Tom Brady Trending Down Because NFL Defenses Are Trending Up?

September 27th, 2022

Senses NFL pattern.

This is an interesting take. For those who think Tom Brady and fellow NFL graybeard Aaron Rodgers are showing their ages by struggling through the first three games, what then is the excuse for Pat Mahomes and Josh Allen, two young gunslingers who also hit a rut.

In his must-read weekly column, “Football Morning in America,” elf-rattled, green-lawns-frowning, soggy-socks-wearing, Daylight-Savings-Time-scared, crossword-puzzle-puzzled, Elon-Musk-peeved, Barstool-Sports-triggered, almond-milk-sipping, hot-dog-eating-contest-protesting, mock-draft-scowlingL.L.-Bean-wearing, tennis fans’ advocate, Second Amendment abolitionistMike-Florio-arguingparrot-insensitivechewing-with-his-mouth-opensoup-gulpingCalifornia-train-romancing, anti-football proliferationouthouse-admiringairline-nappingsteerage-flyingYogi Berra-worshipingurinal-picture-takingvideo-game-playingTaylor-Swift-listeningpickpocket-thwartingBucs-uniform-frowning, Allie LaForce-smitten, Big-Ten-Network-hatingpedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerking, craft-beer-chugging, cricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïvebaseball-box-score-readingNPR-honkfilthy-hotel-stayingfight-instigatingbarista-training, Budweiser-tolerantbaseball-scorecard-keeping, pasta-feasting, vomit-dodging scrooge, Kay-Adams-following, Coors-Light-souring, pineapple-upside-down-cake-eating social activist and NFL insider of NBC Sports fame, Peter King, isn’t sure because we are only three weeks into the season. But King is starting to feel that this season will be all about defenses, not quarterbacks.

The NFL has been a pass-happy league for the past decade or two. King senses defenses may be catching up with the Star Wars passing attacks.

Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen played on Sunday. They quarterbacked their teams to 12, 14, 17, and 19 points, respectively. Now, this could be a coincidence, and of course, it’s only three weeks of games (not including the last games of the month, Cowboys-Giants tonight and Dolphins-Bengals on Thursday). The seasons are just 17 percent complete.

But the two big national games with offensive geniuses galore that closed out Sunday football ended with scores of 14-12 and 11-10. To see Rodgers and Brady struggle as they have, to see Russell Wilson throw two touchdown passes in three games with a starry receiving corps … something just might be up.

I do think part of what we’re seeing is a reflection of how defenses are playing, with the consistent two-deep-safety look that’s a part of the game’s current trendy D, the scheme that forces offenses to win underneath with long drives. Perfect example Sunday in Tampa: Midway through the third quarter, the Bucs had two safeties lined up 18 yards deep against Aaron Rodgers, showing nothing before the snap or very early in the snap. Tampa safety Logan Ryan waited, waited, waited and then, when Rodgers threw, Ryan jumped the route of the receiver and picked it off.

Brady’s numbers are down a bit but his numbers against the Packers were not awful. He also pushed his streak to six regular season games not throwing a pick against Green Bay.

As King noted, it might be wise to wait a few weeks to make any broad-brush stroke claiming this is the year of the defense. King, however, could be onto something here.

19 Responses to “Tom Brady Trending Down Because NFL Defenses Are Trending Up?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    He’s just not the same guy anymore. He needs his supporting cast more than the supporting cast needs him. At this point, he is a complimentary piece.

    He needs a stacked superteam to perform well. Many QB’s could perform well on a stacked superteam, where the receiver talent is the best in football.

  2. adam from ny Says:

    it’s time for tuddies…

    let the gronkster know

  3. PassingThru Says:

    Let’s be serious. Brady ripped two man high/cover two shells since Hecor was a pup. The problem is the lack of adequate receiving options for a sustained dink and dunk attack.

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Sometimes I wonder what sport King is watching. This time I’m wondering who is whispering in his ear that defenses are starting faster this season.

  5. Winny Testaverde Says:

    King’s column is somewhat of a must read…and admittedly he’s the ultimate insider ( ask him if you don’t believe me ). He is one strange Karen, however…getting further Left of Lenin by the column.

    Nice addition with the “elf rattled”, Joe! He’s upset by the original mascot displayed at midfield for the Brownies and may feel some internal rumblings as well when Bucco Bruce ( the OG…not Arians ) returns to midfield at RayJay if only for a game in 2023.

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Anonymous go back to your corn hole league. WTF, he has 3 inexperienced olinemen, no receiving TE and the best starting receiver is the #3 with a hammy issue. Sunday he went 13 for 14 in the first half and ended up hitting 73.8% of his passes not to mention the 20yd run that was called back. Roger’s didn’t run for 20 yds. You still haven’t answered my question, which one of your Super Star QB’s excel in the same circumstances?

