So, Tom Brady Was The Problem Last Year, Eh?

June 19th, 2023

Saved jobs.

Simply put, former Bucs quarterback Tom Brady saved people’s jobs last year.

Joe gets that some folks think Brady wasn’t his usual self last season. And some crazy folks take that a step further and blame Brady for the Bucs’ losing record. Can you imagine?

Well, Joe came across intel from a noted football stat guy that demonstrates had it not been for Brady, Bucs coach Todd Bowles may be a defensive coordinator with another team right now.

A galling series of stats dug up by noted handicapper Warren Sharp showed that if games ended after three quarters last year, the Bucs would have had the No. 4 overall pick in the draft.

Joe hears and reads folks say Brady was not his former self and therefore helped drag the Bucs down. As the late, great “Big Dog” Steve Duemig would say, “Bulls(p)it!”

There is no way around it: Without Brady’s late-game magic, the Bucs would have been a truly godawful team. The Bucs last year were either tied or trailed after three quarters in 13 of the team’s 17 regular season games.


And when you factor in the Bucs had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Playoff Lenny (who had good YAC stats in the passing game), there was absolutely zero excuse to be this terrible.

Someone, or somebody, screwed around with the best offense in the game last year. Shameful!

49 Responses to “So, Tom Brady Was The Problem Last Year, Eh?”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No….Brady was surely not the primary reason for the impotent offense….but, some of those “comebacks” were due to very poor performances by the offense before the comeback.

    The reasons……Weak Oline, No running game, Very poor coaching from Leftwich & Bowles….and Brady.

    No other QB on any team that performed that poorly would get a total pass.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Hmmm, sure did seem like the Bucs’ offense was notoriously slow-starting last season, and oh ya, we idd finish the season 8-9. So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that we were behind most games going into the 4th quarter.

    For the record, Bucs were ahead going into the 4th qtr in 4 games; behind in 11 games, and tied on points in 2 games. Oh, and Tom Brady was credited with FOUR 4th qtr comebacks. Kind of a double-edged sword perhaps: yes he’s the comeback king (thus The GOAT?), but if the offense (led by that same GOAT) had done better in the first 3 quarters, we probably would’ve had a much better record.

  3. Dooley Says:

    We averaged 8.2 ppg in the first half of games, we needed to “comeback” because we got a half hour of production in a 60 minute contest.

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I guess the only counter to this is that Brady also played the first 3 quarters so he was at least partly responsible. Ha! No. When we went no huddle and Leftwich was shut out of the play calling the offense was better, much better. So yes, Brady was the reason we made it to the playoffs last year.

  5. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    Brady definitely was not the problem…

    Imo our season ended when Ryan Jensen went down…As great as Brady is, his lack of mobility requires his offensive line to be almost perfect every snap…Our offensive line/offense in general seemed to be out of sync the entire season…As a result of the offense not being able to win the weekly time of possession battle, our defense spent way to much time on the field and simply couldn’t hold the line (the ineffective pass rush didn’t help)…

    As much as I loved having Brady around, his inability to improvise once the protection/play broke down was glaring…That being said, based on the stats provided he obviously did a great job of making chicken salad out of chicken sh!t…

  6. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The Bucs fell prey to the football gods last year. Brady’s personal life, Marpet’s retirement so that he could preserve his melon and don skinny jeans, Jensen’s early injury, Bucco Bruce trying to reward Bowles…it’s been covered ad nauseam.

    Brady wasn’t the problem…he needed a bit more help at age 43 of course. Bowles will prove to be Lovie Dovie 2.oh or Rich Kotite part Deux. Either way…it’s a rebuilding year on multiple levels.

  7. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Very interesting stat. Brady sure wasnt *the* problem but he was a problem in a murphys law of a season.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Jack Burton Mercer … ‘So yes, Brady was the reason we made it to the playoffs last year.’

    Not being picky, but our winning the division with a 8-9 record MIGHT have had something to do with the fact that the other 3 teams in the division all had 7-10 records.

  9. Voice of Truth Says:

    Last years team slept walked through most of the games with the D keeping us in it as long as they could

    Towards the end of the season the D just couldn’t hold out any longer and the O and ST were just putrid

    Let’s hope the new OC can bring some energy to the O again

  10. Cmon man Says:

    Byron Leftwich. There is a reason he was fired after the season ended.

  11. WillieG Says:

    I think Bowles wanted ultra conservative to start the games then allowed BL to be more aggressive once it became apparent that ultra conservative didn’t work. You’d think Bowles would’ve learned his lesson early on and try being more aggressive early, but apparently he didn’t. And that’s why I think 7-10 will be the Bucs’ record.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    The Bowles game plan effect. Start the 4th qtr. in the hole.

  13. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    And who was quarterbacking for those first three quarters then, hmm?

    Brady didn’t see open guys, missed throws, and released the ball way too quickly. He was so afraid to take a hit, that he was afraid to take pressure.

    I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t want to either, but that is not going to get the job done at quarterback.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would love to still have Brady…except for the money thing.

    While I do feel he was very distracted last year (with good reason)…and that led to more mistakes than normal, he was still a top QB.

    But it certainly was not all on him. Injuries to the offensive lines dug deep into the backups, and that exasperated things for him…and also limited the run game.

    It led to him taking morerisks in games, leading to mistakes.

    But had the offensive line not been destroyed, we probably would have won at least 2-3 more games…which would have put us at 10+ wins.

    Brady can still win rings…but he’s not really an option for us anymore. 🙁

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Now…if we somehow reach 8 wins (unlikely) and our QBs get injured…bringing him in for a remaining 4-5 games might put us into the playoffs AND possibly a Superbowl…the

    …I would def support that.

  16. Hodad Says:

    My question than Joe is, where was Brady the first three quarters? Can’t have it both ways saying he won games in the 4th, while losing them the first three. The real question should be why couldn’t the Bucs play a complete game having the best QB of all time?

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Intriguing scenario Bonzai. We win 8 of our first 12 games, BOTH QBs get injured AND Tom Brady re-signs with us, THEN wins enough as a 44-year old QB at the end of the season to get us to the Super Bowl. Not sure what you’ve been smoking, but put it down and back away slowly, very very slowly.

    I do like folks who think outside the box though.

  18. Brandon Says:

    All that proves is that if Brady hadn’t been so chicken and throwing smoke screens and checkdowns for three quarters that we wouldn’t have needed late game heroics. I’ve stated numerous times that he sucked for three quarters before he decided to throw it down the field late. His cowardly gutless play put us in holes early because we couldn’t score points.

  19. Joe Says:

    My question than Joe is, where was Brady the first three quarters?

    Handcuffed. We’ve gone over this hundreds of times. Bowles didn’t want to run Arians’ offense. Maybe Brady didn’t want to run it, either. Bowles is a keep-it-close kinda guy (which also keeps opponents in games). Late in games when Bucs were losing, they didn’t really have much of a choice — except in Cleveland.

  20. Seńor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    DR, I don’t think I can agree with your take. Until now, I have always included TB as one of the reasons for the Bucs dismal showing last year. But were the slow starts bc of coaching/ bad play calling?

    I agree the Oline was bad; coaching was awful. But maybe we look at TB the wrong way. TB was not Brady-like last year, for sure, especially with all that was going on in his life. But still one of the best in the league. So, maybe it’s unfair to fault TB for not overcoming horrific coaching and an abysmally bad Oline; even tho TB did manage that 4 times last year, as you point out

  21. Dooley Says:

    “Handcuffed. We’ve gone over this hundreds of times. Bowles didn’t want to run Arians’ offense. Bowles is a keep-it-close kinda guy (which also keeps opponents in games). Late in games when Bucs were losing, they didn’t really have much of a choice — except in Cleveland.”

