Tom Brady Has Turned Into A Dink-And-Dunk Passer

November 1st, 2022

Deep passes fading away?

Joe is almost shocked that Tom Brady is second in the NFL in passing yards through eight games.

No, not shocked because Brady is 45 and it appears he’s having his first down season in forever. Plus, the Bucs haven’t had their bye week yet. But the guy has turned into a dink-and-dunk artist.

Yesterday Joe brought word from X’s and O’s guy Doug Farrar who typed that Brady is not connecting on deep shots much because receivers aren’t getting open. Yes, that includes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

The chart of Brady’s completions in the loss to the Crows from NextGen Stats seems to bear out Farrar’s idea: Brady isn’t throwing deep because receivers cannot get separation.

Look at all the green dots below. Those are completions. Look how many there are near or behind the line of scrimmage. A ton.

So Joe wonders, is the no-risk-it, no-biscuit offense dead?

33 Responses to “Tom Brady Has Turned Into A Dink-And-Dunk Passer”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Yep. It is. Once BA left, it died with him. Bowles still wants to run more, even though we can’t. Should be enough to call it dead.

  2. garro Says:


  3. Bob in valrico Says:

    IMO, Brady isn’t throwing deep that often because he either he doesn’t have or think he has the time for plays to develop downfield. Today’s NFL has changed,
    even bad teams that have defenses that can make their opponent resort to short passing game can be very successful. Unless you have one the premier pass blocking O lines a pure pocket passer is a sitting duck. Just one example, Joe Burrow had 5 sacks in the first half alone trying to make plays in the passing game. Good mobility and the ability to make plays on the run seems to be more and more important, IMO.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    That NextGen picture is awesome Joe. Would love to see something like that after each game because it gives a fantastic picture of the passing game. Got a hunch that NextGen has a similar picture of the run game also. That’d be nice to see too.

    Brady passed 44 times Thursday night (diagram only seems to show 42 but who knows). He completed 26 and had 18 incompletions total . Looks like only 4 of those incompletions were on the right side, and 2 more in the middle. All the rest were over on the left hand side (10). And yet his passes appeared to be fairly evenly distributed between the left (19) and the right (18), with 4 passes over the middle.

    Am I wrong Joe, or was Brady’s accuracy MUCH BETTER to the right than to the center or left. Wonder if that would have anything to do with his OLine.

  5. Bob in valrico Says:

    And what WR usually lines up on the left side?

  6. beano Says:

    “Bob in valrico Says: A pure pocket passer is a sitting duck.”

    Uh, they dominate the list of Super Bowl winners.

  7. SB~LV Says:

    Nothing wrong with that !
    The Lost Season

  8. Bob in valrico Says:

    Also makes me think back to recent article from Phil Sims about footwork’s
    effect on Brady’s ability to get the pass out quickly and accurately to his( left?).
    I have seen passes sail over Evans head near the line of scrimmage especially early in games. Also wonder if playing through various knee injuries may be a contributing factor.

  9. BucU Says:

    The left side of the O line is pitiful and the receiver’s can’t get open. That’s a bad combo home boys.

  10. Bob in valrico Says:

    Seems to me the Patrick Majomes, Josh Allen”s and Lamarr Jackson’s types are dominating QB trends currently.

  11. Smashsquatch Says:

    No run game + skittish QB = dink & dunk. This team is flawed in so many ways. I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. Prove me wrong Bucs.

  12. beano Says:


    Mahomes and Allen are passers first, and runners secondary.

    Of those 3 only Mahomes has won a Super Bowl.

    The last 8 Super Bowl winners are: Brady, Manning, Brady, Foles, Brady, Mahomes, Brady, Stafford.

    There is a difference between a passing quarterback who can run (e.g. Favre) and a running back trying to play quarterback because he’s “athletic” (Jackson). The former win Super Bowls, the latter do not.

