Tom Brady is off to a hot start with his new team, the 3-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. But exactly how hot of a start is it?

Brady has completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 1,375 yards, and is on pace to throw for 4,400 yards with 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The 4,400 yards would represent his most passing yards since 4,577 yards during the 2017 season in New England, and his 38 touchdowns would be the third-most by Brady since he threw a career-high 50 TDs in 2007 and 39 TDs in 2011. If he maintains his current pace, Brady’s 38 touchdowns would set a Bucs’ single season record, and break Winston’s mark of 33 from a year ago.

Bucs QB Tom Brady and WR Mike Evans
Bucs QB Tom Brady and WR Mike Evans – Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans has caught half of Brady’s touchdowns this season, and his six TD receptions is tied for the league lead. With 22 catches for 271 yards (12.8 avg.), Evans is off pace for his seventh straight 1,000-yard season as he’s currently on pace for 871 yards. But Evans is on course to record 19 touchdowns this year, which would smash his Bucs’ single-season record of 12, which he set in 2014 and matched in 2016.

Brady has never thrown more than 14 interceptions in a single season, and he won’t eclipse that mark if he stays at his current pace of less than one interception per game and winds up with 12. In fact, Brady’s career high is 14, which is an interception total he has hit three times (2002, 2004, 2005) in his 20-year career with the Patriots. Yet Brady has not thrown a dozen or more interceptions over the past eight seasons.

Quarterbacks that throw for over 4,000 yards with a high number of interceptions are not uncommon in the first year in Bruce Arians’ system. In 2013, Carson Palmer completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 4,274 yards with 24 TDs and 22 INTs, while Jameis Winston completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 5,109 yards with 33 TDs and 30 INTs. Brady might buck that trend if he continues at his current pace of throwing three touchdowns to every one interception.

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer
New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer – Photo by: Getty Images

If Brady maintains his current pace his interception total would be less than half of what Winston’s was last year. More importantly, Tampa Bay’s 3-2 record under Brady matches the 3-2 start that Palmer had with the Cardinals in 2013 and is better than the 2-3 start that Winston had with the Bucs last season. Palmer went 10-6 with the Cardinals in 2013 and earned a playoff berth, while Winston and last year’s Buccaneers missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record.

Let’s take a look at the first five games from Carson, Winston and Brady in Arians’ offense.

Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals 2013
3-2 start / 10-6 final record
First 4: 58.8 percent completion percentage, 1,185 yards, 5 TDs, 9 INTs
All 16: 63.3 percent completion percentage, 4,274 yards, 24 TDs, 22 INTs

Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2019
2-3 start / 7-9 final record
First 5: 61.4 percent completion percentage, 1,371 yards, 11 TDs, 5 INTs
All 16: 60.7 percent completion percentage, 5,109 yards, 33 TDs, 30 INTs

Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020
3-2 start
First 5: 64.3 percent completion percentage, 1,375 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs

Palmer had a very slow start to the season after five games, but increased his completion percentage by nearly five percent as the season went on, and threw 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions the rest of the way in 2013. Winston started the season hot, but then cooled off considerably with 22 touchdowns and 25 interceptions over the final 11 games.

Bucs QB Tom Brady, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels & HC Bill Belichick - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Tom Brady, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels & HC Bill Belichick – Photo by: Getty Images

What does the future hold for Brady and the 2020 Buccaneers? We’ll have to see how the season unfolds. Last year in New England, Brady began the 2019 campaign throwing for 1,409 yards while completing 63.1 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He wound up completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 4,056 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

More importantly, Brady and the Patriots began the season 5-0 and finished 12-4 as the AFC East champions once again. Brady may indeed have to throw for 38 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions this year if Tampa Bay is going to get to double-digit wins and make it to the postseason. The Bucs don’t have the luxury of a 5-0 start that the Patriots had a year ago.

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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awwdembucs

Hopefully Godwin can make it back. Evans is not 100%, this time off he can heal. Go Bucs

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Captain Sly

Brady was brought here to Win not collect Stats! Last season we were 3-2 with Winston so who cares about a “Hot Start” when loosing. The bar is set way too high this year. We are trying to make a playoff run how about an article fixing this inept offensive scheme which cost us the Win last game. Somebody needs to put a bug in BA’s ear to strip Leftwich of all play calling duties effective immediately!

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bucballer

We were 2-3 with Winston. It said it in the above article! Reading is fundamental!

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Captain Sly

Yep but I will stand by my argument: Leftwich needs to be stripped of play calling duties. No one cares about stats when you are loosing!

