Tom Brady showed he’s still a force to be reckoned with and why the Buccaneers could be dangerous in the playoffs despite their record.
Tampa Bay came back to beat the New Orleans Saints 17-16 on “Monday Night Football.” The Bucs remain the top team in the NFC South at a meager 6-6. But Brady has shown he is far from the reason for the Buccaneers’ season-long struggles. The 45-year-old is 17th in combined expected points added and completion percentage over expected, and Tampa Bay is 12th in dropback EPA.
Brady has not been open about whether the 2022 NFL season will be his last. Even with a broadcast job ready for him, Brady is committed to this season, and people like Pat McAfee aren’t ready to count out the seven-time Super Bowl champion just yet.
“Tom Brady is not gonna be able to retire, just like (Aaron Rodgers) is not gonna be able to retire” McAfee said Tuesday on the “Pat McAfee Show.” ” … I forgot how choked up and how small (Peyton Manning) was when he retired from the Denver Broncos. All of their speeches when they retired were very — a lot of emotions, crying, the whole deal. They didn’t want to retire, none of them did. Their bodies basically told them they couldn’t do it anymore. … You think Tom Brady, who’s still overthrowing people at his age — I think he’s got a couple of years. This guy’s still throwing the ball. His body’s not going to be the one to tell him he can’t play anymore because of how well he’s taking care of it. It’s only going to be his mind and everything.
“Seems like we’ve blown past any potential road blocks that could have stopped. Legacy, already has it. He has more touchdowns thrown than (expletive) everybody. … All the stats, he has. Seven Super Bowls, he has. He has beat the game. Tom Brady has beat the (expletive) game. Congratulations, you beat the game. Way to go, and he’s still going. If his body can allow him to play til he’s 50, especially now with the divorce and after what he’s still able to do late in the fourth quarter, whenever you need him, he’s still (expletive) Tom Brady. He’s still (expletive) people on the sideline when they’re not playing well. This dude’s gonna play forever. This dude’s playing until he’s 50.”
McAfee noted players like Steve Young, John Elway and Manning did not retire on their own terms. But Brady seemingly wants that privilege, even to the point of unretiring less than two months after his initial announcement.
The inconsistencies in Tampa Bay could mean Brady is playing his final year with the Buccaneers, and it has built speculation on where the 23rd-year veteran plays next — perhaps a return to the New England Patriots?