23 November 2022 18:06 (UK time)
Tom Brady is arguably the NFL’s greatest player and arguably the highest quality quarterback of all time, having led two different teams to Super Bowl victories. Brady retired in February, citing his age and a desire to spend more time with his family. However, he just couldn’t stay away from the sport and announced his return for one final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He retired after last season’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but the quarterback did very well to lead his team to this stage given the lack of quality receivers on the roster. Brady announced in July that the current season would be his last in the sport, and before the season started, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were seen as one of the heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl in the new year.
Nevertheless, a poor start left them as +1,500 underdogs to be the eventual Super Bowl winners on Bodog’s Vegas NFL lines, and before the season they were highly rated as third favorites to win the competition.
In recent weeks, the Buccaneers lost a narrow low-scoring contest to the Aaron Rodgers-fueled Green Bay Packers, which showed Rodgers has plenty of top receivers at his disposal. The loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was even more painful as the rookie outscored veteran Patrick Mahomes and led his side to victory.
Ironically, Mahomes appears to be the next star figure in the sport who could build as impressive a reputation and legacy as Brady.
Tough game against a GREAT team. There’s a lot to work on, but we’ve got each other in the dressing room and we’ll fix it. A little while @tb12sports Pat on the shoulder and a few hours of film to understand how flicked that TD pass. pic.twitter.com/hsM5lqolFy
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) October 3, 2022
The signs are certainly starting to show that Brady is past his time in the NFL and that age is catching up with him. Last year might have been the perfect time to retire, but Brady has already committed to one final season and, in his words, wouldn’t quit on anything he started.
In the last few games, of course, the embarrassment has reached its peak for Brady and the Buccaneers … a 21-3 demolition at the hands of the Carolina Panthers after a narrow road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The final pic.twitter.com/1gujoaVmTm
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 23, 2022
Brady finished with a passer rating of under 100 against the Panthers and looked downright apathetic on the pitch as his side struggled to get any grip on the game as he is often the leader they look to to push them forward. The former New England Patriots tight end attempted 49 passes without recording a touchdown pass, a standard he has maintained throughout his long career.
It’s been a strange start to the NFL season. The Buccaneers and Packers are led by veterans winning on the biggest stage, where Brady and Rodgers are expected to be incredibly strong. They looked like the top favorites, but both have been on a steady downward spiral so far.
Perhaps Brady should have stayed out of the sport, his first retirement indicating that he felt his time was up and maybe he was coming back from the mood rather than believing he was in his final season.
Given that, for many, he is arguably the greatest player to ever grace a football pitch, it’s no wonder he wants to chase down one last dose of glory and extend his legacy even further. One thing’s for sure: What the Buccaneers and Brady are doing on the field right now is tarnishing his legacy and reputation, and will affect how he’s remembered in the game by some.