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GrayBalls

*losing*

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Naplesfan

Dude – we are NOT “losing”. We lost a game, after winning three straight, on the road against a healthy team with a winning record, while we were missing several of our best offensive players. What are you blabbering on about?

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Benjamin

He is blabbering about how this team has not done a damn thing yet!!!!!!! The 2 good teams the Bucs have faced they lost to. Right now the Bucs are a just above bad team that has only beat other bad teams. we are technically the division leader but that is only going to last till tonight when the Saints beat the chargers then we will drop to second until we lose to the Packers. I am sorry but I do not believe in this team and I will not until they actually make it to the playoffs and beat… Read more »

Naplesfan

You are full of shit

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SenileSenior

You are another one who seems to have the “Battered Buc Fan” syndrome from the past 11 or 12 years. Your position is quite understandable though. Let’s give this “marriage” a chance and see what happens before baling out.

This old geezer is probably too senile to remember last year so he will forever be a diehard. He passed the point of no return some time ago! 😆🤣🙃🤤

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Go Bucs!!! Win Now!

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Buc stops here

Last I looked the Panthers have a winning record with 3 wins – just like the Bucs and New Orleans. The sky is not falling yet Chicken Little. Just wait. The Bucs are in the thick of it at 3-2, enough to lead the NFC Least and enough to be tied for the lead in the tougher NFC South. If they keep losing and fall below .500 okay, then there is point to the complaints. As far as I am concerned, if they beat Green Bay or Kansas City or the Raiders or New Orleans or the Rams (all with… Read more »

bucballer

Brady will be… well Brady. He has been consistent over his 20+ years in the NFL. He will throw for 3500 yards and 25 TDs with 15INTs. The issue is BL. Can he learn to call a game that plays to the strengths of Brady and the offense? Can he be more consistent in his play calling? Quit being so predictable and use the talent base u have on offense. We must start making the TE a vital part of the offense as they r still a strength on the team. Give Brady more control on the play calling. This… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by bucballer
drdneast

Good synopsis bucballer. Health wise, we were down to our fifth string WR and one RB against the Bears and they beat us by one point Despite that some of their players wanted to talk smack after the game. Hopefully we will get to see them at playoff time at full strength. It should make some good bulletin board material. Arians won’t get rid of his prodigy so I have no idea what the solution is for him. So frustrating. It’s similar to us being stuck with Koetter’s pal Mike Smith. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

PatrioticChief

Bears adapted by taking away the deep ball and yet the Bucs kept attacking deep. Thought Brady had some weak throws in the second half but the larger issue was schematic. I was pretty pissed after the loss I’m not gonna lie. But time moves on and you realize we’re only a quarter of the way through the season. Plenty of teams have gotten it together after a 3-3 start (assuming they lose at GB).

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bucballer

Hey Chief. I will say this about our Brady led Buccaneers. They truly can win any game with Brady at the helm including Green Bay. The reality is we can potentially lose every game as well. That’s the NFL. A pick 6, key player injury, or even the refs can overly influence the outcome of a game.

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PatrioticChief

Raiders schlocked Saints and Chiefs but lost to Bills and Patriots. Patriots game wasn’t even that competitive. It’s early. I don’t think losing to GB proves this team cant make noise in the post season anymore than beating them proves they are SB bound. Though I obviously hope they win. Just have to take it week by week and see what they do.

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Dman

Brady’s start has been inconsistent and our record reflects that, regardless of his stats. And Leftwich is catching all the mud for play calling, but remember, the final decision rests with Brady.

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bucballer

What is this “final decision” that u say Brady has?

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GrayBalls

Pretty sure it means Brady has free-reign to audible

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Dman

Yup. He’s the guy in the huddle and at the line. The personnel on the field, well that’s on Byron. And maybe the play options are limited, but don’t think for a minute TB doesn’t tell Byron what he wants to do.

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Naplesfan

But Brady is not the one getting holding penalties, or early start penalties, or unnecessary roughness penalties, or offensive and defensive pass interference penalties. Brady is not the one dropping passes, or fumbling the ball down field. Brady is not in charge of injuring our players and putting them either on the sideline or on IR.

Putting it on Brady is dumb – he is performing. It is the rest of the team that is not executing, or on the field at atll.

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Benjamin

Yea but Brady sure likes to throw pick 6’s and he is 43 years old not 33. In the Bears game Brady was pretty shellshocked and in the 4th he had clean pockets but was rushing his passes and quite a few times that lead to incompleteions and had one to many balls hit the dirt or head towards the intended targets feet where it was either not a catch or such a hard catch to make that there was no chance of doing anything with the ball once the wr, te, or rb caught it. For the 25 million… Read more »

Naplesfan

You are an idiot. Brady had the opposite of “clean pockets” in the fourth quarter. He was running for his life the entire fourth quarter.