  13. beano Says:


    Look at Anthony Richardson at UF. He’s a physical specimen, but he’s no NFL quarterback despite all the preseason hype about him being a first round NFL pick. His passing stats are terrible. He’s an athlete trying to play quarterback when he should be a running back or receiver. He’s another Feleipe Franks, who has transitioned to tight end at the Falcons.

  14. Jack Sparrow Says:

    It all starts with the O-line. If they can’t give Brady enough time to survey the field plus a time for WR’s to get a separation, then the second option is whoever is open near the QB gets the ball.

  15. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Beano, you made my morning, you actually backed your QB. Bob, the post us about Brady not some college QB that may never see the field. To add to Beanos point other than Mahomes, Wilson may have been the last SB winner with scrambling ability. The misses to the left are also in part that Brady trust Evan’s and with his size and leaping ability he can take chances. It is also no secret Brady and Evan’s aren’t always on the same page, Brady throws in Evan’s turns out. It is clear by this graph Godwin is not 100% there have been few if any to Godwin past 12-15yds.

  16. Listnfrmafar Says:

    FYI Bucs fans for 20 years Brady has been a dink & dunk passer, it wasn’t until he went to the Bucs he aired it out on a consistent basis.

  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think opposing offenses have figured out how to defend the no risk it offense, and Brady has no choice but to dink and dunk.
    Plus, he does not have the greatest faith in his O Line.
    That said, I think we have a real chance to beat the once mighty Rams Sunday!

  18. Ed Says:

    I see an overall lack of speed in the Bucs passing offense. Last season AB was their #3 and he got separation and caught deep balls. Grayson also had speed and made some nice catches downfield.

    When Gage has been on the field, he hasn’t been healthy enough to get open 10-15 yards downfield. All his catches were 5-7 yards. Gronk has also able to get downfield.

    The Bucs desperately need to retool the offense with some faster players. In comparison to the better NFL teams the Bucs offense is slow and easier to defend.

    Very vanilla gameplans. Leftwich has shown too many tendencies that make it easier on opponents defensive strategy. He doesn’t rotate running backs like just about every other team does and instead of getting the ball to his younger tight ends he was putting Brate and Rudolf out in passing game. They are slower than any linebacker that is covering them.

  19. Bob in valrico Says:

    It was never my intention to claim that The QB’S mentioned above were not good passers [with possible exception of Jackson who is improving}. The other two have the ability to extend plays with their legs through passing on the run or running the ball if necessary. They are not what I would call pure pocket passers.
    Nowhere in my post did I advocate a run first QB style.

  20. Duane Says:

    He is missing those shots because he is rushing to get rid of the ball. The timing and accuracy is off. Not sure if it is off because he didnt throw enough with the team in the offseason, or he is an aging player looking to avoid contact. May be time to give Gabbert and Trask a shot. Dink and Dunk is keeping the turnovers low for TB12, but its not scoring any points. The most frustrating aspect of all of this is that the NFC south is ripe for the taking for the forseeable future, and every team is going out of their way to turn it down. We dont need next gen stats to tell us Brady isnt getting the job done when we look at the standings and the competition.

  21. Beej Says:

    Joe Burrow was throwing duck and dunks last night, he is clearly washed

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    Of course it’s dead Byron killed it. Cant be risk or biscuit if you try to avoid the risk. No wonder he only has 1 interception on the year he’s taking no risks

  23. Bob in valrico Says:

    I would also add the run first Qb’s of the likes TEBO, VIck and Jackson still is, have to adapt their game and become better passers or get hurt and have shorter careers.

  24. Marine Buc Says:

    I’m going with the – “This offensive line sucks” excuse… Mixed with a little bit of “these receivers are not able to get any separation on their routes” excuse with a splash of TB12 ain’t what he used to be.

    It’s all three combined with a bad offensive coordinator who is in WAY over his head…

    BL needs to go coach at Marshall or maybe JV high school football.

