Through the first few weeks of the 2021 season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback Tom Brady continues to showcase he’s an ageless wonder. Brady‘s production has led the Buccaneers to a blazing start. His play also presents a unique chance to stick it to the New England Patriots in Week 4 by making NFL history.
Tom Brady gets off to a stellar start to the 2021 season
As Brady entered his 22nd season, little doubt remained around whether he could build off the tremendous success in his first campaign with the Buccaneers.
The 44-year-old quickly raced off to a stellar start through the first two games behind his production while leading Tampa Bay to a pair of wins. He posted a league-best nine touchdown passes, ranked fifth with 655 passing yards, and held a 113.3 passer rating.
His five-touchdown pass performance against the Atlanta Falcons made him the fifth quarterback in league history to record at least nine touchdown passes through the first two games of a season. Brady also became the fifth player to post back-to-back games with at least four touchdown passes to begin a campaign.
The dominant Week 2 performance also marked his 35th career game with at least four touchdown passes. It tied him with Hall of Famer Peyton Manning for the second-most such games in league history. He also extended his active streak to four consecutive regular-season games reaching that mark, tying Hall of Famer Dan Marino.
Brady’s continued excellence has pushed toward another incredible career feat that can be accomplished at his former longtime NFL home.
Tom Brady just moved closer to making the Patriots regret their foolish mistake with an NFL record on their home field
The Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, set up a tough test for Brady and the Buccaneers.
The 44-year-old found plenty of success throwing the ball against the Rams, piling up 432 passing yards with a touchdown. However, the Rams answered the bell with Matthew Stafford torching the Buccaneers’ defense for 343 passing yards and four touchdown passes.
Although Brady threw a single touchdown pass, he added another impressive feat to his resume by reaching 80,000 career passing yards, putting him alongside former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as the only players to accomplish that feat in league history.
His strong showing against the Rams puts only 67 yards behind Brees for the all-time mark that he can achieve against the New England Patriots. Before the 2021 season, many circled that date as presenting an opportunity to achieve history at the stadium he called him for two decades.
It adds another storyline to the much-anticipated first-career matchup against his former team. Brady will underplay the significance of the game in his career, but being able to become the league’s all-time passing yards leader can be another sticking point to the Patriots for allowing the relationship to sour.
The chance to reach that career mark is tantalizing, but getting the win over his former team triumphs any personal feat.
Brady will underplay his first-career matchup against the Patriots
Since the 2021 season schedule was released, the Week 4 matchup between the Buccaneers and Patriots has been circled.
However, Brady continues to underplay the personal significance the game holds to him. He aired that sentiment back in July, stating nothing but praise toward his former team.
“There’s a lot to happen between now and then, and obviously, I know the challenge of beating a great team like that, a great organization, great players, so many friends that are still on the team that still are my brothers,” Brady said via Fox Sports Radio. “Unfortunately, we’re going to be on different sides of the stadium this time around.
“I’ve got a lot of familiarity playing in the stadium. You know, we’ve got to first get to training camp and see where we’re going to be and then get through the first three weeks of the year, but I’m sure it’ll be a great opportunity for me to go back to a place I know as well as anyone. It’ll be a great day for football.”
The days leading up to the contest will garner plenty of media scrutiny while both Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will likely go out their way to praise each other. Beyond all that outside noise, it will be a must-watch Week 4 showdown.