Tom Brady’s Kryoptonite Revealed

December 22nd, 2021


Follicly-challenged Billy Barnwell of BSPN, a statgeek, decided to do a deep dive into the great mystery of our time.

And that is, why do the slimy Saints own Tom Brady?

Brady’s regular-season numbers against the slimy Saints are miserable beyond words since he joined the Bucs. The only thing Joe can think of is the Saints have a French Quarter voodoo hex on the Bucs.

Barnwell doesn’t believe in hexes and he generally traffics in numbers. He shared alarming stats that are just about unbelievable to Joe when it comes to Brady facing the slimy Saints.

But in the long run, the slimy Saints and their defensive coordinator Dennis Allen have just perfected what Rex Ryan used to do to Brady when Capt. Lou Albano ran the Jets, and what Wade Phillips did to Brady when he ran the Broncos’ defense:

Don’t blitz and find a way to get pressure inside from your front four. This tactic seems to send Brady into a trance he cannot escape, Barnwell types.

Kryptonite: Pressure without blitzing

Here’s a fun one for old times’ sake. The book on how to slow down or stop Tom Brady isn’t unique to the future Hall of Famer, but outside of injuring all of his receivers, it’s still the best solution. It’s a strategy that worked for the Giants in their Super Bowl upset victories and again for the Broncos when they beat Brady in the AFC Championship Game with a compromised Peyton Manning. It also got the Falcons out to their early lead in Super Bowl LI, and when their pass rushers got tired, it helped spur Brady’s legendary comeback.

If you can get pressure on Brady without blitzing, he’s mortal. It works on just about everyone, but given how difficult it is to typically get any leg up on the legendary quarterback, it’s still the formula that works. When he’s pressured by teams that send four or fewer, his QBR drops down to 21.7.

In Barnwell’s research, he found only a handful of quarterbacks whose numbers are worse than Brady’s when defenses are able to get pressure on him without blitzing.

Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, Matthew Stafford and Ryan Tannehill.


Last Sunday, Allen did a nice job of finding a way to expose Alex Cappa. Notice he ran a stunt a few times that got mouthy Cam Jordan one-on-one with Cappa? To use one of Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians’ favorite lines, that wasn’t a fair fight.

39 Responses to “Tom Brady’s Kryoptonite Revealed”

  1. Beeej Says:

    Thankfully, few teams have a front four that can do that

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Football 101
    You lose the line of Scrimmage and you get beat.
    The Bucs O line was whooped all night.
    Brady getting rocked again and again, not cool

    GO BUCS!!!!

  3. Hondo Says:

    Brady beat NO when it counted.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s this thing called a “running game” that’s supposed to be useful when you have only 4 linemen rushing!

  5. PassingThru Says:

    This season is a reprise of the 2015 New England Patriots season. New England and Brady looked poised to repeat, up until they lost a late season game to Denver. That’s when the injuries to his receivers and the deteriorating pass protection spelled their doom. That’s the Barnwell inference. They lost Gronk, and Edelman was but a shell.

    What makes this worse is that New Orleans is no 2015 Broncos. This Bucs team was more talented than the 2015 Patriots team and the Saints team is marginal but extremely well coached and extremely well prepared.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Your reference to the Saints finding a way to ‘expose Alex Cappa’ intrigues me Joe because he wasn’t the only one being ‘exposed’ by a long shot. But exactly how bad a night did Cappa have?

  7. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Brady’s Kryptonite is double digit drops by receivers. You can’t tell me that it’s not a different game if some of those passes are caught.

  8. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    This really isn’t news. All three SB losses and almost any loss as a Buc, it’s always been to a team that can get pressure with 4. That’s why the two games against Carolina will prove so telling. Carolina is a dumpster fire but they have the ability to get pressure with their front 4.

  9. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Bucs pass 66%-Run 33%-Way too predictable. During SB run of 4 wins last season-almost 50-50 pass run. Run the damn ball.

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I rewatched the game and I am giving a formal apology to BL. The game plan worked, even the first 10 pass plays almost all were completed. There were only 4 deep balls, Darden was useless slowed on the first one and Gronk should of got a PI and we all saw him drop the one on the 4 yd line. I know Brady was trying to make something happen but the fumble was as bad as Gronks drop. Takeaways: A couple of drive ending dropped balls, Gronks worst day as a Pro, 2 drive ending sacks & poor special teams at times. Bucs could easily beat this team even with the skeleton crew at the end. I know the D played great but Bunting got smoked twice on 3rd down by Calloway to set up first 2 FG’s. Overall it wasn’t the beating we thought it was and the run, pass mix at the end was working perfectly. I am not sure but I think the TOP was largely in favor of the Bucs. Bottomine, not the game an it was ALL execution and if Bucs didn’t lose our big 3 offense players that was a 17 or 20-9 game.

  11. rrsrq Says:

    @Hondo, the Bucs beat the Saints when it counted, in other words the defense had more to do with that win than he offense

  12. Wild Bill Says:

    The two monster pass rushers NO has look like men vs boys. Add in killer dbs and the Bucs are outplayed physically. What a beat down! Even with a mediocre QB NO owns the Bucs. It was really painful to watch.

