Tom Brady has run rampant through the NFL for the past two decades. The New England Patriots were an unstoppable force in Brady’s time in Massachusetts, and when he transitioned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he brought home a Super Bowl victory in his first year in the NFC.
The legendary quarterback is 44 years old and still in the NFL MVP conversation and has the Buccaneers again in Super Bowl consideration. But Brady has struggled mightily against the New Orleans Saints since he joined Tampa Bay and has registered a 1-4 record in less than two seasons.
Sounds bad, right? Well, there is a silver lining that might make Brady and the Buccaneers smile brightly after an ugly 9-0 shut out.
Tom Brady’s struggles against the Saints are strange
Brady, the man with seven Super Bowl rings on his mantle, can’t figure out how to get past the Saints. It’s surprising, strange, shocking, whatever you want to call it.
Even without head coach Sean Payton, New Orleans walked out of the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium and pitched a shut out against Brady — the first one since 2006 for the future Hall of Fame signal-caller.
The one victory against New Orleans came in the playoffs last season en route to a Tampa Bay Super Bowl victory, which is the best time to dial up a win.
But Brady’s numbers are not the best. In five games against the Saints, he has as many touchdowns as he does interceptions (8). Sure, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Leonard Fournette all left the game early on Sunday night, but Brady just hasn’t fared well against the Saints since moving to Florida.
However, one interesting stat might show that this is good news for the Buccaneers.
The Saints second straight season sweep of the Buccaneers actually bodes well for Brady and company
Fun fact, indeed.
The last two times the Buccaneers were swept by the Saints in the season, they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy months later.
In 2002, Tampa Bay defeated the then-Oakland Raiders, and, of course, last season Brady led his team to victory in his first season away from Bill Belichick.
Can history repeat itself?
There is a reason to believe that this team will bounce back, even after the devastating injury news on Godwin, who suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season.
On the other hand, Tampa Bay is getting Antonio Brown back just in time, and the remaining schedule is more than favorable.
The Buccaneers are still one of the favorites even with all of the injuries piling up
Godwin is out, Evans is week-to-week, and Fournette is set to miss some time after the talented trio each suffered injuries against the Saints.
Usually, that would spell the end of the road for a team.
Not the Bucs, not with Brady running the show. Oh, and not with a healthy Rob Gronkowski.
Even after the loss, the Buccaneers are still one of the Super Bowl favorites.
As long as Brady is under center, the Buccaneers should feel good about their chances of repeating as the best team in the NFL — especially if history is in their favor.
They finish the regular season with the Carolina Panthers (twice) and the New York Jets, meaning a first-round bye is still in the cards.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference