Revenue, Super Bowl Or Bust

September 13th, 2020

How much gas in that tank?

Attending NFL media events, Joe has crossed paths with NFL writer/columnist Mike Tanier more than a few times. And had beers with him a few times. Joe briefly helped Tanier out on a project Tanier, too.

Tanier is just a damn good writer. He recently left Bleacher Report and now has various freelance jobs (Tanier also taught high school math and once had a student by the name of “Joe Flacco.” You may have heard of him).

In his Bucs preview for Pro Football Network, Tanier confesses the transaction of the Bucs signing park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring quarterback Tom Brady has the scent of a marketing ploy by both Brady and the Bucs.

Brady gets to open up the large Florida market teeming with senior citizens for his fountain of youth concoctions and the Bucs get to use Brady to market the team, sell gear and open previously untapped revenue streams.

But admit it: You’ve had the same suspicions. Brady may be the G.O.A.T, but he’s 43-years old and in the midst of a gradual-but-unmistakable decline. The Buccaneers were better than last year’s 7-9 record indicates, but nothing about their roster suggested that they were “one player away” from a championship, even if that player was the 2007 version of Brady.

And then there was Brady’s rush to expand his TB12 interests into Florida and trademark silly slogans like “Tompa Bay.” Shrewd business moves, to be sure, but imagine how it would have been perceived if Cam Newton opened a fashion boutique in Boston before he threw his first Patriots pass.

The 2020 Buccaneers are a potential Super Bowl contender, but they appear to be many other things as well: a marketing partnership, a vanity project for a fading legend, a stimulus package for sports talk shows during quarantine, and a prime example of how powerful men delude themselves about their infallibility. Yes, they should be pretty darn good. But if they aren’t good enough to reach the Super Bowl this year — and they don’t look like they are — then what’s the point?

Tanier is convinced the Bucs are a Super Bowl-or-bust team this year and this year alone. Given the fact the salary cap is expected to plummet next year, and the Bucs have several free agents that need to get paid (Shaq Barrett and Chris Godwin are just two of many), this Bucs team very likely will look quite different next year. Maybe very different.

Tanier believes, with a little luck, the Bucs could put themselves into position to get to the Super Bowl in February, so long as Brady has enough gas in the tank. And Tanier isn’t sure he does. Brady’s numbers have declined each of the last four seasons in the following categories: yards-per-game, yards-per-attempt, completion percentage, touchdown rate and passer rating.

You can blame his receivers and other factors, but ask yourself if you would make the same arguments for any other aging quarterback.

At his best, Tanier believes Brady at this stage of his career is Kirk Cousins, who was a Pro Bowl quarterback last year. At his worst, Tanier believes Brady treads dangerously close to  Mitch Trubisky territory.

People wring their hands that Brady cannot throw long any longer and Bruce Arians has a deep-throwing offense and Arians and Brady may not be a Prince Harry-Meghan Markle match. Tanier isn’t ready to sign off with that assessment of Brady. While he may not be a gunslinger like Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, Tanier said Brady can still throw deep when he needs to.

Brady is more of a medium-distance passer, not a bombs-away fireballer. And Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were two of the best receivers in the NFL last season on medium targets. Tanier dropped this interesting stat.

Chris Godwin and Mike Evans finished fourth and fifth in the NFL with 34 and 33 receptions on passes 10-20 yards downfield. Godwin also led the NFL with 342 yards after contact, more than the elusive Christian McCaffrey or rumbling George Kittle.

Therefore, Tanier concludes, Arians/Brady won’t have to throw deep. (And Tanier didn’t factor in Leonard Fournette in this line of thinking.)

The best-case scenario for the Bucs, Tanier believes, is of course the Super Bowl. The worst-case? Well, Joe will let Tanier detail it.

It’s Christmas Day, Week 16. The 7-7 Buccaneers are facing the 7-7 Vikings with the final Wild Card berth on the line. Trailing by four points in the fourth quarter, Brady flinches to avoid Danielle Hunter and throws a wobbler that Harrison Smith turns into a game-clinching pick-six. Brady bows down Y.A. Tittle-style on the field in despair.

Kickoff today is 4:25 p.m.. Give Tanier’s piece a read. It’s worth it. The guy is one of Joe’s favorite NFL columnists.

27 Responses to “Revenue, Super Bowl Or Bust”

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    Weak analysis. Superficial. Brady is so much of an improvement over Winston. Winston had size, strength, and was a hard worker. Didn’t matter because his head wasn’t there.

