Time to Fade Tom Brady and The Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

November 24, 2020

With the addition of Tom Brady to the roster, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came into the 2020 NFL season with something new— expectations, and it showed in their odds.

They went from being a longshot to win the NFC South and an afterthought in the Super Bowl conversation to legitimate contenders.

All it took was the subtraction of Jameis Winston, and the addition of a quarterback most thought was washed up at the end of the 2019 season.

There were some early growing pains for Brady – which were expected. After all, he had to learn a new offense for the first time in his career. But in time, he got on the same page with the rest of the offense.  Things began to click, and they started to win some games.

Tom Brady and the offense did not really blow teams out of the water, but they did enough to win. Of course, having one of the better defenses in the league certainly helped.

It began to look like the Buccaneers were going to have a real shot at winning the division. Following their win over the Green Bay Packers, they became the favorite to win the NFC South at most (if not all) sportsbooks.

For a couple of weeks, they became the favorite to win the NFC and even became one of the top contenders to win the Super Bowl.

All seemed right in the world for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—but not for long

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Tom Brady is…Mortal?

It looked like Tom Brady still had plenty of that old magic left and was going to lead the Buccaneers to new heights this season.

But then came a demoralizing and embarrassing defeat to the New Orleans Saints, 38-3 followed with a win over the Carolina Panthers. However, that win was followed by another loss, this one to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, 27-24.

What was bad about the loss, besides the outcome, was how it happened. Instead of being the clutch, go-to guy for comeback drives, Tom Brady screwed up. The comeback died when he overthrew a receiver and got picked off for the second time.

The lousy throw was not the only negative from the game for Brady. Once again, he struggled to throw the deep ball (20+ yards), going 0-6 with two interceptions. It brought his streak to 0-19 on deep balls in the last four games. On throws of 15+ yards, he was just 1-9 for 18 yards.

To compound the issue for Brady and the Buccaneers, Brady seemed to have some of his worst games during primetime. In those games, Brady has thrown five touchdowns and five interceptions while leading the Bucs to a 1-3 record.

It is almost like Brady has lost that something special that made him one of the best clutch quarterbacks of all time. With him struggling to throw deep, defenses will have an easier time against them.

So—How Should You Bet?

With the games Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have left (Chiefs, Vikings, Falcons, Lions, and Falcons), they should go 4-1 and finish with an 11-5 record. To win the division, they will need the 8-2 Saints to lose four of their last six.

That is not going to happen. So, pass on taking the Buccaneers to win the NFC South (+450; odds via WilliamHill.com), but take them to make the playoffs (Yes -650; No +450).

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As for winning the NFC, well—that is not going to be easy. New Orleans has the best odds (+230), followed by the Packers and Buccaneers at +500. The Rams and Seahawks are not far behind at +550. They will likely have to go through the Packers and the Saints just to get to the NFC title game.

Should they make it, it looks like there is a very real chance they face off with a familiar foe, the Los Angeles Rams.

With how Brady is playing, it is hard to see the Buccaneers make it to the NFC title game. He might be able to get them past the Packers in the wildcard round. But there is no reason to think they can beat the Saints. That is, unless Drew Brees happens to be out (which is entirely possible).

Without a better offensive game plan, it will be hard for them to beat the Rams. But between Tom Brady and Bruce Arians, they should be able to come up with something that might work.

On the off chance they make it to the Super Bowl (+1100), don’t count on them to win.

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