Less Is More With Tom Brady?

December 1st, 2021

Better as game manager?

So the Bucs had their biggest win since the season-opener against the Cowboys. And Tom Brady — at least by his standards — had a pretty blah day.

Brady threw for 226 yards and one touchdown. Very un-MVP-like. The guy who carried the mail for the Bucs was Playoff Lenny, who scored four touchdowns. He had three on the ground, ran for 100 yards and caught Brady’s lone touchdown throw, a dinky four-yard pass to the left flat.

So does this give credibility to the run-the-ball crowd barking that less of Brady is more of Brady? That the best way to use Brady is not have him throw to the NFL’s superior wide receiver/tight end corps, but to hand the ball off and play Dungyball?

Dan Graziano, in his weekly “Overreaction” column on BSPN, believes saying Brady is best when he’s a game-manager is not nonsense.

Running back Leonard Fournette scored four touchdowns himself in this game — which is incredible considering that the Colts had only allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs all season before Sunday. The Bucs’ defense came to life in the second half too, forcing turnovers and wresting control of the game from the Colts just in time. It was a total team effort by Tampa, which Brady surely enjoyed.

The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. It almost feels too obvious, right? The way Brady is playing at age 44 is ridiculous, historic and amazing. He deserves all manner of reverent credit for what he is doing. But a big part of the reason he went to Tampa Bay was because he was tired of being the guy who was asked to cover up all the flaws on New England’s roster. Brady liked the Bucs because they had such a great roster — offensive line, receivers, defense — and the Super Bowl title was the result of all of that working together.

I continue to believe the most significant impact Brady has on the Bucs is the confidence he provokes in every player on both sides of the ball just by being in the building. And yes, I have no doubt he is still capable of making the big play when it’s needed or putting the Bucs on his back to win a game. I just don’t think he should need to do it all the time, and if the Bucs can run the ball the way they did against the Colts on Sunday, they’re going to be a real tough out again in the NFC playoffs. Maybe even the toughest.

Joe wouldn’t take the ball out of Brady’s hands, or the hands of Chris Godwin or Mike Evans, or foot-rubbing, car-littering film guru Rob Gronkowski or furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing Antonio Brown (whenever he comes back). When all the guys in the passing game are healthy, this offense is downright sick.

However, Joe fully agrees with Graziano in that the biggest thing Brady provides is being the lead dog and showing his teammates how to win. Before Brady arrived, this team didn’t know how to avoid  the neighbor’s dog deposits on the sidewalk.

Brady arrives in town and — voila! — Super Bowl, baby!

Oh, there actually is another invaluable thing Brady brings to the Bucs. That would be his recruiting skills.

21 Responses to “Less Is More With Tom Brady?”

  1. NeverGIVEup Says:


  2. Defense Rules Says:

    The perfect offense IMO is the one that has so many weapons there’s no way opposing defenses can negate them all. Shouldn’t need to be said that quality game-planning & play-calling are needed to use those weapons effectively. Sunday’s game wasn’t perfect, but we’re coming a lot closer to that goal.

  3. Tampaabaybucfan Says:

    I believe we are 24-8 with Brady……I think he cam do what he wishes and all he wishes is to win.

  4. Beeej Says:

    You people don’t understand: Brady and Evans are my fantasy starters, and NOW Brady is only the SECOND highest point generator in fantasy. (Lost last week by 3 points)

  5. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Why take Brady out I his comfort zone as game manager? This all depends on the defense. If they are playing like Swiss cheese then the options become slim, if they step up manager to O anyway you like to secure the W. On the other hand 30-40 points makes opposing teams one dimentional and the more points Bucs score the better their chances are to win. I hope this helps, lol.

  6. Bob in valrico Says:

    For whatever reason, the offense seemed to revolve around Gronk,Lenny, and
    Brate,last week. I would much rather see some passes past the sticks to Evans and Godwin than the wide receiver screens.No question Godwin usually makes plays however he touches the ball, but are we using them too much and teams are catching on? We need Marpet back, and a plan to slow the rush up the middle.
    This seems to be affecting Brady, and causing him to throw an excessive amount of checkdowns, IMO.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    After Brady, the OLine is the most important factor in this offense. As long as Brady and OLine stay healthy, Bucs will produce on offense.

  8. Youngbucs Says:

    Why does everything have to be so complicated. Every game flows different!!!

  9. Hodad Says:

    This goes back to defenses can only take so much away. We’re seeing two deep safties O.K. we’ll pound your arse. Brady is the master at taking what a defense gives him. He has the tools to beat you no matter which way you line up. Me, I’m old school, Allstott up the cut! What was really great about our running game were our receivers. Evans, Johnson, Godwin, Miller, didn’t matter they blocked their butts off all day. Hats off to them staying in the game blocking, not caring about catches. That’s winning offense.

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bob, please go back and watch the rerun on this game, you will see Evan’s and Godwin were covered. Brady threw to deep balls to Scotty (the fast receiver Bucs have) first one Scotty ran the wrong route, they came back to that play and Scotty got the PI call but he was still in tight coverage. That is a VERY low percentage pass and we all saw what happens if one thing goes wrong. Forcing it to Evan’s and Godwin may make the fans feel good because it’s more exciting to watch but Brady would rather have the W. The Bucs will go much deeper in the PO’s if they have a more balanced attack and that may mean your hero Evan’s doesn’t get his 1000 yds.