    This franchise won with Garcia and Griese in the past.

    Brady elevates everyone. He’s a few years removed as SB champ, and lazy Tanner writes his obituary. And Joe spends the first part of the article propping Tanner up as more than what he is: A faded ham and egg writer, milking his last few years and holding a “will work for click bait” sign.

    Great addition to pregame, Joe.

  2. Gofortheface30 Says:

    I think it’s a fair assessment. He IS 43, the drop off wasn’t arm strength as it appears just fine. The issue last yr is stepping up in to the pocket and stepping in to throws. The fact that he simply is more averse to getting hit impacted his play as much as his poor receivers. That being said his rating and touchdown to int ratio is on par with MANY of his other Super Bowl years. He was 24/8 and threw for 4K, Jesus Christ he does that with the Bucs last yr and they’re in the playoffs. 2007 Brady would be cool but we don’t need that.

    Lastly, every team in the nfl could look different next year. In fact the Bucs are positioned favorably to a lot of teams like sayyyy, the saints who will be a complete shell of themselves for years to come. Older players like JPP were never going to be with us forever, Jensen is great but centers are an easier replacement. The Bucs foundation of young talent will still be locked in. Many teams are much worse off

  3. geno711 Says:

    Some writers are good at story telling. Others at analysis.
    I do not think Tanier is good at both.

  4. PSL Bob Says:

    What an uplifting piece to get this season started Joe. Maybe trying to downplay expectations. I don’t know. Whatever. I’m just anxious to get this thing rolling.

    And in terms of next year? We couldn’t wait for this year to get here and we haven’t even played a single game yet. And now you’re worried about next year. Life is short my friend. Enjoy the now!

  5. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Nice positive article on Game Day!

  6. Butcrack Says:

    Really Joe. Thanks for wasting my time. What Bucs fan would want to read this on game day? Swing and miss here.

  7. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Glazers/Buc /Tampa luck Super Bowl awarded and CV-19 is here

  8. BucBrady Says:

    The whole super bowl or bust narrative is garbage. This is the NFL, there is no second place trophy–everyone is super bowl or bust.

    The Bucs have 2 years to put this together, and after this weird no-preseason games offseason, I am not sure this year is the year. Hopefully, they won’t drop too many games while they continue to find their footing and work out kinks. It’s gonna take time. The big key for me is can they win enough games while simultaneously learning to work as a team, and if not can they figure out enough ways to hold on to the key players together for a run in year 2.

    We have seen a lot about QBs in Arians system–and it seems to always take at least one season (w/too many INTs) before the QB can put it together. I don’t expect it to be different with Brady especially in the Season of the Virus.

  9. Mitch Says:

    The analysis of Brady’s decline has been kind of one sided. Ever heard of the three kinds of lies in life? Lies, damn lies, and statistics.- Mark Twain No ones been telling the whole story. It’s really been half the story where analysts and talking heads have focused on Brady’s yards per attempt, completion percentage, and perceived lack of arm strength. However I have not seen the same crowd discuss how that the receivers Brady player with last year graded out as the worst group of receivers in the 14 years PFF has been crunching data. There’s always three sides… I cannot wait to see what Brady does with a proper supporting cast here in Tampa starting today.

  10. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Would I say the same thing about any other aging qb? Yes if his receivers were ordinary.

  11. Ndog Says:

    See I told ya Super Bowl win or BUST!!!!

    They better win it all for throwing away any possible future.

  12. Dano407 Says:

    It’s going to be surreal to see TB12 in a Bucs uniform today! I expect a close game with a loss for the good guys today because the new piecesneed time to jell. I hope I’m wrong! The Bucs will be 10-6 . Please stay healthy Mike Evans!

  13. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Seems like a fair analysis. Except for the very broad comparison to Pro Bowler Cousins versus god forbid Trubisky – heck, even dumb azz Realist could figure that one out. But if Brady can:

    * still throw deep
    * has two of the best medium range WRs in the game
    * did not factor in a potential clock controlling RB in Fournette
    * have half of the 41 TOs of the Saints 3rd string QB had last year

    then I do NOT see any possibility of the Bucs being 7-7 on Christmas Day unless Brady is hurt during the season.

  14. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Thankfully, we will soon be able to talk about an actual football game rather than just endless speculation. I don’t expect the Bucs to lose today’s game or any other game. Not anymore. Go Bucs!!

