Tom Brady has seven interceptions this season, and to call more than three of them his fault would be tough. His first two interceptions of the season were not turnover-worthy throws, and he’s gotten unlucky on a few other tosses this season too. In Week 8, Brady’s first interception of the game came on an egregious hold that went uncalled. On Bucs Total Access later in the week, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians identified the missed call.
There was some similar unluckiness for Brady in the Bucs 29-19 loss too. On his first interception of game, Brady threw underneath to Jaelon Darden. The rookie caught the ball clean, then turned to get upfield and had it knocked out of his arms. The ball flew up in the air and was caught by a Washington defender. It was an egregious drop-turned-interception by Darden, and it left many wondering why it wasn’t ruled a fumble.
Yet, after the game, Arians curiously had this to say about Brady’s interceptions.
“It has nothing to do with his receivers,” Arians said when asked about the picks. “It is on him.”
Huh? Yes, Brady’s second interception wasn’t a great throw. It looked like he overthrew Mike Evans on a crossing pattern, resulting in a turnover.
“He just overthrew Mike [Evans],” Arians said.
Ok. We get that one. But how is this turnover on Brady?
After the game, Evans’ assessment of Brady differed strongly from Arians’ words. The Bucs captain and star receiver claimed that both interceptions were the fault of the receivers.
“No, he looked like himself,” Evans said. “We definitely had penalties and we had the turnovers that weren’t even on him. That was on me and J.D. (Jaelon Darden).”
Evans is probably being a great teammate and absorbing blame for Brady’s second interception. He probably also doesn’t want to hang Darden out to dry about his rookie mistake. But it’s still hard to comprehend what Arians was talking about when he put the negative plays on Brady.
The Bucs star quarterback endured at least five drops today, in a game where he had only 11 total incompletions. Brady didn’t misfire much, but plays down the field were few and far in-between. Perhaps the All-22 tape will reveal where the blame lies on those plays. But suddenly a Bucs offense that was thriving in the intermediate part of the field seems to be running out of answers. That’s a concern moving forward, but less on Brady than on the Tampa Bay coaching staff. Perhaps Arians should start there with his postgame assessment.