What can we expect from Tom Brady and Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Drew Goodsell | 24 March 2020
We look at what influence the six-time Super Bowl champion can have…
Twenty seasons, nine Super Bowl appearances, six Vince Lombardi Trophies. Tom Brady’s illustrious partnership with the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick ended abruptly during the offseason.
But the 42-year-old Quarterback, a four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time League MVP, hasn’t called it a day on his career just yet. Step forward, Bruce Arians and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Linked heavily with Los Angeles Chargers and even a stay at the Patriots, it’s fair to say the move to Tampa Bay caused a few heads to turn in the National Football League.
But just what can we expect from his move? Is it just a farewell tour, or can TB12 turn TB into genuine challengers? We make them 14/1 fifth-favourites to go all the way.
Addition of crucial Quarterback experience
Brady may not have had his most stellar year in the centre of the action for the Patriots, picking up a Quarterback Rating of 88, the eighth worst in his twenty-season career. Despite this, Brady still managed a better season than the Bucs starting QB, Jameis Winston, whose QBR stood at 84.3.
The 2020 NFL season marks Winston’s sixth in his professional career, all of which he’s spent with the Bucs. The 26-year-old may still be feeling his way into the game, but at this stage of Brady’s career, he’d already won two Super Bowl titles.
Interceptions were a crucial flaw in Tampa Bay’s game last season, with Winston throwing a league-high 30 interceptions in his sixteen games, nine higher than Cleveland Brown’s Baker Mayfield with 21. In contrast, Brady threw nine, only one more than 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson.
With Winston an unrestricted Free Agent, it’s expected that he won’t be sticking around as Brady’s understudy. That leaves 30-year-old Ryan Griffin as number two, a QB with only two games experience in seven NFL seasons.
Vintage Tom Brady under Bruce Arians?
When Arians was unveiled as Tampa Bay head coach in January 2019, Arians revealed his motto of “No risk it, no biscuit” based on how he moulds his offense.
It’s a style that could pay dividends to getting the best out of Brady in his remaining years. The only difference between Brady’s role at the Patriots and the Buccaneers will be those in and around him.
The Patriots are widely regarded as one of the best and most fearless defences in the NFL. But when on offence, the protection Brady gets while the ball is in hand is second to none. The stats back that up, with Brady being sacked 27 times last campaign, and 48 across the last two years. In contrast, Winston was sacked 47 times in the 2019 season alone.
Going forward, Brady has the offensive tools to work with. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are experienced Wide Receivers and will provide options, with Ronald Jones II looking more than good enough to take the hand off from Brady in the Running Back role.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger believes we could see Arians get the best from Brady, after leaving the defensively minded Belichick for the attack-first Arians. He said “B.A is a great quarterbacks coach and a great player’s coach. Tom is going to love it there. Talk about going from opposite ends of the spectrum with coaches.”
We’ve got Brady priced at 18/1 for another Super Bowl MVP award.
A return to the play-offs?
While a spot at Super Bowl LV on home soil at the Raymond James Stadium may be a stretch too far, the Arians – Brady partnership could lead Tampa Bay back to the play-offs for the first time since the 2007 season.
The Buccaneers are on a run of three years with a losing record, notching five wins and 11 defeats in their 2017 & 2018 campaigns, before an improved record of seven wins and nine defeats last term saw them miss out on the play-offs by a three-game swing.
Brady still managed to help the Patriots reach the play-offs after a 12-4 regular season record. They fell at the first hurdle in a shock 20-13 defeat to Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card playoffs, making it the first season since 2010/11 they didn’t make the AFC Championship game, and ended a run of four straight Super Bowl appearances.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication.