It’s Getting To Look A Lot Like The Patriots

December 1st, 2021

“I’ve seen these guys before.”

In three of the last four games, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is almost looking, well, like his once preordained successor in New England, Jimmy GQ.

In those games (slimy Saints, WTF and Indianapolis), Brady has put up less than gaudy numbers. The deep ball, save for a throw here or there, is nearly non-existent.

Joe’s good friend Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders is beginning to notice, too. But that’s not a bad thing, Tanier typed. Remember, the 2018 Belicheats won it all.

And the NFL ought to be scared as hell.

The Buccaneers look a little like the 2018 Patriots right now. The Tom Brady wizardry is waning a bit again, but Rob Gronkowski is available to go ham when Brady needs a big play, the offensive and defensive fronts remain stacked, and opponents have a habit of muffing punts and making other silly mistakes in His Divine Presence. The 2018 Patriots had an awesome secondary and glorified practice squad wide receivers, the 2021 Buccaneers the exact opposite, and Leonard Fournette is the fully evolved form of Sony Michel.

The Buccaneers’ late-season stretch is basically a Roman triumph for Brady. Even the Jets are showing up to pay homage. It’s actually a little gross.

In the event of a Buccaneers-Patriots Super Bowl, there’s a nonzero chance that I retire from football coverage and return to teaching.

The fact the Bucs — with Brady and foot-rubbing, car-littering film guru Rob Gronkowski — will be playing the Jets as they warm-up for the playoffs is almost like NFL strongman Roger Goodell is trolling somebody — hey, Woody Johnson, you can’t get away from Brady!

If that is what it takes to repeat as Super Bowl champs, Joe might even buy a Belicheats T-shirt from the Goodwill.

The Bucs playing the Belicheats in the Super Bowl? Joe doesn’t even want to think about it.

28 Responses to “It’s Getting To Look A Lot Like The Patriots”

  1. PSL Bob Says:

    Would that be a SB for the ages? The Bucs with TB12 at the helm vs the Patriots and Bill Belicheat. You can’t make this stuff up.

  2. PassingThru Says:

    The 2018 Patriots did this by design, prior to the 2018 season being launched. If you look at their draft picks, they were doing the usual Belichick more: Zig while the rest of the league zags. Belichick uncharacteristically drafted a RB in the first round, which if you follow the NFL closely, you realize that the Sony pick was just weird. Bill stopped picking RBs in the first round or even second round as he viewed them as being high-risk commodities with short shelf-lives. He already had the quality O line, but he started to use Gronk more as a blocker and run the ball more that season.

    He was hedging his bets. He couldn’t count on Brady playing forever, so he was already phasing him out prior to 2019. Most of the Patriots fans didn’t even see it coming, but the writing was clearly on the wall in 2018. The 2019 first draft pick, N’Keal Harry was a freaking awful WR, but he was a superior run blocker. That confirmed the direction of where New England was heading: A run focused offense that supported a quality defense. Meanwhile the New England WR/TE corp atrophied and became the worst rotation of pass catchers in the NFL.

    Belichick was addressing a different problem: Brady’s age and a desire to further New England’s cause over a longer time horizon (and I’m trying to be objective, Seth Wickersham and others infer it was Bill’s attempt to further his legacy at the expense of Brady, which is probably true too).

    This season’s problem is entirely different: The defenses in the NFL have morphed this season, which is stealing thunder from every deep throwing QB in this league. Look around, Brady, Mahomes, Allen, Stafford and others are being challenged in that they cannot uncork as many long passes.

    Here’s the good news: This plays into Brady’s strengths. Brady is the quintessential fast-processor. He can find receivers faster than any QB out there. He has a quick release. He’s accurate over the short to intermediate levels. He is a prescription for the ills of the Cover Two shells.

    As I’ve said before, I sure hope Leftwich and Arians move away from biscuit football because it makes no sense practicing for something the defense isn’t giving you. Have the team work on run blocking, and have the team work on creating separation on those short to intermediate routes.

  3. Robert Says:

    Bucs vs Pats would be AWESOME!

    their QB is looking like the real deal though. Won’t be like earlier in the season.

  4. Drebucsfan Says:

    Man o man once AB gets back along with Carlton Davis i believe we’ll be back to Super Bowl caliber football…

  5. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Do not care who they play, JUST WIN BABY!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  6. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Robert Says:
    December 1st, 2021 at 10:28 am
    Bucs vs Pats would be AWESOME!

    their QB is looking like the real deal though. Won’t be like earlier in the season.

    Mac Jones went 31-40 for 275yds and 2 TD and 1 INT
    He’s only had 2 other games with a higher completion %

  7. Wimp Sanders Says:


    Incredible comment! Really great knowledge and perspective. I bought the Wickersham book recently and am looking forward to digging into it. I think there are a lot of Patriots fans or (former Patriots fans like myself who departed when Brady did) who cannot believe how much negativity the Buccaneers fans about their team. So much griping and belly-aching.

    Great to hear some reasonable commentary about why Tampa’s offense looks like it does.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    I’d love to see us play the Patriots in the Super Bowl. They have an excellent defense (#1), but the only time it played the #1 offense (us) they lost.

    Reeling off 6 straight wins is impressive regardless of who they played, but it’s their next 3 games that’ll tell us who they REALLY are: Bills, Colts, Bills. Looking at those 6 wins they crucified their opponents in the Turnover Battle (17-4), and used a run-focused attack (51% run-pass ratio) to dominate the TOP Battle & control the games. Pats averaged 33 rushes and 144 rushing yards per game in that 6-game stretch, but didn’t put a whole bunch of pressure on Mac Jones to win the ballgame in any of their games.

    Turnovers & rushing to control the game; kinda sounds like the Colts approach. Hmmm, how well did that work out for them against our Bucs?

  9. bucschamp Says:

    I think next week we will see more deep bombs from Brady. he tried it twice with Scotty who was a bit slow. I expect him to get the 3Rd. also AB will be back. this will be deadly.

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:


    The Colts didn’t try to run against us.
    Wentz threw 44 passes.
    That was their big mistake.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    DooshLaRue … My point exactly. The Colts bread-and-butter PRIOR to Sunday’s game was winning the Turnover Battle & using a run-focused attack (just like the Patriots). We beat them at their own game by us winning the Turnover Battle AND shutting down their run & forcing them to pass. And we could do exactly the same thing against the Patriots if we meet them in the Super Bowl.

  12. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    What a game that will be, us vs The Patriots, in the Super Bowl, and it is looking like they will be the AFC Reps. Of course, we will see in these next games if they are for real or not ?

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Noted but they could have run against us and abandoned it too soon because it’s just too easy to pass on our D.
    They only ran it 6 times in the first 3 quarters, 6-19, 3.16 avg, granted not great but in the 4th quarter JT was 10 for 64 and gashing us pretty badly. A few more attempts earlier in the game and it’s probably a different ballgame.
    Wentz isn’t a very good QB and lost the game with poor decisions and fumbles.

    We got lucky.

    I’ll take it but I’m a bit underwhelmed overall.

  14. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    they will beat us if we play them tomorrow, they will beat us if we meet @SB.
    the main reason: BB the greatest of all time vs TV🤡 the most lost HC at this time.
    I hope we never meet them again this season(SB), well if we will make it.

  15. Oneilbuc Says:

    I thought Belichick couldn’t do anything without Brady 🤔 !! I told yall without Belichick there is no Brady !!!

  16. BA4President Says:

    Our last four games included a loss to Trevor Siemian and Taylor Heinicke.

    A Super Bowl run is fun to think about, but this team has no business looking past their next opponent!


  17. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”… I told yall without Belichick there is no Brady !!!…”
    Yes and No.
    To win SB you need everyone NOT to suck + TB12.
    Right now we have ONLY TB12, if we go down is not his fault, he is the leader of a group of high quality players which unfortunate have NO NFL caliber coaches.
    TB12 is doing his job, and is doing in the highest standard.
    So far:
    Bucs lead the NFL with point scored total 347 points. (that’s TB12 job)
    Bucs are third on total yards 4,419 passing teams with 12 games.(that’s TB12 job)
    Bucs passing yard allow 2,722. That put us 18th, with B Bills with 1,964 @ #1.
    (that is not TB12)
    So Tom is doing great without BB, the question is: can Bucs make it with this coaching staff??

