike Evans was barely involved, the rookie left Tistan Tristan Wirfs with a tough debut assignment and Brady worked with head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich in a live situation for the first time.
Brady threw another interception against the Carolina Panthers in week two, followed by a fourth win of the season in the comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers, where he was the oldest quarterback to score five touchdowns in a single game.
Michael Davis intercepts a Brady pass and returns it for a 78-yard touchdown in the Los Angeles Chargers' loss to the Bucs
Injuries didn't help either. Pro Bowl recipient Chris Godwin is set to miss Monday's clash with the New York Giants with a broken finger after missing three games with a concussion and hamstring earlier this year. Evans hasn't always been sane and is close to ending. O.J. Howard is out for the year with a torn Achilles,
Of Cruise's crack teams over the years, his youngest of Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Ving Rhames is up there with his most talented. Same goes for Brady, Antonio Brown is yet to come – we just haven't seen it in full strength yet.
Rob Gronkowski's appearance in the past few weeks has been a huge plus after his old friend spent the first month brushing the cobwebs off after his return to the NFL.
In defeating the Raiders, Brady and Gronk tied for the 92nd touchdown, finishing second in NFL history with Steve Young and Jerry Rice, only behind Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.
Having only taken 12 catches in his first five games as a privateer, Gronkowski has 10 receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. This includes a side effect of a beautifully weighted pass between two defenders when beating the Green Bay Packers.
"It just takes time," said trainer Bruce Arians of Brady's start. "I think the lack of continuity hurt him a lot too. Hopefully we can get some continuity in the future and he can keep working with the timing and all of those things.
"I think Byron (Leftwich) did a great job getting him ready, seeing the cover and where we want to put the ball."
Arians noted that Leftwich is taking note of Brady's preferences to put them on the offensive, which in turn alludes to a relationship that will only produce more results on the field as the season progresses.
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Brady has led number 3 in the NFL, avoiding suggestions that he has lost his arm strength. It's not the same, of course, he's a 20 year old vet in his 40s? But he can still fling it.
Brady's deep pass rate ranks fourth in the NFL this season while throwing the third most 505 yards on deep passes. Its deep pass rate (14.6) is the highest ever in the next-gen states era since 2016, and its pass rating when targeting go routes is (137.9) the fourth highest in the league.
According to the Pro Football Reference, Brady's 2,289 planned airfields are also the fourth highest in 2020.
His efforts were recognized this week with the October NFC Offensive Player of the Month award after leading all quarterbacks with 12 touchdown passes and a total of 13 points, helping the Bucs average the second highest 35 points per game achieve.
Tom Brady found Mike Evans for the touchdown when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the lead early in their NFL bout against the Chicago Bears
Brady will meet a familiar face on Monday when he meets Giants head coach Joe Judge, who was on the Patriots coaching staff from 2012 until he left earlier this year.
For Judge, who is five years younger than Brady at 38, the youngest form his former six-time colleague to win the Super Bowl comes as no surprise.
"It was a lot of fun being here," he said. You really have to see one of the big competitors every day, not only in terms of his performance, but above all how he has prepared.
"I think these are some of the things that are overlooked. It is no coincidence that this guy is playing so late in his timeline of being over 40 and still playing at this high level."
Todd Bowles' exceptional defense also deserves a nod. She occupies third place overall and first place against the run as well as the second-most 25 bags. And since he was in the final stages of his patriot career, Brady was well complemented by a capable running game under the direction of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette.
Tampa Bay's Jamel Dean won just the third pick of Aaron Rodgers 'career in the Bucs' win over the Packers
Right now, the Bucs look like one of the NFL's juggernauts, talented on both sides of the ball and mostly led by a quarterback who threatens to put together one of his best seasons.
"We're 5-2. I don't think anything was perfect out there," said Brady. "We fight and fight for every win. I think we improve every week. I really enjoyed seeing how we started the off-season when we were talking about football."
It might not be 2007 Brady or 2016 Brady, but 2020 Brady could be something special.
See the Buccaneers @ Giants live on Sky Sports NFL in the early hours of Tuesday morning from 1:15 a.m.
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