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BigSombrero

Brady was running? Lol. Now that was funny.

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Buc stops here

Ben, I will take 2 pick sixes in five games over Winston’s 33 interceptions any day. Besides only 4 INTs overall, and 12 TDs. Most teams would love to have that ratio in the NFL.

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bucballer

Brady should call plays in two minute warning before half and final two minutes in game’s end…at a minimum. He’s out there. He knows what’s working and not working against that day’s defense.

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PatrioticChief

Brady deserves crap for some bad throws on the final drive IMO. But my god he could not have called worse play calls than Leftwich did on the penultimate drive that should have iced the game. The Bucs coaches gift wrapped the Bears a 3 and out. Just another prime example of the Bucs beating themselves. Coaches are supposed to set their players up to succeed, not to fail, and that is exactly what Byron did.

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Last edited 1 month ago by PatrioticChief
bucballer

I agree Chief. And in one of those last possessions the Bucs only took like 16 seconds off the clock before turning the ball back over to Bears. That’s just terrible! It should not have happened.

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PatrioticChief

Yes, the 16 seconds was the penultimate drive I was referring too. Agreed, it should not have happened and the game should have been won right there. Defense never should have had to stop a field goal on a short field and Bucs never should have had to score again.

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Benjamin

So if Brady has all this control of the offense why the hell did he not audible out of that shitty 1st down run into a stacked box? I do not think he has as much freedom as everyone else thinks he does because that was one play where he should have done something else and yet he did not.

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Naplesfan

Coaches don’t execute the plays, or fail to execute the plays. That is 100% on the players on the field.

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Benjamin

Umm did you see the bullshit that was called on that drive? a 3 TE set running play up the middle into a 9 man stacked box that had the bears with 6 down linemen. Expecting Tanner Hudson to block a DE one on one is fuckin asinine. HE is a receiving only TE right now and there was no way he was going to actually block a DE on that play. That 1st down run is what made the rest of the series pointless.

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Naplesfan

You play a run set when you are deep in your own territory, the pass blocking has been non-existent all fourth quarter such that Brady was obviously running for his life back there. And the offensive line had been doing a very good job of run blocking, such that Rojo had another 100+ yard day, and it was extremely important that we not throw an interception and extremely important to take time off the clock. The play calling was perfect. The play execution failed utterly. If you don’t get that you are an idiot .. and we already know you… Read more »

plopes808

Statistically, Brady has done about the same with less weapons as Godwin and Evans have both been hurt most of the season so far. Aside from stats though, watching the accuracy of his throws compared to Jameis is something to behold. Even on the deep ball, which Brady was supposedly not good at, he drops it on a dime every-damn-time. If we can get the whole band together after this semi-biweek, we will definitely be in for a treat on offense. Defense has been playing well since week 1. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating+10 Rating: +1. From 1 vote.… Read more »

Benjamin

I do not understand where the talk of this defense being good is coming from. Yea they are better than last year but there are still wayyyyy too many break downs in coverage, too many easy first downs especially Vs. the bears I mean anytime the bears were in a 3rd and 6 or less they got them.The bucs runs defense is good but the pass defense is spotty still.

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bucballer

It’s a lot easier to pick up that 3rd and 6 when ur DBs r playing 10-12 yards off the WR! Why is that? Why play so soft? If I can see it, u can see it, then why can’t Bowles see it. I just don’t understand. All game long!

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CrackerBall

Having Byron Leftwich call plays for Tom Brady is like my teenager trying to tell Lewis Hamilton how to drive… let Brady be Brady and get out of his way.

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BigSombrero

What are you talking about? Byron Leftwich was an NFL QB. He was the OC of the #3 offense in the NFL in 2019.

Bradys last 8 passes were way off the mark and he forgot the game situation of down and distance. Pathetic to blame anyone but BRADY for that bullshit.

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CrackerBall

“What are you talking about? Byron Leftwich was an NFL QB”

As I recall, he wasn’t a very good one. His wind-up was longer than Fernando Valenzuela’s, and as an OC, his predictable playcalling does us no favors.

Let the GOAT be the GOAT…

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Buc stops here

Evans TDs are boosted because Godwin has been out for a number of games. I have a feeling that pace is going to slow down once Godwin is back in the game. Carmen Bradt is another source for end zone TDs and now that he is playing again nearly full time with OJ Howard on IR, he is going to take some of those passes as well as Brady likes him about as much as OJ Howard.

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