A New Era Or A Final Chapter?

by Brendyn Burkitt

Will Brady's move to the Buccaneers close off the legend's career?

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People have made Tom Brady out to be a lot of things, but no one can call him forgettable. In the 2000 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected a certain California native in the sixth round, 199th overall. That California native was a quarterback named Tom Brady. He was initially a backup quarterback, only playing one game in his first career season. However, after an injury to the Patriots’ starting QB, he has taken off. Currently, Brady has played twenty straight seasons in the NFL and won six Super Bowls. Through triumph and defeat, he has always played for the Patriots. For the first time in his career, this 2020 season, he will suit up for a different team.

As the NFL went into its off season, Brady was without a contract. Everyone was in the dark, what would his next move be? Speculations were ever-present and everyone had their own. On March 20th, Brady announced his future team: he would play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Patriots’ fans everywhere felt a tinge of disappointment. Regardless, as evident by his recent performances and the Buc’s roster, the addition of Brady to the Buccaneers will make them a playoff contention team.

To start, Tampa Bay’s offensive weapons and strong O-line will ensure Brady’s success and allow him to drive Tampa Bay to the playoffs . Beginning with some context, the Patriots offense was crumbling, if not already collapsed. With tight end Rob Gronkowski retired and the remaining offense lacking, the 2019-2020 season was difficult for the Patriots. They lacked offensive depth. In addition, Tom Brady could not match the explosiveness of quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Moreover, the offensive line was riddled with injuries. Thus, solely due to their stellar defense, the patriots were able to stumble into the playoffs. On the other hand, Tampa was set for Brady, a perfect storm. Specifically one aspect was Mike Evans and Cris Godwin, two pro bowl wide receivers, each which totaled over a thousand yards in the 2019 season. Then came Gronk and his chemistry with Brady during his tenure in New England, who signed with the Bucs earlier in the Spring of 2020. Finally, the offensive line was well above average, ranking 7th overall, affording Brady some much needed protection.

Furthermore, Brady’s continued mastery was indicated from the start of this season. As Brady played his first game with the Bucs against a tough New Orleans Saints, and his performance was commendable. Even though he threw two interceptions, he had a completion percentage of 63%, threw two touchdowns, and threw for 239 yards. A decent performance against a slightly above average pass defense team. However, the average performance can majorly be attributed to growing pains. In essence, that was his first NFL game with that franchise. A team is meant to improve as the season moves on and Brady is doing just that. Since then, the Bucs have played four other games. Over the five games Brady has played in, he has thrown for twelve touchdowns and 1,375 yards. Those numbers have produced a 3-2 record for the Bucs, mounting them atop the NFC South.

With these assets and performances, Brady will take Tampa into the playoffs this year. The last seasons, the Buccaneers have lacked a true franchise quarterback and a leader. Jameis Winston threw almost as many pics as touchdowns. He could not physically lead the Bucs to the playoffs. On the contrary, Brady fills that spot. He has decades of experience leading a team. A team that has produced the most successful dynasty in NFL history. In the game, Brady will opt for the short and low risk throws that allow him to move methodically down the field. As opposed to Jameis Winston’s throw it down the field and hope approach. Brady makes the Buccaneers a contender. He has arguably found a new home in Tampa Bay. And although Patriots fans are saddened by his departure, we wish him well as he adventures, hopefully, into a new era.