    LOL bro, no HC in their minds wants to “keep it close” to the point his offense averages 18 ppg. How’s this logic even work when it’s being reported Canales a new OC is getting his own autonmey to build his system under Bowles at HC, coming off a year you had a former Pro QB for an OC & the best QB of a generation running your offense? C’mon Joe, Occams’ razor and lol “we’ve been over this hundreds of times” doesn’t make it true

  22. Joe Says:

    C’mon Joe, Occams’ razor and lol “we’ve been over this hundreds of times” doesn’t make it true

    So you do the math then:

    The Bucs had one of the best offenses in the league, the no-risk-it; no-biscuit offense. Despite this, Todd Bowles said publicly more than once he didn’t want to run this offense because he felt players were too exhausted near the end of the 2021 season.

    The offense goes from lethal to, well, Joe doesn’t know what that was last year.

    What was different? New head coach who wanted to change the offense. And, an offensive coordinator who had his training wheels removed who may have been fully over his head.

    You don’t think there’s a connection?

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    “Old and slow is no way to go through NFL life, son.”

    -Dean Wormer

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    Even The GOAT can’t cover for horrendous coaching.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bonzai: did you get that stash from a legal shop?

  26. Dooley Says:

    “The offense goes from lethal to, well, Joe doesn’t know what that was last year.”

    How “lethal” was the offense at the end of 2021? Do you remember how 2021 ended? Struggling against the Jets? How many games did we play in 2022 that followed that script of the divisional game vs the Rams where on offense we saw next to no offensive production in the first half? to then being able to capitalize off defenses stops in the 2nd half to be IN the game? Our offense didn’t undergo some drastic schematic change, if that were true than that makes the training camp hiatus look even worse in retrospect, because that’s when offenses are installing and getting reps to new wrinkles. Point blank, our offense even with Brady at the helm was putrid because the execution and calls were all dull no because Bowles wanted to be a plodding low scoring, hardly effective offense.

    “What was different?”

    You’re conveniently leaving out the personnel differences between 2021 and 2022, but go off I guess you’ll get some people to believe what you’re saying is the whole story, but you’re leaving out quite a bit detail and filling in blanks with your imagination it seems. Again, now with Leftwich is gone and last year being a putrid year, the goal post is being move so now it’s the defensive HCs offense and his decisions that caused it to stink w/o out including ALL the variables.

    Explain how Bowles wanted our offense to not take advantage off his defense getting 7 consecutive stops against a Packers team w/Aaron Rodgers that was held to a 14 point total in 4 quarters? Or having to take the Cardinals to overtime even though we only allowed them to score 16 points in 4 quarters? Our offense was trash last year Joe, making it seems like one guys who’s specialty isn’t offense had time to be THAT overbearing that it caused the offense to fall off a cliff by himself? C’mon now

  27. Tucker Says:

    The connection was the injuries and different personal, bucs lost Jensen, marpet, gronk, terrible play from Donnie, and Godwin coming off injury not 100 percent, Brady was never going to hold the ball for long developing plays because he didn’t trust the oline that’s why he was the checkdown king. Reason why they changed the offense was because they had to but leftwich couldnt adjust to the players he had on the roster this is a bad take joe.

  28. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Handcuffs would certainly explain all those passes Brady threw into the dirt…..

  29. Chris Says:

    Brady wasn’t the problem but was part of it.
    His arm wasn’t consistently there to make all the throws. Byron’s strategy was poor abandoning the run too early in games didn’t help either.
    At 45 – it was expected sooner or later Tom would show decline. His football IQ showed up in the 4th Qtr but that stifling defense was much better than their ranking keeping them in games despite a crappy offensive showing week after week.

  30. Fred McNeil Says:

    Brady wasn’t the main problem last year, but there was clearly a slight decline. Posters mentioned him being 43 and 44, but last August he just turned 45. If he plays at all this year he’ll be 46. Yes, I agree there were far, far bigger problems than Tom’s slight decline. Brady was still in the top 5 or 10, but not the top 2 or 3.
    Retirements, injuries, and a declining left tackle plagued our offensive line. Sponge Bobs play calling was moribund. Bowelzo was his old Jets self. Frankly, the whole team was lackluster.
    This year…if the new additions work out and Bowles let’s Canales be Canales AND Traskfield works out we can have a real contender on our hands, even without the GOAT.

