One of the greatest audibles called this season came not from a quarterback, but from the New England fans. Oh how fast they went from cheering to booing quarterback Tom Brady in his return.
Let’s step back and understand one thing: Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.
His return to New England was something that we all looked forward to.
This was the most exciting game of the regular season, if we removed the importance of placement and team records. This game was for nostalgia.
Bill Belichek vs Brady. The greatest coach of all time versus the greatest quarterback of all time, playing a game in the rain in the northeast.
I mean, what kind of game has 506 media credentials issued? This isn’t the Super Bowl, this is 20 years of a coach-player relationship facing off against each other.
Comparisons of the hype around this game can be made. Lefty Gomez is tied as a pitcher for the most championship titles with six. He played for New York from 1930-1942, much like Brady playing in New England for 20 years.
If Lefty Gomez left the Yankees to play for the Red Sox and came back to bust them up on the mound, it would be like that.
Unfortunately, it just did not live up to the gladiator fight we thought it was going to be. The offensive felt flat for Tampa Bay, even though they won 19-17.
Their offensive measures was the sum total of four field goals and one rushing touchdown from running back Ronald Jones II.
Brady was 22 of 43 for 269 yards, but did not throw any passing touchdowns. I think it is safe to say that Bill Belichek neutralized Brady in the passing game.
I would hate to say it, but New England quarterback Mac Jones was the better quarterback that night.
He completed two passing touchdowns, one to Hunter Henry and another to Jonnu Smith. I just felt that New England, in some capacity, was a little more efficient than the Buccaneers were.
Tampa Bay even had possession of the ball for 33 minutes, seven more minutes than what New England had.
The defensive game for Tampa Bay, however, was absolutely fun to watch. I enjoyed the play when Antoine Winfield Jr. forced a fumble for Richard Sherman to recover it.
I also liked the part of Tampa Bay brutally stopping the run game for New England. New England had a total of negative one yards.
Just by himself, Tom Brady had a total of three rushing yards.
Finally, the last and clearly the biggest part of the win was Brady breaking records. The Tampa Bay quarterback is now the leader of the NFL’s all-time passing record, surpassing former Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
At the rate this is all going, Tom Brady continues to progress like a gamer leveling up through a game. This game against Belichek and the Patriots is just a mini-boss in his quest for ring seven.
I suppose we will all be there at his next mini boss level, and perhaps that juncture will lead to his seventh final boss level.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.