Tom Brady’s tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ultimately will be remembered for whether or not he delivers a Super Bowl title to the once fledgling franchise.
Still, as he closes the book on his first regular season with the Bucs, it’s hard not to be impressed with the 43-year-old quarterback.
As such, Skip Bayless gave Brady an “A-minus” for his performance during the 2020 campaign.
“With no preseason, really no OTAs except virtual, trying to get to know his receivers in some Tampa Bay park, from which they got booted because of corona, pandemic quarantine, and then there are no preseason games,” Bayless said Tuesday on FS1’s “Undisputed,” highlighting the degree of difficulty in Brady guiding Tampa Bay to an NFC wild-card berth. “He joined the Suckaneers, the worst franchise in all of sports history, winning only 30-odd percent of its games, a franchise that hasn’t been in the playoffs in 13 years. And he takes them to 11-5, their best record in 15 years, and he does it with 40 touchdown passes, tied for second in the NFL, with 4,633 (passing) yards, which is third in the NFL, in an offense that this man, Shannon Sharpe, said he will not work in — its Bruce Arians, no risk it, no biscuit, bombs away offense.
“And guess what? Tom Brady led the entire league in air distance, so nobody threw it farther than Tom Brady. And nobody was more successful throwing it deep than Tom Brady. This man told me, ‘He’s lost arm strength. He’s declined. He’s lost his arm talent.’ I see 43 going on 23. I see the same old Tom Brady — the same old, great, GOAT Tom Brady.”
Sharpe wasn’t as bullish on Brady’s season. However, he, too, tipped his cap to the six-time Super Bowl champion, handing out a “B” grade.
“I give him credit. He put up better numbers, he played absolutely better than I thought he would,” Sharpe said. “But I’m not going to get carried away with 40 touchdown passes, because 30 came against non-playoff teams. Tom Brady went 1-5 against teams that are in the playoffs. He threw 10 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He was 30 (touchdowns) and 3 (interceptions) against non-playoff teams.”
Brady posted a 102.2 quarterback rating and a 72.4 total QBR, his highest marks since securing his third NFL MVP Award with the New England Patriots in 2017.
Sure, one could argue he picked on bad competition at times this season. But it’s clear he still has plenty left in the tank, and Tampa Bay therefore shouldn’t be taking lightly in the postseason.
The Bucs open their playoff journey Saturday night against the Washington Football Team, and rookie Chase Young already offered up some extra bulletin-board material.