  31. fwfan Says:

    Brady has so many comebacks that were not just done by skill alone but coupled by the Brady factor. The mental part of the game. When there were close games in the 4th quarter teams knowing what Brady can do his opponents their offense and defense felt the pressure of playing perfect against his teams and at times made mistakes that Brady capitalized. That is gone now. No team is going to be intimated by Mayfield or Trask like they were against Brady should the same situation arise. The challenge of the 4th quarter comeback has become a much steeper climb with him retired.

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    Multiple ways to look at this, but you made it fit your narrative, so congratulations.

  33. Duane Says:

    Making comebacks in the fourth quarter or overtime is not the sign of a bad team … weird that anyone like Joe would suggest such a stupid conclusion to draw.

    A win is a win regardless of how it’s constructed. The NFL only counts wins and losses …l for a very good reason, ie. that only Ws and Ls SHOULD count or mean anything.

    Our offense was not as good as the two years previous entirely due to our dysfunctional offensive line that lost all five of five of the previous two years starters for at least part of the season, three of five all season, and one of the five starters had his worst year, leading the league in sacks given up AND in penalty yards assessed. The other starter played well, but he missed four games due to injury and played hurt in several more games.

    No team can overcome loss of the offensive line, I don’t care who is under center (which center?).

  34. jay adams Says:

    Average quarterbacks on really bad offenses typically will not be able to come back in the 4th quarter. Only great quarterbacks like Brady can be on a terrible offense and still after three quarters finally figured out a way to make a comeback in the 4th quarter even within an inept offensive coordinator. One of many reasons why he is the goat

  35. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe Says:
    “What was different? New head coach who wanted to change the offense. And, an offensive coordinator who had his training wheels removed…”

    Well that plus the minor detail that the offense lost Gronk, AB, Marpet, Jensen, Cappa (4 of those 5 were Pro Bowl level players – basically irreplaceable) and then also Godwin not being fully capable while recovering from major injury…. Oh and Donny Smith playing like total crap… And Fornette not really playing well either….

    That’s 8 out of the 10 other starters on offense either gone or negatively effected/not playing well.

    Brady was very – um – let’s call it “hit adverse” in 2022. He was not willing to stand in the pocket and take a few shots like any immobile QB must sometime do in order to let big plays develop downfield. Tom would too often dump the ball off short or incomplete at the first inkling of trouble….

    That said – TB12 was not “the problem” last year. Unfortunately he wasn’t very much part of “the solution” either. The 2022 Buccaneer offense HAD NO SOLUTIONS!!! LOL

  36. Fred McNeil Says:

    I beg to differ, pickgrin. He was very much part of the “solution last year. There was just so much to overcome and he didn’t have quite as much Brady magic left in the hat as in years before. At 45 he just couldn’t afford to be hit anymore than absolutely nessasary.

  37. Toad Bowels Says:

    Where was BA last year? After it was apparent that Lefty was failing how come BA wasn’t called in to rescue the offense.

  38. Joe Says:

    Where was BA last year? After it was apparent that Lefty was failing how come BA wasn’t called in to rescue the offense.

    Bad looks i.e. Why did he hire Leftwich and why did he and Todd Bowles retain Leftwich?

    Never underestimate egos in the NFL.

  39. Show Me the TDs Says:

    This is one of the dumest takes ever written. Brady played the 1st 3 qtrs like he was disinterested and didn’t want to get hit. Then the pressure kicked in and fired him up. It was obvious the entire year. I don’t blame him, but he played one season too many.

  40. View from 132 Says:

    This stat is total nonsense. Who cares who is winning after 3 quarters?

    How many left handed people per team?
    Who kicked the most field goals into the wind?

    Any analytics person can tell you that just because you can make a chart doesn’t mean it has meaning.

  41. stpetebucfan Says:

    Sports talk loves simplicity and hyperbole.