  11. Aaron Says:

    Evans usually gets the #1 corner with help…plus, it takes him an extra click to get open. I think Belechick showed teams how to slow down Godwin..I’ve seen him get double teamed inside a lot..might be man coverage with LB help underneath plus a safety overtop or just inside zone with coverage over top and underneath.

    The Defense knows that Brady wants to get the ball out in 2.5 seconds – so, our other receivers are not winning early in the route…in comes AB. Until then, lets get this running game going and burn clock. This will also help the play-action game – that gives Godwin and Evans extra time to get open for Brady to find them downfield.

    No reason we can’t score 30+ every game with take what they give you ball control. I know its not exciting at times – but F’n winning is way more fun than losing a no risk it no biscuit game.

  12. PassingThru Says:

    You play this game by taking what the defense is giving you.

  13. Cannon Says:

    Everybody here seems to agree. The Colts played two deep safeties, and dared us to use the running game and short passing game.

    …and we did

  14. Smashsquatch Says:

    Brady has a lot to do with the run game success. The Bucs need to soften teams up with the passing game in order to run it successfully later in the game. It would be a mistake to be conservative with this offense. Get healthy, hit your stride, and dominate down the stretch. Only one team can have a bye this year and the oft injured aging Bucs, undefeated at home this year, will benefit big time if they earn the #1 seed.

  15. Buddha Says:

    MVP is a question of who is most VALUABLE to his team. It doesn’t matter whether you throw 50 touchdown passes or lead the team to the go ahead points in the last minute of the game or even manage the clock so the other team can’t come back. In games against Dallas, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis, Brady showed he is the MVP this year. If the voting had been after the playoffs last year, he may have won as well since he clearly outplayed Rodgers in both games against the Packers last year. There’s too much emphasis on stats and not enough on the decisive moments of the game. The last drive by the Buccaneers against the colts was a beautiful thing.

  16. Lesco_Brandon Says:

    Having Brady with the Bucs created a huge problem with the opposing Defense. If they clogged the lanes, Brady will dissect their secondary, if they double coverage his wide receivers, he will definitely hand the ball to Fournette or ROJO. it all depends on what the opposing defense gives him. Brady is a smart QB and will not force any ball just to pad his stats. He plays to win and whatever it takes.

  17. PassingThru Says:

    One more thing: I’d like to see a late-season emphasis on dink and dunk, which is the polar opposite of biscuit football. The two high safeties result in bracket coverage on the outside receivers. Teams are also trying to disguise coverage more this season by placing more players at the line of scrimmage, then either blitzing from time to time (not often) or dropping back into coverage. You counter that with either a strong running game or dink and dunk.

    I’ll put it this way: Why did an elite QB like Mahomes struggle during the Super Bowl and the early part of this season? Because they played their version of biscuit football. Once you take away their deep threats, and cover Kelce at the second level (that’s tough), Mahomes was screwed. He kept looking for deep targets who couldn’t break double coverage, which resulted in sacks (losing the starting OTs only exacerbated the problem).

    KC started to do better. Why? Mahomes began to rely on shorter passes. Some of the might have been on Mahomes processing, some of that might have been a lack of emphasis in either the playbook or practice, probably the latter.

    To bring this long-winded post to an end, I hope Leftwich and Arians practice a lot more dink and dunk in practice because the two deep safety look is not unique to teams playing the Bucs, we’re seeing it used throughout the NFL by teams facing a quality QB.

  18. Swampbuc Says:

    They were doubling Mike and Chris all game. The Bucs took what the Colts gave them — running the ball, checkdowns to RBs and heavy use of TEs in the passing game. It resulted in 38 point.

    If Atlants chooses to also double Chris and Mike, expect more of the same and be happy about it.

  19. Bob in valrico Says:

    List,yeah I like Evans and Godwin. There are still opportunities to beat two deep safeties that don’t have to be thirty yards deep. Also have seen OJ and ROJO open for a seven or eight yard pass with far easier path to the sticks than some of the short 3-5 yard checkdowns. We had two offensive heroes in in Gronk and Lenny.
    But I don’t think Our offense should rely on defensive turnovers,because we are not always going to get them,

  20. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bob, Rojo is probably Brady’s last look due to his rocks for thumbs as far as OJ I don’t know may be he’s dogging it. My guess with Johnson is simply inexperienced. The game moves very fast, faster than we all can’t imagine at that level, I don’t think any QB wants to miss an open receiver but it happens. Fortunately for the Bucs, Bradys hits them more than most other QB’s.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    What’s our record when Fournette or RoJo have over 11 carries in a game?

    Oh that’s right- pretty much perfect.

    What does Brady excel at, perhaps more than anyone?

    Play action.

    An effective run game is crucial. It makes the passing game, and all those weapons, that much more lethal. Airing it out non-stop leads to quick 3-and-outs, meaning less time of possession and more stress on our inconsistent defense.