Protecting Tom Brady

January 5th, 2021

Big assignment Saturday.

Joe was doing some research last night and came across a stat that made Joe shake his head like Yosemite Sam after tangling with Bugs Bunny.

Tom Brady rarely hits the deck.

Chase Stuart runs and he was trying to come up with a chart that bases a quarterback’s 2020 success on an average of ratings from particular categories. One was sacks. He had Brady ranked No. 3, as in third-least sacks per dropback.

The way people constantly, habitually holler, bellyache and stomp their feet about the Bucs’ offensive line, Joe couldn’t believe Brady had so few.

So Joe went to, the Bible of NFL numbers, and sure enough, for quarterbacks that started 16 games this year, Brady had the third-fewest (21). The only two quarterbacks sacked less were Philip Rivers (19) and Aaron Rodgers (20).

Perhaps now Joe’s readers will understand why Joe never thought the Buc’s offensive line was bad, but Joe has largely been numb to the incessant kvetching about the line.

Does some of this have to do with Brady’s quick release? No question. Rivers too has a rifle-quick release and so does Rodgers. But if Brady, who has little mobility, was getting that much pressure from a leaky front wall, he’d surely have much more than 21 sacks.

So this got Joe thinking: Chase Young, the terrific Redskins defensive end who has been begging for Brady, maybe he might have a much tougher time getting his mitts on Brady than, say, Nate Sudfeld?

25 Responses to “Protecting Tom Brady”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    A good think piece here, but also a good reason to prove that stats stink when not used correctly, and not ALL being compiled and taken together. Sacks stop drives for sure and are most often the O line’s fault. But QB pressures and hits are as critical if we’re grading an O line. QB effectiveness under pressure, to include quck release and stud receivers that get open are separate charactistics that can make an O line look better than they really are. Brady is king here–no one reads and reacts better. He is just not so mobile. So we really shouldn’t talk about sacks without pressures and hits (and other stats) in the same discussion. For the record, I don’t think Bucs O line is bad…they are somewhere around upper middle is my gut feel. My gut feel is also that D. Smith is a bottom tier for starting LT in the NFL. A starter nonetheless and the best option the Bucs have now, but we know how he is when Ali Marpet isn’t next to him. Mark 1 eyeballs, not stats, tell me that.

  2. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Joe me tinks you’re living in the past with this one because I haven’t seen many people saying much to do about the line when it comes to sacks at 22 this year. Now the last few years 47 in 2019 and 41 in ’18. That’s a huge drop off so they improved there. This year their biggest problem was opening holes for the running backs as has been since Druggie Martin’s flirtation with the league rushing title a few years ago. That year we had over 2100 yards rushing. Since then 1500 each season. I know I’ve watched them get pushed back and backs getting met in the backfield. It’s obvious there’s a little bit of an agenda to this story but your view point and the line detractors don’t quite tell it but the numbers don’t lie. They’re a little light in the butt when it comes to run blocking.

  3. geno711 Says:

    We are a pass first team and I am fine with that.

    As a pass first team, this OL did a good job last year and a very good job this year. Clearly Wirfs was an upgrade. Clearly Brady was an upgrade.

  4. Robert Says:

    I think the big man will step up. Smith that is..

  5. Says:

    The sack numbers for 2018 and 2019 are mostly because of the QB holding the ball and trying to make a play.

  6. sgrd0q Says:

    Quick release helps. Not having habitual long third downs helps. Brady and the rest of the offence help the OL.

  7. The Red Mirage Says:

    The line as a whole plays great. However when you watch the Bucs you always got your side eye on 76 because he STILL falls asleep a couple of plays a game.

  8. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Overall the O line is good. Smith, whether you want to admit it or not, remains a liability with his taking plays off.

  9. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Another interesting observation from this chart is that the 2020 3rd Pro Bowl QB, Kyler Murray, is 16th in this ranking. Another would be that of Aaron Rogers. He is clearly the MVP as his overall grade is twice as good as Mahomes (in 2nd place)

  10. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    I love all the media attention on chase young like he’s gonna throw touchdowns and win for the team with no name. Mr. Young, look at the bottom of that chart, your qb is all red, red =bad.

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect you’ll see runs & screens right at Young…when he’s not being doubled.

    The danger is focusing on one guy when that team has three other DL’s who can cause problems.

    Tome to Man Up, it for all the marbles now.

    There is no “tomorrow.”

  12. Youngbucs Says:

    Joe Brady has some great pocket awareness. His sudden movements also help the line tremendously. I knew sack numbers would improve people really take for granted how many aspects of the gm QBs can have an affect on. That goes for defense and special teams also.

  13. Dan Williamson Says:

    In the games we won they blocked well. Against teams we lost too they blocked poorly. I think that would be substantiated by the numbers also. Its as simple as that. Solution? Block well. Nuff said.

  14. KJ Says:

    I agree about the offensive line not being as bad people said the last few seasons, but this year’s version is much, much better. Wirfs has been a major upgrade over Dotson and I think Donovan has had his best season as a pro.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    This OL will either win or lose this game.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    DavidBigBucFan99 Says:
    January 5th, 2021 at 6:07 am
    Joe me tinks you’re living in the past with this one because I haven’t seen many people saying much to do about the line when it comes to sacks at 22 this year. Now the last few years 47 in 2019 and 41 in ’18.


    Ding. Ding. Ding.

    Can’t compare the play of the o-line this year with years past and pretend it’s the same. Not even close. That’s some revisionist history, cmon Joe.

    And to play Devils advocate- even this year, how did the o-line do against New Orleans? How’d they do against Chicago? How’d they do against LA?

    Cuz those are the teams in the playoffs. Not the Lions or Panthers.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    wirfs and cappa have been solid all year….we know what we’re getting out of jensen and marpet….d.smith has played better this year but still not up to PB AP level….

    just keep him off the ground and open up holes for rojo….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    This will be a good test…because of weather.

    It will be cold in DC Saturday night, hovering around 30F at game time and dropping lower into upper 20’s during the night. Recall how poorly the Bucs played against the Giants in cooler—not cold—weather.

    Good prep, because most likely the road through the playoffs will go through Green Bay. It’ll be low 20’s in Green Bay on Saturday.

    I do believe weather will be a factor.

  19. SlyPirate Says:

    My Rankings
    Who Gives a F% – 1

  20. Potato Chip Says:

    Just remember that it’s not just the Oline that affects sacks. It’s very much a QB stat, and Tom Brady is actually very good at avoiding sacks by maneuvering the pocket, getting the ball off quickly, and throwing the ball away wh n necessary.

  21. Dbbuc Says:

    Brady is not as Immobile as some people make out. True that he is not a runner but he moves around very well in the pocket and he is pretty darn good at rolling out.

  22. SOEbuc Says:

    I’ve seen Smith get ran around way too many times to not be afraid of Young on the left side.

  23. Bucshot Says:

    The “Red Headed Teradactial” playing center is a beast!

  24. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Really nobody picked up on this? Rivers, Roger’s, Brady three star veteran quarterbacks. With all their experience ya think they might have figured out how to get rid of the ball to avoid sacks?

  25. Kentucky Buc Says:

    The Brady is immobile take has always been wrong. He works that pocket better than anyone in the game. Come around the outside he steps up in the pocket. Only middle pressure works and that doesn’t work that well this year. One thing BA contributed to Brady’s game was having him roll out more. If you look at the early practices it was a daily drill they ran