Better Pass Protection = Tom Brady Slicing Defenses Apart

October 16th, 2022

Protection makes Tom Brady smile.

One reason Joe is pumped for today’s game is Joe expects Tom Brady to light up the Steelers’ beat-up secondary.

Every fans saw what happened to the Bucs’ secondary last year when it lost its top three corners. Wasn’t pretty. Well, that’s what the Steelers will experience today.

And the icing on that cake is the absence of Pittsburgh All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Pat Kerrane of NBC Sports Edge decided to break down the numbers to see why Brady the past couple of weeks has turned the corner while throwing a combined 104 passes. Brady has looked his best when winging the ball.

The easy answer, Kerrane noted, is that both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are on the field. Peel back the onion skin a little more and Kerrane believes he has found the main reason why Brady’s numbers have jumped.

More time to throw.

And the ability to protect Brady appears to be having a significant effect. In Week 5, Tom Brady was pressured on just 21% of his dropbacks, the second-lowest rate of the week. And Brady was pressured on just 15% of his dropbacks against the Chiefs, the lowest rate of Week 4. Brady was comfortable in the pocket over the last games—and it’s no coincidence that he has dropped back nonstop.

This is a similar spot for Brady; the Steelers rank 23rd in pass rush grade, 28th in pressure rate, and 23rd in quick pressure rate. And in their four games without T.J. Watt, they rank 29th in quick pressure rate. And while the Steelers’ secondary is somewhat respectable, Tom Brady should be able to sit back and pick it apart.

Kerrane typed this before Friday afternoon’s injury report came out. So that “respectable” Steelers secondary is now in shambles. And, oh look, here comes Evans and Godwin. Sucks for you, Pittsburgh.

Besides Evans and Godwin, Kerrane pointed out Playoff Lenny is a a hidden beneficiary of Brady passing so much. That’s true. The way the Bucs cannot run the ball, Playoff Lenny is more dangerous as a receiver than a runner.

20 Responses to “Better Pass Protection = Tom Brady Slicing Defenses Apart”

  1. SB Says:

    Um……He doe his job. Can the O and D play ‘complimentary?”

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    Blitzburgh knows that the only chance they have is to not let Tom have time. Better be ready for 5 or 6 coming most of the time, and 7 coming more than the Brady scholar might think wise.

    Bymron, any chance you’ve installed some blitz beaters into your opening script, and in the rest of the game plan? Why are many of us doubtful?

  3. Vance Says:

    This game should be a BLOW OUT.
    BUT the Defense gets bored in the 4th. So nevermind.

  4. George Says:

    Every NFL game is hard . Take nothing for granted.

  5. Rod Munch Says:

    I got Brady starting everyone in daily – expecting a huge game.

    Which probably means Leftwich spent the entire week figuring out how to take the ball out of Brady’s hands in order to trick the Steelers. They’ll never see that first down run up the gut coming.

  6. Goatfarmer Says:

    The first down run up the gut LEFT — Leftwich. Aha. There’s the clue. Dead giveaway.

    I’m expecting Leftwurst’s offense to explode for maybe 19 points again.

  7. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Guys, remember last year when we went into the WFT and Jets games with so much arrogance? We were absolutely embarrassed against Washington, and let’s not forget we had a great OL and Godwin and Evans and we still managed only 20 points. We also had no business winning that Jets game. If not for the boneheaded call from the Jets coach and the miraculous winning drive by Brady, it saved us from even bigger embarrassment. You guys have more faith than me against the Steelers. I’ve seen what this team does when it plays down to their opponent. My final score is 23-17 for the Steelers.

  8. garro Says:

    Some one please define pressured for this Bucs fan.
    Joe these talking heads don’t watch games or teams. They watch questionable stats. Like pressured. Sure it matters. But if your quarterback is holding on to the ball for 5 minutes looking for that wide open receiver its a questionable stat. Or was the QB blitzed? Did he or the line pick up the blitz…questionable stat. Brady has been fantastic this season at getting the ball out because he knows …. wait for it…. He’s gonna be “pressured” if he doesn’t!

  9. garro Says:

    The first thing you learn in a college statistics class is that stats are manipulated….”One of the first things learned in a statistics class is a good statistician can take nearly any statistic and make the statistic represent what the statistician wants it to represent”

  10. Beeej Says:

    73% of statisticians absolutely hate their jobs

  11. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Exactly George, any given Sunday we all witnessed it last season.

  12. BucsfanFred Says:


  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The lack of pressure on Brady is a questionable stat because he dumps the ball off so quickly before pressure develops……he will throw the ball away or into the ground to avoid being hit…..
    If Mike & Chris can get open early, it’s going to be a great day for TB>

  14. Todd Says:

    These are those damned games that make me nervous. You know, the ones we already put in the win column? The ones with rookie quarterbacks? Hmmmn. Anyone remember Daniel Jones?

    Now, that said, we should mop the floors with these guys. That secondary… OOOF! Peace be upon them.

  15. Kentucky Buc Says:

    The pressured stat should have the Ball release time right next to it. Brady is getting it out fast as usual skewing the pressure stat.

  16. HC Grover Says:

    our game plan may make this another close one

  17. Jeff Says:

    Lol! This is the STEELERS! This isn’t some NFC south bum like Atl. Storied franchise with a superior coaching staff. Bucs will be lucky to get the win today.

  18. View from 132 Says:

    Any truth to stories that Brady missed walk through yesterday?

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    They’ll be lucky to get the win next week too…right Jeff…gotcha.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    After watching the Chiefs and the Fowl combine for 300 yards rushing against Bowels’ charmin soft defense, I already feel like the Bucs lost this game, especially with the over-hormonal all-talk-but-no-action Diva White running around in the middle like a headless chicken.

    C’mon, Tom, pull us out of our funk. You’re the only true leader on this team that can make a difference.