ARLINGTON, Texas – Given all of the drama surrounding Tom Brady since final seen in an exact soccer sport, the primetime opener on Sunday evening time at JerryWorld teased us with extra intrigue:
is that this the identical Brady?
properly, almost. the prolonged-lasting Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback – who retired for forty days final spring, then took an eleven-day depart of absence all through teaching camp – found some normalcy in starting his twenty third NFL season inside the winner’s circle as quickly as extra.
And usually, he sliced up the Dallas Cowboys as quickly as extra.
Brady handed for 212 yards to assist the Bucs douse the Cowboys for a 19-three victory. sure, he’s nonetheless a Dallas slayer. That end result stored Brady’s good file in opposition to the Cowboys intact (7-zero) whereas additionally marking the predominant time in NFL historic previous that a quarterback started a sport at forty five years outdated.
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most significantly, the efficiency turned the web content on primarily the most unusual offseason and preseason in Brady’s historic previous. He didn’t seem too rusty regardless of lacking the teaching camp reps. And he didn’t seem so distracted, both, as hypothesis swirled about his private life amid his absence.
instead, Brady appeared to be comfy sufficient on the sector. He wouldn’t be the predominant star athlete to tune out off-the-subject drama upon returning to the stage. however for a particular person who’s so detailed and calculating in his method to the sport, it was truthful to shock if he could be the identical ol’ TB12.
No, he wasn’t dominant. He accomplished 18-of-27 passes, with a TD and an INT, with an 87.three passer rating. Ho hum. The Bucs didn’t rating a touchdown till late inside the third quarter when Mike Evans made a spectacular one-handed catch on a extreme lob to full off a fade route for a 5-yard rating. And on extreme of a handful of fully different throws off the mark, Brady threw an ugly interception inside the fourth quarter by grossly underthrowing Evans on a slant route.
It helped that the Bucs’ offense acquired here with steadiness as Leonard Fournette rushed for 127 yards
but Brady, who led the Bucs to 4 drives that ended with Ryan Succop subject targets, was environment nice – particularly when as in contrast with struggling Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott – and the arm energy was there.
On Brady’s prettiest incompletion, a deep heave that Breshad Perriman couldn’t haul in, the soccer traveled better than 50 yards inside the air.
Prescott, in the meantime, had one in all many least spectacular outings of his profession. He didn’t full a move over sixteen yards till garbage time late inside the fourth quarter, posted a forty seven.2 passer rating (14-of-29, 134 yards, one INT) and the Cowboys have been three-of-15 on third-down conversions. Prescott was changed by Cooper Rush late inside the fourth quarter after struggling a proper hand damage.
Brady can truly level to his personal set of considerations as a end result of the Bucs start one other season as a legit great Bowl contender. Left deal with Donovan Smith didn’t return after struggling an elbow damage, which added to the litany of setbacks for an damage-riddled O-line. additionally, Chris Godwin, making his return after struggling a torn ACL and torn MCL in December, couldn’t finish after struggling a hamstring damage.
You don’t should inform Brady that the grind of an NFL season is a marathon, not a dash. however at the very least the Bucs opened the curtain on prospects to assemble on for the prolonged haul, collectively with the vitality of the oldest quarterback in NFL historic previous.