    I don’t believe many here believe Brady was THE reason the team sucked.
    Pickgrin did an excellent job of elucidating ALL of the many reasons the Bucs struggled last season.

    I don’t believe many are putting all the blame on Brady…but I do believe that many here like me believe the Brady that led that SB comeback against the Falcons would have fared FAR BETTER last year and there’s also the change in body language and marital DISTRACTION.

  42. Oneilbuc Says:

    Tom Brady was the least sacked quarterback last year the only thing many of you do is make up a bunch of excuses for Brady. Jamies didn’t have a good offensive line at all or a running game or even a decent defense but no one gave him the excuses y’all giving Brady. I thought a running game didn’t matter or how about a defense that was ranked 32 in every category his first 4 years and most of yall didn’t care. But the offense was ranked top 5 every year he was the quarterback with no running game. But still it was all his fault lol 🤣🤣! Now Brady sucked last year and it was every body else fault but his . Even though he went behind the team back to snig with the dolphins. He BA sent up stairs and he was changing the game plan the day before the game but it was BL fault because of what Brady changed the game plan. He also went to a wedding the night before the game and he didn’t fly to the game with the team or fly back with the team and no one on the coaching staff or the GM couldn’t stop Brady from doing what he wanted to do. And that’s a fact the Glazers gave Brady more power than the GM and coaching staff and that’s a clear picture of a loser franchise !! I love my bucs but I’m tired of this loser mind set by this organization and fan base!! Call it like it is that’s what Joe and the fan base on here love to say until Brady’s name comes up than it’s every body else fault but Brady.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Brady was the problem? LOL!

    Truly one of the most low-IQ dumb hot takes I’ve ever heard, assuming anyone ever really claimed that and wasn’t just being a troll to p/o people.

  44. garro Says:

    I think that it is fact to most knowledgeable Bucs fans.
    We did not play BAs offense untill we were way behind on the scoreboard. I believe that is on Bowles/Leftnut. Not on Brady. Combine that with the lack of running game and a patched together O-line it is no small wonder the offense looked like crap. Can you imagine the scenario without Brady?

  45. Oneilbuc Says:

    Rob munch . Everything I just said is a fact not feelings what you just said is your feelings not facts. I got it to you it was every one else but Brady and to bring facts to the table that’s being a troll now days if it’s a guy people put on a peddster..

  46. FrontFour Says:

    So Joe is starting the drum beat to dump Bowles in June. Nice.

  47. Dooley Says:

    “I think that it is fact to most knowledgeable Bucs fans.
    We did not play BAs offense untill we were way behind on the scoreboard. I believe that is on Bowles/Leftnut.”

    Speculation at best, the offense didn’t change we still ran duo, we still *tried* to be a vertical attack, but what we didn’t have was the same level of execution from our supporting cast and a QB that not only played scared, but like a 45 year old man playing a young mans’ sport. Now all of a sudden, it was Bowles & Leftwich calling the offense for the first 3 quarters and we just “turned it on” in the 4th?

    Where was that juice on the back to back INTs Brady threw in San Fran?

    Where was that during the Bengals game? Pittsburgh game?

    The INT on the RPO on the 7 yard line that basically killed our chances of staying in that wild card game.

    Tom Brady statistically got worse down the stretch how does that effect the rest of our offense?

  48. Bosch Says:

    2022 Bucs minus Brady = 4 – 11 – 2. This is the baseline for 2023 and explains why so many (including unbiased odds makers) have them last in NFC South. Have to admit, it is a logical thought process.

  49. ScottyMack Says:

    Uhm … one could also argue that Brady was inept for three quarters of the games that he led a comeback in. Why in the world is someone heralded for being crappy 75% of the game and, solely because of the defense, deemed a hero because they finally scored some points at the end?

    I see no way that the Bucs will have as dismal an offense as they had last season. Comeback or not, Trask or Mayfield, does that mean if the Bucs score 5-7 more points per game that whomever the QB is, that QB is deemed substandard because they didn’t have to launch a comeback to win games?