Tom Brady has been fortunate to spend the majority of his career as the QB for Bill Belichick, who is rightfully considered by many to be the greatest defensive coach in the history of the game, if not the greatest coach period.
With Belichick coaching, Brady rarely was forced to worry or doubt his defense, which was nearly always one of the best in the league. This allowed Brady to flourish offensively and not have to make desperation plays out of doubts that the defense wouldn’t be able to take care of business going the other way.
This however, is not the case at all with this current Buccaneers team. Although the defensive line has been fantastic so far this year, stalling the running game of every team they have played, the secondary has been atrocious. Opposing quarterbacks have carved up the Bucs defense game-after-game, which has put Brady in a tough spot when leading the offense where he has to make risky decisions.
This was clearly the case in Week 4 against the Patriots when, late in the 4th quarter, Tom Brady threw not one, but two consecutive deep passes to Antonio Brown to try and score a touchdown instead of getting the 1st down and attaining a closer field goal. Because of this aggressiveness by Brady, the Bucs were forced to kick a 48-yard field goal, which wasn’t exactly a sure thing given the weather conditions and Ryan Succop’s performance this year.
Brady clearly made these throws less so because they were the smart football play, and more so because he didn’t trust his defense to prevent the Patriots from moving down the field and kicking a field goal to win. He saw scoring a touchdown, thereby putting the Patriots in a position where a field goal wouldn’t be enough, as the only way to ensure victory. He wasn’t wrong to think this either, as the Patriots worked down the field easily and came within a foot of sinking a field goal that would have won them the game.
Bucs fans should expect to see more aggressive plays such as those 4th quarter throws in the coming games, as it seems the Bucs secondary will be limping by for a while due to injuries. Hopefully Brady continues to perform at the level he has been so far, because the Bucs are not going to be winning many games with their defense.