  13. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Missed FG was large too. BA told Brady to quit that sh!t when it comes to running , and what happens? Brady turns it over twice , running both times , listen to the coach TB12

  14. Bird Says:

    You have to give saints credit. I went back to their schedule and their losses. Saints lost to teams with mobile qbs. Pretty obvious thats the issue we have with them. Shoot jameis could scramble from them when he was here
    Eagles put up 40 on them but i think lattimore out that gAme so whatever

    So yes when they pressure w 4 and drop everyone into coverage there is a good chance for turnover. Especially with our boring vanilla playcalling. Especially when brady throwing to scooter / johnson/ darden

    That is why brady struggles. Cause dak / allen/ hurst will just scramble for the first down when that defense is played Brady cant. To slow. Saints defense fast and physical. So brady drops back and is a sitting duck and has to throw perfect pass or he will get sacked. Or throw pick.

    We have to run the ball leftwich. So they cant always drop. Especially if rushing 4. I mean why did leftwich throw 98% of the time in the first half. You have to be a moron to not see this issue. Not really outcoached. Just being an absolute moron. And when you run do the little pitch to the side at times and not straight up the middle. I mean sh!tz. Mix it up dude

  15. Listnfrmafar Says:

    BucsFan, he had to run or he would of been sacked, it was 3rd & 8, the sack could of taken them out of FG range or at least a much longer FG. Jordan made a great play, plain and simple he never knew he was coming. Think about it, Gronks drop on 4 yard line cost 7 points, Brady fumble 3 pts and missed FG 3 pts. Shat happens.

  16. Bbro Says:

    Own him my ass did you all not see the playoffs last season. They do have the upper hand as far as defense but hey we need quick plays not ones that take time to develop where QB12 is sacked or hurried

  17. ClodHopper Says:

    Makes sense. So the summary of the game is the defense did enough to win, the offense got their arsenal destroyed and the Saints know Brady’s kryptonite. Probably without all the injuries we still could have squeezed out ten points and won even with Bradys kryptonite.

  18. PSL Bob Says:

    I mean really, is the Saint’s front 4 that much better than everyone else’s? Our O-line, together with assists from the TEs and RBs, usually gives TB a clean pocket. I’m sure Bowles will carefully evaluate film this week to see what went wrong and guard against it in the future.

  19. PSL Bob Says:

    As a follow-up, remember last year in the playoffs when everyone was raving about the WFT’s front 4? They were a non-factor against our O-line. We have the same guys this year. Something was just off last week and it apparently affected the entire offense.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Listnfrmafar … Game plan worked? Uhhh, we scored ZERO points. In 13 drives, we punted EIGHT times, committed TWO turnovers, missed 1 FG, and ran out of downs TWICE.

    Bucs ran 21 times, passed 48 times & took 4 sacks. That’s a run-pass ratio of less than 29%. In our 1st meeting with the Saints this year we had a run-pass ratio of 24% (reminder: we lost 35-27). Last season we lost to the Saints twice and averaged 28% run-pass.

    In last season’s playoffs we ran the ball much more often against pretty much the same Saints defense, and had a 50.7% run-pass ratio in that game. Won the Turnover Battle 4-0; won the TOP Battle 31:31 – 28:29, yet Brady threw for less than 200 yds. First time we put up 30 pts on the Saints since 2018 when Fitz smoked them 48-40.

    Our game plan played right into the Saints hands. As in ‘predictable as he11’. Yes we got the snot beat out of us physically, but for the #1 NFL offense to score ZERO pts? Nah, the game plan didn’t work for beans.

  21. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Saints blitzed a ton as well and it seemed as though the times they were blitzing they knew the bucs were going to run, the saints DC dialed up a ton of run blitzes and most of the time it worked and what is worse is they knew the bucs were going to run on most first downs

  22. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, why didn’t you list TOP? It was all player execution, i agree the 4th & 1 to Vaughn confused me and going to Darden twice was a huge mistake but maybe in practice he makes those. Who did you want to hand the ball off to? Vaughn? All I’m saying is they moved the ball all night but dropped balls a couple of timely sacks and a fumble cost them the game. DR, before you post your statistics go back and watch the game I was as surprised as you will be. Turnovers, dropped balls, sacks, missed FG, bad punts ALL poor execution. Hey I am not the biggest fan of BL and I agree his offense is one of a simpleton but this morning for breakfast I eat humble pie.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    I would say every QB’s “kryptonite” is a monster pass rush from a front-4.

  24. D-Rome Says:

    Aaron Rodgers played terribly against the Saints as well.

  25. Jordan Says:

    Yeah, not exactly anything new.

    This is why you have to establish the run game with Brady, you cannot sit back in shotgun every play and broadcast that you’re going to throw the ball no matter what.

    If you can establish the run game, it forces teams to start bringing some run blitzes which opens up the play action game and screen game for big gains – then, once you’re there, the defense is just rattled.

