Tom Brady left the New England Patriots with the greatest resume in NFL history. His six Super Bowls and three MVPs are second to none. He’s 42 years old and is now playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many believe Brady is the GOAT of the NFL, but could his legacy be tarnished if he struggles with the Bucs?
Tom Brady not living up to expectations in Tampa
Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 7-4 and several teams would gladly switch places with them. From Day 1, however, it was Super Bowl or bust for Buccaneers fans. Tom Brady bolted from the New England Patriots via free agency during the offseason, giving the Bucs Super Bowl aspirations.
Not only did Brady join the Bucs, but he was also given all the weapons he lacked in his final season with the Patriots. Tampa already had arguably the top wide-receiver tandem in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Bucs then added Brady’s former teammate, Pro-Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski. Running back Leonard Fournette and Pro Bowl wideout Antonio Brown were then signed, giving Brady an arsenal of weapons.
Despite the high-powered offense, Brady hasn’t been overly sharp. In 11 games, Brady has already thrown nine interceptions, one more than he had in 16 games in his final season with the Patriots. Two weeks ago, Brady was picked off three times in what may have been the worst game of his pro career when the Bucs lost 38-3 to the New Orleans Saints. Tampa has lost two of its last three games.
Brady doesn’t appear to handle losing well
Tom Brady didn’t lose very often when he was with the New England Patriots. He’s lost two out of his last three games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he’s showing what a sore loser he is or has become. After the Buccaneers’ 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday when Brady threw his second interception to seal the defeat, Brady bolted for the locker room. He wasn’t around for the traditional handshake after the game.
It’s not the only time Brady has failed to meet up with the opposing quarterback after the game. After Brady and the Patriots were upset by Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52, Brady failed to reach out to his counterpart in the middle of the field. In fact, when Foles, now with the Chicago Bears, beat Brady again this season, Foles, again, left the field without a Brady handshake.
Some might say shaking hands during a pandemic might not be the smartest thing to do. Brady, however, was quick to shake the hand of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the Bucs scored 38 unanswered points in a 38-10 win during Week 6. Brady seems to be a little picky when it comes to shaking hands at the end of a game.
Could Brady be tarnishing his legacy?
Nobody can take away Tom Brady’s six Super Bowls and three MVPs. Brady is looked at by many as the greatest player to ever play in the National Football League. Can that change?
If Brady doesn’t win in Tampa with all the weapons at his disposal, could it mean that maybe a lot of his success in New England can be attributed to the system in which he played? Was Bill Belichick responsible for Brady’s success with the Patriots? It’s just his first season with the Buccaneers, but Brady performed much better in New England with much less talent around him.
Add the sore-loser label to Brady and the image gets tarnished. Winning cures everything, and if Brady can get the Buccaneers deep into the playoffs, the legacy question will be tossed out. If the Buccaneers continue to struggle, however, questions will surround the legitimacy of Brady’s GOAT label.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.