  25. Bucsfan13 Says:

    You can pull up a Next Gen Stat with Mahomes dinking and dunking. Aaron Rodgers when he played against us averaged like 4 air yards. Defenses are playing in a way to prevent deep passes. They are forcing teams to make long drives. You can’t throw deep if teams are playing a Cover 2 shell. The stat you posted is reductive and requires a more nuanced take.

  26. Joe Says:

    You can pull up a Next Gen Stat with Mahomes dinking and dunking. Aaron Rodgers when he played against us averaged like 4 air yards. Defenses are playing in a way to prevent deep passes. They are forcing teams to make long drives. You can’t throw deep if teams are playing a Cover 2 shell. The stat you posted is reductive and requires a more nuanced take.

    Didn’t seem as if the Bucs had this issue last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. Are you suggesting the NFL just woke up in 2022 (after Bruce Arians retired) that maybe it might be smart to prevent the Bucs from throwing deep? The NFL just now, after Arians had been in the league as an OC and head coach how long, that it might be smart to defend the long pass?

    C’mon now.

  27. Beej Says:

    I think it owes to the obvious fact we are not a threat to run the ball

  28. Brandon Says:

    Turned into? No. This is what many unknowledgeable Bucs wanted… they wanted Brady’s New England offense here in Tampa… and here it is. Those are the same people that wanted LeSean McCoy, Gio Bernard, Julio Jones, Cole Beasley, Antonio Brown, Fournette, Kyle Rudolph, Richard Sherman, and pretty much every has been that has been available. We have a dumb fan base… beyond stupid. They don’t know football, they recognize names and that’s about it.

  29. Browsing from DC via MA Says:

    Dink and dunk works when that’s all you have and Brady’s been a master of “death by a thousand cuts” in the past. Even though his completion % is good and he’s racked up passing yards, the difference this season is getting completions when they really count. Red zone and 3rd downs.

    It looks great on the stat line when you start at your own 20, march down to the opponent’s 30, going 10 for 10 passing but when you NEED the big catch to continue the drive or score, they can’t get it together and it seems like a lack of concentration or fire or both. Yeah, play calling stinks but Brady can always audible out of it.

    Maybe Brady needs to keep some smelling salts (ammonia capsules) in his pocket to crack under their noses in the huddle when it’s time to be clutch to snap them out of their funk.

  30. Robert Says:

    Go back and look at his last year in NE. Brady didnt trust the O Line or the WR’s and he dinked and dunked his way thru the entire season. Looks like the same thing all over again.

  31. Rand Says:

    Missing in Brady’s repertoire are his signature slant, and intermediate out routes. He was always deadly accurate with the slant routes and behind the shoulder throws. His end zone corner fades were usually accurate too but now he can’t seem to keep them inbounds.

  32. sasquatch Says:

    My guess is there’s not enough variety in the playcalling to set up the opponent to be victimized by deep passes. And then Evans dropped that big one last week. They’re out of sync, but I still think they have the personnel. And you gotta put speed out there too. Where’s Scotty? Why’d we keep him if we weren’t going to use him?

  33. LastDance Says:

    Robert Says:
    November 1st, 2022 at 2:01 pm
    Go back and look at his last year in NE. Brady didnt trust the O Line or the WR’s and he dinked and dunked his way thru the entire season. Looks like the same thing all over again.


    Manning looked bad at the end because he had nerve issues that caught up to him and he just couldn’t throw. While he may have an injured rotator, Brady is in exceptional physical condition for someone 10 years his junior. He does not take hits if he doesn’t have to, never has. He will throw low, short, away, fall down, whatever when his OL and receivers suck. They didn’t have Gronk the last year in NE too. Its not Gronk specifically (though he and Brady have a mindmeld), it is having a high-quality TE who understands how to work the middle of the field especially the seams. Tell me im wrong, its OK. I have only watched every snap of his for over 20 years. Also to be clear, he did that in NE with poor line play and shirty receivers (except for JE11) and he had EXCELLENT play calling OC there. Hello yeah he’s not going out there to get killed and I wouldn’t either.