    This isn’t rocket science – this happens every single time we throw the ball too much. I look forward to Rojo being in the backfield BECAUSE he can’t catch – sounds counter intuitive but most things are. It will force us to pound the rock for a few weeks.

  26. Ed Says:

    The only way to stop a fearsome front four rush is to run right at them. If the DB’s are run blitzing its because they know you are going to run. You have to be smart enough to call the right plays for the right defenses.

    Looking back doesn’t do any good but when looking ahead, stay one step ahead by game planning to see those fronts. The league is copy-cat and if the Panthers want to rush 4 and drop everyone back you have to have 2 tight end sets to have 5 blockers vs 4 lineman. If favors the defense vs pass but not vs run.

  27. ChiBuc Says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Teams that get pressure with 3 or 4 DL and have a physical def that can shut down opposing teams’ WRs do good against teams that throw the ball almost 50x/game.

    Guess what else helps a team win. Coaches who recognize the above point and adjust according by bringing in extra TEs and smashing it down those 3 or 4 DL’s throats.

    You can rewatch that sh!t show all you want and blame it on execution, but that still begs the question: If your team is failing to execute in the passing game, why not run the ball?

  28. Jeff Says:

    Brady looks done. He still did enough to win the game. His teammates let him down.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Listnfrmafar … ‘I am not sure but I think the TOP was largely in favor of the Bucs.’

    Bucs 30:16 (73 plays … 21 runs, 48 pass, 4 sacks) versus Saints (60 plays … 31 runs, 27 pass, 2 sacks).

    TOP was a push even though Bucs ran a lot more plays. Sorta kinda that’s what results with pass-happy teams that only complete 50% of their passing attempts.

    Agree with your bottom line 100% though: ‘Shat happens’.

  30. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”..“Tom Brady’s Kryoptonite Revealed”..”
    @”..Aaron Rodgers played terribly against the Saints as well…”
    @……and more….and more…
    so all you are saying the saints have the key to beat ANY QB, right?? they are going to win the SB, by too many “D wins Championships”,right??
    … we got No D, now we got No O, so what in the heck we lying to ourselves by keep saying “we going to be OK”.
    No we are not OK, by too many football specialist(still bias from SB win), ranked us between 4-5 over all, I would say we are 10-11 place, on chances to go to SB. Very low chance to NO chance.
    We chose to not to see, cause we are in regular season, and still is an other week… and an other week….
    When we hit the PO, is going to be Oops, we done.
    You know we have around 30 coaches….why? to figured out plays to deal with EVERY possible play; what are they doing against this “monster” saints front 4 D???
    After all Saints are 7-7!!! more then one team beat them.

  31. Craig Says:

    Maybe it is just the Sports Illustrated curse.

    Whatever it was, he looked his age after getting dumped on his head.

    He’ll have it out of his system by Sunday. watch out Carolina, you are in trouble.

  32. SOEbuc Says:

    I noticed Jensen snapping the ball in the grass the entire game. We need to start reworking the oline in the upcoming drafts. We have no clue if Hainsey can produce or what position he may end up. Hopefully his best. I feel he will grow to at least be a quality backup somewhere.

    Passing league: We need to resign Davis, pay a decent amount of money (not out of the ballpark) for a FA or trade for a solid number two CB, and pick up a CB in first or second depending BPA for a DT.

  33. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree, since ROJO can’t catch worth a dam, we will be running the ball more.
    The Arians offense seems helpless against a strong pass rush from 4 players. Especially with all the empty backfield sets, leaving no back to pick up rushers who get through the line.
    New England had an answer for this. Brady simply threw right away to a wide receiver who cut his route short, at the line of scrimmage.
    This play broke the back of other teams pass rushes, but we never see it here.

  34. Mike Johnson Says:

    Get over it. Them Saints simply were the better team…that day. Their Defense played like Mad Dogs.And they lightly..spanked us. On to Panther country baby. Lets win this one or..Fall into a trap game.

  35. Bucamania Says:

    Bucs Oline and Cappa in particular cr@pped the bed against a defense that came to play. Meanwhile Bucs receivers were dropping passes left and right. They couldn’t match the Saints intensity either. Just a bad, bad day for the offense.

  36. unbelievable Says:

    LOL, this isn’t a mystery at all.

    2 deep safeties (7 defenders back in coverage) and hit him early in the game.

  37. Brandon Says:

    All the more reason to get the running game going but Leftwich’s playcalling and Brady’s ego keep getting in the way. Zero passes the last two opening quarters.

  38. matthew veal Says:

    Articles like this prove jbf is really good at his craft.

    I could see Dallas beating us in the playoffs this year given this argument

  39. Sparky Says:

    “Brady looks done”
    What kind of moron would say something so stupid? He’s still leading the NFL in most passing categories even after a shutout. In the New Orleans game I watched TB wasn’t the problem. He wasn’t the one dropping passes, letting rushers through, or calling too many pass plays.