When Tom Brady left the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there was, of course, the expectation that the undoubted quality he possesses, being arguably the best quarterback in the history of the game, would help the franchise push for a first postseason outing in 12 seasons but clearly, the veteran has exceeded those initial goals.
Having helped the Buccaneers to a first Super Bowl in 18 years, in his first season, the 44-year-old has now set his sights on back-to-back titles, and thus far, it appears that such an endeavor is certainly a plausible target.
Despite defeats at New Orleans and Washington, Tampa still sits top of the NFC South with a 6-3 record, and as you can see on this website, they are second favorites behind the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl at (+650). It should not be underestimated just how much of the Buccaneers’ success is down to just one man; such is the legendary status that Brady affords.
Those losses have held up progress, and Brady’s team-mates would do well to pay close attention to a man who is now in his 22nd season in the NFL;
“I think we’ve got, obviously, a lot of football ahead of us, and we’re going to have to work it every day to be the best we can be,”
“There’s nothing guaranteed in the league here; there are no easy games, there’s nothing…you can’t roll your helmet out there and think you’re going to win. So we’ve got to come out here and put the work in every day, grind through these days. Very important weeks, these Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, where we’ve got to improve on a lot of different things we’re working on. Everything’s ahead of us.”
Brady is clearly a man who knows how to win, and now he must continue to lead a team that is clearly not on the same plane, or even close to, and it’s how Tampa bounces back from adversity that will say a lot about whether they can secure two straight titles.
That isn’t to say Brady is infallible, and his recent interceptions were down to failures at his end, and that’s a point coach Bruce Arians was keen to make after their loss at the FedEx Field;
“That had nothing to do with receivers; it was him,”
Tom Brady is still well placed to pick up an NFL MVP award this season, and his stats put him up with the best of the quarterback talents in the league.
He sits third on passing yards and out clear at the top with 27 passing TDs, and his advancing years are not blunting his capabilities, and he’s clearly hungry for that eighth Super Bowl ring, and don’t bet against that happening on February 6th at the Allegiant Stadium.
A good test of where Tampa is at may come on December 12th when they host the Bills at the Raymond James Stadium; a victory would certainly add weight to the argument that Brady and the Buccaneers are capable of going all the way.