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    DooshLaRue … I thought that the Colts gave up on the run too early also, but at the same time that’s a credit to our defense IMO. We stuffed them pretty good early-on & enticed them to switch to the short pass. Far as I’m concerned it worked out pretty well for the Colts: they scored 31 points. That SHOULD have been enough to win the game, except that the 38 pts we laid on them was the most their defense has given up this year.

    Folks keep bad-mouthing our pass defense, but given the injuries that we’ve had (especially in the Secondary), I’d say we’re compensating reasonably well. Bucs currently rank #8 in Total Yardage Allowed (3,613 yds in 11 games) which is quite a bit better than average. We’ve allowed opposing QBs to complete 67.7% of their passes (the NFL average this season is 65.2% BTW, so we’re in the ballpark). Bucs focus so heavily on stopping the run (still #1 in the NFL) AND on blitzing (our 38.8% blitzing is the NFL’s highest) that folks should expect we’d give up a higher percentage of completions. That, plus keeping everything in front of us trying to minimize the explosive plays, I think is all part of Todd Bowles strategy.

    What shouldn’t be overlooked about our defense though is that it’s generated 23 turnovers in only 11 games (2 per game). That gives us a #3 NFL ranking in that category. In 2 of those, the Bucs defense put 14 points on the board. In many of the other 21 takeaways, Bucs’ offense got the ball in enemy territory & went on to score either TDs or FGs. So the offense’s stats benefitted; awesome. Of course that same offense has turned it over 15 times. Some of those ended in our defense holding the line; some ended with us surrendering either a TD or a FG. Bummer. Somehow the Turnover Battle doesn’t seem like a very fair accounting system Doosh when the defense’s good deeds (takeaways) pad the offense’s stats, yet the offense’s misdeeds (giveaways) adversely impact the defense’s stats. But hey, I know, life’s not fair.

  19. DoooshLaRue Says:

    All valid points DR.

  20. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Agreed, that would probably be the most viewed NFL game ever but that’s a long way away. Mac Jones is going into Dec which means bad weather in the N. East, that’s a whole different game when you add snow & wind. McDaniels has done a great job managing Jones and his abilities. I do have a.hard time believing Jones could keep up with Mahomes in a playoff game. Oneilbucyall the Brady hater the Patriots are pretty much injury free and have one of the best defenses in the league.

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    If Brady beat belicheat in the super bowl that would probably signal him to retirement. Which would be a bad thing for us but then again there would not be amything more for him too accomplish.

  22. Mike C Says:

    So we already beat them…… but have no chance against them again? 🤡?

  23. SlyPirate Says:

    Spoiler Alert: In 56 Super Bowls (and years) no rookie QB has every made the Super Bowl.

  24. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”..So we already beat them…… but have no chance against them again? 🤡?..”
    yeah we did; we beat a just turn 23 years old(almost millennium X) QB, with only three games NFL experience.
    Things are different now, we are different now.

  25. Crickett Baker Says:

    Whaddya mean @Allbuc?? No one has ever done a three-peat…:)

  26. mg Says:

    The patriots are overrated and have most likely peaked.

  27. Bucthis Says:

    We beat them in Foxborough in a crazy hostile environment with an emotional TB12. If we pull off getting to LA and are healthy, it will be a hell of a game and I’ll take the Bucs all day. Crazy 🤡 you are so boring to listen to complaining about our coach. 8-3 is a strong number for a bunch of clowns. If BB is the greatest ever and BA is such a 🤡 to you, why don’t you just go back to the Patriot fan page and stop cluttering up our Bucs page with your 🤡 💩!

  28. Oneilbuc Says:

    Listnfrmafar you call me the Brady hater because I tell the truth about Belichick developing Brady lol ok !! The difference is you worship Brady and I don’t. I just bring out how you make excuses for Brady even when it’s his fault and I don’t that’s the difference between me and you. I don’t follow the crowd or the national media narratives like you do. I said Belichick will develop Mac Jones most of yall said it wasn’t going to happen and now you seeing that every narrative has been destroyed so far this year. Even Brady taking the same team from 2019 that was a lie. He just lost 2 games in a row with the 2019 bucs. Yall laughed at Belichick but look at that team now they’re winning without Brady and got a quarterback who looks like a young Brady.