  7. PSL Bob Says:

    Three reasons for Brady’s drop in efficiency, depleted o-line, depleted receiving corps and POOR PLAY CALLINg. The offense will improve as injured players return to the lineup.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Consider this>

    We were missing Jensen, D Smith, Evans, Godwin, Julio & Otton……no Gronk…..supposedly a hobbled Lenny……and we played a top defense.

    What do you expect….

    As far as our defense is concerned….I think the addition of Logan Ryan to the secondary has made a huge difference…….they actually look like they know what they are doing.

  9. Oneilbuc Says:

    Brady is 45 years old and some of yall act like he’s 25 time robs a man of many things. And right now Brady is playing like his age because he didn’t have his receivers to hide his decline like he did the pass 2 years. Go see how he looked in 2019 and I was telling yall that back then.

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Oneilbucyall, once again an idiot statement. He hit 73.8% of his passes. 2019 Pat’s went 12-4 and if it weren’t for Belichick/ McDaniels calling the EXACT same run play 3 times in a row on the goaline and a offensive lineman down field Pat’s easily win. Go back and watch the game. Your going to say he threw a pick 6, yes with 9 seconds left backed up inside their 10 yd line, not a game changer. QB’s no matter who they are, are only as good as their ine and Wr’s. Mahomes proved that in the SB. Unless your Jamais that has no clue where the DB’s are on the field. How can you hate so much being a church going man. Do they teach discrimination in your parrish?

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    King … ‘I do think part of what we’re seeing is a reflection of how defenses are playing, with the consistent two-deep-safety look that’s a part of the game’s current trendy D, the scheme that forces offenses to win underneath with long drives.’

    Can’t disagree with his observation, but in the Bucs case it’s more than just that IMO. Forgetting Akiem Hicks who’s injured, our defense is healthy, a major plus over last season. We’ve added a highly-talented ‘field general’ in Logan Ryan to our back end, and that’s proving to be huge.

    Also looks like the Bucs’ D has been blitzing a little less than usual (playing more coverage?), and is using more variety in our blitzing schemes. Numbers for the last game aren’t our yet, but in our first 2 games, we blitzed 32 times total & used 9 different blitzers it looks like. MAYBE we’ve gotten to the point that Todd Bowles feels confident in opening up more of his defensive playbook?

  12. Goatfarmer Says:

    Maroons abound.

  13. Hodad Says:

    I think NFL defenses are just ahead of the offenses at this point in the season. I consider the month of September the real preseason. You should see offenses picking it up around the league as their continuity, and timing increases.

  14. D-Rome Says:

    It seems scoring is down all over the NFL and it appears this season there has been a major shift defensively. I’m curious to know what percentage of games hit the over during the first 3 weeks of the NFL season.

  15. Anonymous Says:


    We would have equal or better success with the following QB’s:

    1. Josh Allen

    2. Patrick Mahomes

    3. Justin Herbert

    4. Aaron Rodgers

    5. Lamar Jackson

    6. Joe Burrow

    7. Matthew Stafford

    8. Russell Wilson

    9. Kyler Murray

    10. Jalen Hurts

    11. Tua

    12. Derek Carr

    13. Trevor Lawrence

    14. Mac Jones

    15. Kirk Cousins

    The team is so stacked that I could see us >= 2-1 if these guys were under center as well. At this stage in his career, Brady is getting carried.

  16. Captain Oblivious Says:

    I’d be interested to see if there has been an uptick in offensive penalties this season. If the league thinks that scoring has reached video game levels they could certainly have the officials slow down offenses with timely penalties.

  17. SOEbuc be Says:

    What did everyone think “defense wins championships” means??? Athletic defense??? Who’d thunk? Peter King stuff always something that is blatantly obvious for five years

  18. Oneilbuc Says:

    Listnfrmafarm. Football is just a game to me bro I wish Brady nothing but the best. But I call like I see it to me Brady played ok it’s just he has declined and in 2019 we all saw it. Now for the past 2 years he had a all star cast on offense so they were able to hide it .

  19. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Anonymous and Oneilbucyall, I give up addressing your stupid ignorant statements. Half those QB’s you listed last week lost to inferior teams, GB was not inferior and if not for a green center not snapping the ball Bucs most likely win that one. I can’t wait until Brady has Smith, Evan’s, Jones, Godwin plus Gage & Beasley together, then you will vanish into the abyss like you always do when he shuts you up.

    At this point in Brady’s career there are only three QB’s I would agree would compliment the Bucs going forward, Mahomes, Hebert and Allen but Allen like Lamar Jackson will have a short shelf life. I am in New England and I am more of a Bucs fan than you two clowns.