Tom Brady Is A Beast On Play-Action Passes

February 23rd, 2021

Super Bowl results say it all.

That headline isn’t news to Joe nor should it be to Bucs (though it may be for Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich).

When park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, trophy-throwing Bucs Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady runs a play-action-based offense, he is lethal.

This showed up big time in the Bucs’ Super Bowl win over the Chiefs. Scott Smith of has the details.

The heavy usage of play-action in the passing game was pretty easy to spot during the game and later confirmed by NFL Next Gen Stats. According to Next Gen, Brady executed a play-action fake on 43% of his dropbacks. Next Gen has been tracking this and many other things since 2016 and that is the single-highest rate of play-action usage that Brady has had in a game in that span.

So what does this tell Joe and what should it tell Bucs coaches and fans? The offense should utilize more play-action passes next year to take advantage of all of those receiving targets and Brady’s quick release.

If you can dominate a Super Bowl opponent with so much play-action, imagine how it would succeed against lesser teams like the Dixie Chicks and the Stinking Panthers?

If something works, keep it up until the opposing defense proves it can stop it.

11 Responses to “Tom Brady Is A Beast On Play-Action Passes”

  1. Bird Says:

    They have the oline to do it now.
    The other key to good play action is a dominant run game
    Fournette has high chance of going someplace else for bigger bucks.

    Now at 32 draft pick…say what you want …its basically a second round pick
    Get one of the stud running backs. There are 3 that cAn run but more importantly catch a football. Brady did not have a receiving back like he normally had in years past. With a receiver in back field , bradys numbers will only go up. Completion percentage up. First downs up. Fournette was ok at catching. Rojo has terrible stone hands.

    Etienne , najee harris and jovuntae are 3 guys that can play right away. And i like our rook vaughn. But he cannot hold onto ball yet. So he cannot be trusted until he does


    Now if barrimore -dt from alabama is there …we should take him. And get a receiving back in a later round. Problem is that player will only be more of receiving then running but all good.

  2. Bobby M. Says:

    If Vaughn makes similar strides as Rojo from year 1 to 2….he could be a solid weapon. I thought he showed great potential as a runner and receiver. Brady has never really needed an elite RB to function at a high level.

  3. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Brady and the Coaches comfort level with each other will be at a completely different level next year. 14-2 reg season is definitely possible next year if not a better record barring injury. Fun times in the burgh by the bay. GO BUCS!!!

  4. Cannon Says:

    You just gotta think that opposing fans would cringe every we would run the ball… only to have Brady keep it and drop back. I know I would have, had the tables been turned.

  5. lambeau Says:

    Could not agree more–this is crucial to Brady’s game.
    I guess it took him almost 11 months to convince BA and BL, which is worrisome.
    But I think this is why Brady is so optimistic about next year–he’s installed his

  6. Coburn Says:

    Ya gotta figure when they actually do run it that it helped Lenny and Rojo out as well. No coincidence the run game was humming. Makes you hesitate whether they are actually running or throwing

  7. Beeej Says:

    I remember, mebbe half way thru the season EVERYBODY was wondering why we weren’t doing more of this, considering his historic success with it. (And LACK of same with spread/empty backfield)

  8. Brandon Says:

    I have said all season that the Bucs struggle throwing the football and protecting the QB the most when in empty sets and we do the best in play-action. Luckily, BL finally figured out what was obvious to me and began doing it. When we struggled and got blown out against the Saints, we ran the ball FIVE times and went empty sets a lot … with ZERO success. I think that may have been BL’s wake up call and it was needed.

  9. Eddie Says:

    Joe Buc are you really a Buc’s fan? Can’t believe you start every article with your debasing mantra. Don’t think your a Buc’s fan at all. Just some small minded vindictive wanna-be, who never played sports at all. Shame on you.

  10. geno711 Says:


    I believe the truth on play action to be successful – you actually do not need a dominant run game. You just need what the Buc’s had last year. A capable run game.

    If you have a capable run game, then play action has shown to be very effective – all kinds of studies on this. Obviously, if you a dominant run game and a dominant receivers that makes your team greater.

    I believe in the draft for this year to let it come to us. IMO the 32 pick does not have to be a running back or the DL man.

    I do agree with we need someone besides Rojo to be a safe guy for Brady to throw to. If that turns out to be a Vaughn, a rookie, or a released veteran, I am fine with that.

    Draft smart and “usually” that priority is not a running back.

  11. Bird Says:


    I hear yah. Remember though. Fournette obvious free agent
    Rojo up next year and will want a pay raise too
    So we have vaughn who i like but cannot hold onto ball
    So why not have a chance to get a running back with first round talent that can run and catch. You get 5 years at a reasonable price

    Sounds like a win to me.
    I know running backs are said to not have same value as saquon barkely and mccafrey always injured. I get it. But it helps us -it pushes all those guys back to us. Again. Pick 32 is almost a second round pick.