Tom Brady returning the New England as a member of the Buccaneers could prove to be one of the biggest NFL stories this year.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers versus Bill Belichick and the Patriots is bound to be at least one full episode in a future documentary series depicting the story of the best coaching-quarterback duo of all time.
Even after a year of watching Brady win with the Buccaneers, it still feels foreign not to see him in the classic Patriot colors. The Patriots dynasty that propelled Belichick and Brady into the Hall of Fame is one of the greatest in sports, and the thought of these two football minds going up against each other is hard to fathom.
Tom Brady is returning to New England as a player this Sunday for the first time since his shocking departure, and everyone is turning their attention towards this clash of the titans.
As many fans and analysts turn their attention towards determining how this game will end before it starts, several stats show how this matchup could go.
New England may have a rookie quarterback that seems unassuming in Mac Jones, but the Buccaneers appear to struggle the most against rookie quarterbacks.
Looking back, here are the most recent starting rookie quarterbacks the Bucs have faced in the past two seasons:
Justin Herbert, 2020, 20/25 (80% completion percentage), 290 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Kyler Murray, 2019, 27/44 (61% completion percentage), 324 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Daniel Jones, 2019, 23/36 (64% completion percentage), 336 passing yards, four total touchdowns
Overall, rookie quarterbacks are averaging completions on 66% of their passes, 316 yards per game, and three touchdowns a game against one interception.
Rookies tend to play one of their best games of the season against this defense, and the Buccaneers are already reeling after three terrible defensive performances to start the season.
Mac Jones is far from a dominant quarterback so far during his rookie career, but none of the three quarterbacks above were generating much hype before playing the Bucs either. It’s a more than safe bet that Mac Jones will have the best game of his season this weekend.
When looking at the other half of the argument, there is also a historical precedent for quarterback-coach duos like this to meet up after parting ways. According to Greg Auman on Twitter, this stat is on the Buccaneers’ side.
Based on the fact that quarterbacks win twice as often as the coaches in this situation, that should calm some of the nerves for Bucs fans. New England has looked lost and bored without Tom Brady on their offense, and while Jones should still have a good game based on recent events, it will be hard for the Pats to top the Buccaneers.
While many other factors will come into play here, especially when considering how special Brady is to New England and vice versa and the ensuing emotional component, the history backs up Tampa in this scenario.
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