Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was optimistic about the defending champions earning a 31-29 win in their season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, but that wasn’t the main theme of his postgame press conference.
And it’s probably not something that should come as a surprise to Patriots fans, who heard Brady strike a similar tone for two decades after imperfect performances as the signal-caller in New England. He did the same during his debut season in Tampa Bay last season, as well.
“There’s obviously a lot to clean up,” Brady said after the game, per the team.
He would later go on to add:
— “Not a perfect game, there’s obviously a lot to kind of unpack from this one, but it’s a good football team.”
— “… We obviously got a lot to clean up.”
— “We won, it’s great, but we know it was far from perfect and we have to get back to work and clean a lot of stuff up.”
— “… But as a team, we all know we have to get back to work and try to improve.”
You get the point.
It’s fair, of course. After all, it was far from a perfect game for the Tampa Bay offense.
The Buccaneers turned the ball over four times, including a Chris Godwin fumble in the final minutes that allowed quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to put together a crunch-time drive that led to a go-ahead field goal for Dallas.
Brady threw a pair of interceptions, too, although it’s tough to blame the QB for those. The first hit off the hands of running back Leonard Fournette, who was going out for a screen pass, while the second was on a Hail Mary attempt in the final seconds of the first half.
The Buccaneers also had 11 penalties for 106 yards, almost double what Dallas recorded. And Tampa Bay went 5-for-11 on third down and 3-for-5 in the red zone.
Fortunately for the Bucs, Brady led a game-winning drive in the final two minutes to help Tampa Bay begin its pursuit of a perfect 17-0 season. That part sticks out to the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, too.
“The important part about the last drive of the game was we executed some really good plays at the right moment,” Brady said. “It was great to see. It’s going to give us some confidence.”
Brady finished the game 32-for-50 with four passing touchdowns.