  15. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Mike Tanier may be respected, but I believe his assessment of the situation in Tampa Bay is not accurate. Brady still has plenty in the tank to slice up defenses. And with the weapons that Brady has at his disposal, 43 yrs old will not matter. Also Brady will be moving around alot and not be a sitting duck like the statue that Craig Morton was back in the day. Again like I said in a comment yesterday, opponents will be 1 demensional, because they will not be able to run the ball, and have to throw to survive. Thanks to Fournette signing the Bucs are now a legitimate 2 demensional threat against anyone in the NFL. So if Brady is Brady, 43 or not, It is party time in Tampa Bay for the next 6 months 😂 GO BUCS!!!!

  16. Youngbucs Says:

    Mourning ndog

  17. Rosadog Says:

    Yes Super Bowl or bust! It’s about time we can even say that without lying to ourselves. Thank God for Super Bowl or bust!

    You play to win the game!

  18. Youngbucs Says:

    Ndog reports are the saints wanted Brady!!! So I pose the question if they sign him we’re they throwing away their future????? They answer is no they trying to win like every team is stop crying. New coaches get rid of players that’s not theirs all the time it’s supposed to be different for a average QB I think not!!!!!

  19. m0j0 Says:

    Brady is going to quiet the naysayers, as will this whole Bucs team.

  20. CalBucsFan Says:

    But no other aging QB is the GOAT.

    Go Bucs!

  21. geno711 Says:

    Youngbucs Says:
    September 13th, 2020 at 11:14 am
    Ndog reports are the saints wanted Brady!!!

    Saw that too.

    Respected source is Ian Rapoport.

    Amazing that coaches wanted Brady over Jameis (This is sarcasm NDOG). Not just the Buc’s but every other team including the Saints.

  22. tickrdr Says:

    From the Football Database, here are the 2019 leaders in turnover differential. Look at their W-L records for last year. Did any make the playoffs?

    New England Patriots 16 +21
    New Orleans Saints 16 +15
    Green Bay Packers 16 +12
    Seattle Seahawks 16 +12
    Minnesota Vikings 16 +11
    Baltimore Ravens 16 +10
    Kansas City Chiefs 16 +8
    Pittsburgh Steelers 16 +8
    Tennessee Titans 16 +6
    Buffalo Bills 16 +4
    San Francisco 49ers 16 +4

    On the other hand, here are the 2019 teams with the worst turnover differentials. Same questions: W-L records? Any playoff teams?

    New York Jets 16 -4
    Atlanta Falcons 16 -5
    Detroit Lions 16 -5
    Cleveland Browns 16 -8
    Miami Dolphins 16 -10
    Tampa Bay Bucs 16 -13
    Carolina Panthers 16 -14
    Cincinnati Bengals 16 -14
    Los Angeles Chargers 16 -17
    New York Giants 16 -17


    BTW: Just in case: Turnover differential = Takeaways minus giveaways

    BTW#2: The highest number of INTs Tom Brady has thrown in a season is 14, and that was in 2005. Last year he threw only 8 INTs.

    BTW#3: The Bucs in 2019 led the league in giveaways with 30 INTs and 11 fumbles lost.

    BTW#4: The Bucs defense was 5th in the league with takeaways, and had SIX defensive TDs.

  23. Ndog Says:

    Saints would have made perfect sense for Brady as they had no future guy. This is what you people cannot seem to get through your skull, my issue is giving up the long term build for a hopefully two year window. I’ve only says that about 1,000 times but I know you guys read into what I post what you want to read into my posts.

  24. Beeej Says:

    He can still throw it at LEAST 50 yards, which is probably further than some starting qb’s EVER threw. Anyhow, I remember how mad Brady was a few years ago when he was suspended for the first few games, he was bound and determined to show EVERYbody what he could do, and I believe THIS year to be same thing

  25. unbelievable Says:

    Harsh but fair.

    How bout this- anyone see the news this morning that New Orleans was actually Bradys first choice? And that he was waiting to find out whether Brees would retire, before making a decision on any other teams.


  26. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Ndog, there’s something wrong with your head. So it would be Great for the Saints to take Brady because they have no future guy. But we have no future guy now but it’s not good to take Brady??

    FYI. Clipboard ain’t nobody’s future guy….

  27. I seem to remember Says:

    He should go back to teaching remedial math.