Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently 7-3 on the year and sit just behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.
Barring a total collapse late in the season, they will almost certainly emerge with a Wild Card spot and contend for a Super Bowl.
That said – the Buccaneers have displayed some notable weaknesses. This week, quarterback Tom Brady addressed what he believes to be both his and the team’s biggest issue at the moment: his inability to connect on the deep ball.
Throughout the last three outings Brady has recorded just one completion of 20-plus yards in 13 attempts. Over his last two games he has connected on zero 20-plus yard passes in nine attempts. That’s not great – and defenses are starting to take notice.
“It’s definitely something we’ve got to hit,” Brady said this week.
“Our guys are doing a great job getting down the field and it’s my job to find them and hit them. You know, if you don’t hit them, they’re just long foul balls and we had a few of those last game.”
Paulina Gretzky knows how to celebrate. https://t.co/CH5WJHxifE
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 20, 2020
Ahead of facing a top ten defense in the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, Brady understands that he needs to step up.
“Well, it’s a top 10 defense in every category,” he said.
“Aaron Donald is as good as there is to probably have ever played in the National Football League on the defensive line. He’s an incredible player. Explosive, quick, powerful.
Paige Spiranac kept it very real. https://t.co/I4ZnqikeDM
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 17, 2020
“It’s amazing the production he has even when people are double-teaming him, triple-teaming him. He never lets down. He’s a hard-working guy. You can tell football means a lot to him. But he really sparks that whole defense.”
And it’s not just Donald that Brady is concerned about.
“They’ve got some really good players that maybe some people haven’t heard of but they’re playing really well,” he continued.
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 19, 2020
“They’re fast, they attack, they’re aggressive, they’re in a good scheme. You don’t have a lot of time as a quarterback to sort things out because this D-line is on you so quick.”
While Brady’s ability to connect on the long ball has dipped in 2020, he has actually turned into a slightly more efficient passer by focusing on smaller plays. Through 10 games so far this season, Brady’s completion percentage sits at 66 percent. Last year, his completion rate was 60 percent.
Will Brady ultimately be able to recover his long ball against the Rams this week?
Time will tell.