Sorry, Everyone: Tom Brady Is Nonetheless Nice

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By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka

dangolka (CBS) — If there’s one place that no soccer staff ever desires to be, it’s on the other sideline when Tom Brady is coming off a foul efficiency.

The no-longer-undefeated Inexperienced Bay Packers can attest to that reality.

Greater than every week faraway from his forgetful fourth down gaffe on nationwide TV, Tom Brady took the sphere Sunday reverse Aaron Rodgers within the massive nationwide window of Sunday afternoon’s soccer slate. Each eye within the soccer world tuned in for this marquee matchup, and most individuals who don’t notably get pleasure from seeing Brady succeed (and even many New Englanders who liked and revered him for the previous 20 years) had been hoping to the “decline” of the best quarterback in historical past to drop even deeper.

As a substitute? Whoa, buddy. As a substitute these poor souls acquired to see a crisp, dominant, classic Tom Brady efficiency, one which left little question as as to whether the 43-year-old quarterback can nonetheless do what he does greatest.

If one had been to merely peek on the field rating, the story of Brady’s excellence on Sunday wouldn’t be instantly evident. The quarterback completed with simply 166 passing yards. That low whole, although, was due solely to the truth that the Buccaneers had the beforehand dominant Packers overwhelmed so soundly that there was no need or strain to throw the ball whereas holding a 28-point lead within the fourth quarter.

At halftime, Brady was 14-for-16 for 111 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, an informal 135.2 passer ranking for Brady coming off that prime-time mistake.

On the opposite facet, Rodgers appeared strange — or maybe even worse. An MVP entrance runner coming into the sport, Rodgers accomplished simply 16 of his 35 passes (45.7 %) for 160 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, one in all which was returned for a landing. He was taken out of the sport within the fourth quarter, with the Packers giving some motion to a quarterback named Tim Boyle.

Brady didn’t take the ultimate snaps for Tampa, although his circumstances had been barely totally different. Blaine Gabbert did the honors of ending off the 38-10 victory for the Bucs.

Suffice it to say, The Nice Quarterback Matchup Of 2020 didn’t fairly reside as much as the hype. Nevertheless it wasn’t the previous man who failed to carry up his finish of the discount.

Within the second quarter, Brady was merely masterful.

Along with his staff forward 14-10 (due to Rodgers’ two picks), Brady delivered a strike over the center to Rob Gronkowski for 13 yards. Three performs later, on a third-and-6 close to midfield, Brady stood patiently within the pocket, putting a pose as a statue whereas ready for Chris Godwin to run himself free over the center. Brady delivered a go within the good spot, permitting Godwin to fall ahead for the primary down.

Tom Brady converts a third-down go to Chris Godwin. (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

That Brady did this whereas taking a shot to the attention speaks to his toughness, a component of his recreation that has one way or the other remained tremendously underrated. (How something about Brady stays underrated at this time limit, I’m unsure. Take it up with Congress. However I can guarantee you: Joe Soccer Fan doubtless lacks an appreciation for the toughness of Tom Brady.)

Tom Brady poked within the eye (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

Brady threw a good finish display screen to Gronkowski after taking that shot to the face earlier than changing one other third down by way of the air, this time with a simple go to LeSean McCoy in area on a third-and-2 — a conversion made extra with Brady’s mind than his physique.

Three performs after that one, properly, it was pure Tom Brady. Staying cool after a foul snap, endurance within the pocket, consciousness and delicate mobility to slip up within the pocket and purchase further time … after which, in fact, the right throw to the open man:

Tom Brady throws a landing to Tyler Johnson. (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

That landing — to rookie Tyler Johnson, who was drafted within the fifth spherical this 12 months — put the Bucs up 21-10, and after Lavonte David sacked Rodgers on third all the way down to drive a Inexperienced Bay punt, Brady acquired proper again to work. A fast go to Godwin gained eight, earlier than a pair of Ronald Jones runs ate up 13 extra yards.

Then Brady did this:

Tom Brady to Chris Godwin for 25 yards (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

The arm is something however a noodle.

Moments later, Brady did one thing he had not carried out since December 9, 2018 by throwing a landing to Rob Gronkowski.

That superhuman duo made that back-shoulder connection look far too simple numerous instances earlier than, and that one proper there was the image of perfection.

The landing helped jump-start the Brady-Gronk connection, which has been heating up a bit since O.J. Howard was misplaced for the 12 months attributable to an Achilles damage.

Within the opening minute of the second half, Brady threw his best go of the afternoon, connecting with these big mitts of No. 87:

That 31-yard connection helped arrange a Tampa subject purpose, and later within the third quarter, Brady unleashed one other good go for his greatest bud:

Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski for 18 yards (GIF from NFL.com/GamePass)

“This throw proper right here,” Troy Aikman mentioned on the printed. “That’s pretty much as good because it will get.”

That drive led to a different Tampa landing, giving the Bucs a 38-10 lead that may maintain for the ultimate 17:43 of the soccer recreation. Brady fortunately handed the ball of to Jones, who ran for 113 yards and two scores. But when the sport known as for Brady to maintain on throwing, his efficiency indicated that he was more than pleased to reply that problem.

On the season, Brady now has 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, a 64.1 % completion fee, and most significantly, a 4-2 document.

Once more, an informal look on the stat sheet wouldn’t lead anybody to imagine that the GOAT had a memorable efficiency. When historians take a look at the field rating from Brady-Rodgers III, they’ll surprise why each QBs had been so unhealthy.

But anybody who watched that recreation is aware of that the quarterback place was performed at an distinctive stage for the house staff. Extra importantly, the Bucs got a shot within the arm and a reminder of what they’ve.

And anybody hoping to see The Finish™ for Tom Brady? They may give it one other go subsequent week. After a efficiency just like the one Brady put forth vs. the Packers, these of us appear more likely to be disillusioned as soon as once more.

You possibly can e-mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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