Welcome to my weekly post-game column, where I’ll take a look at the moment(s) the game turned either in favor or against the Buccaneers. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive look at all the reasons the Bucs won or lost, but instead the key moment or two where things went north or south for the team.

The Game-Changer

In a game where the Bucs needed Tom Brady to rise above coaching and schematic woes, he not only couldn’t do it, but he fell flat on his face. Brady has been a Godsend for this 7-4 Bucs team, which was 4-7 at this time last year, and this poor performance won’t change that, but during the second half of Monday night’s 27-24 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Rams, Brady was brutally bad.

The Game-Changer moment didn’t occur until late in the game however, as a few Rams mistakes and some stellar late play from a Bucs defense that was reeling most of the game, allowed Brady and an incompetent offense to stick around for a potential game-tying or game-winning drive with the fourth quarter winding down.

After completions of seven and 12 yards on the first two plays of Tampa Bay’s final drive, Brady threw incomplete from his own 38 to bring up second-and-10 with 1:57 remaining. Then, apparently fooled by the coverage, Brady overthrew tight end Cameron Brate on a seam route, lofting a poorly thrown ball perfectly into the waiting arms of Rams safety Jordan Fuller, who recorded his second interception of the night.

It was a befuddling mistake by Brady, who said after the game that he just misread the Rams defense on the play.

“Just a bad read,” Brady said. “Cam was running up a seam and at the last second I saw the safety coming over and just popped it over Cam’s head. Just a bad read, a bad throw, decision – everything. Can’t happen.”

Brady’s nine interceptions this season – five of which have come in prime time – have had a few bad throws mixed in, but many have been more of the miscommunication variety. I’m not sure that was the case tonight, especially on his overthrow of Brate. There is just no way that throw should be made at that point of the game. It’s not open at any point on the play. There are better options underneath, and there is plenty of time remaining.

Also, it’s Cameron Brate! On a vertical route!

On Monday night, the Bucs offense was an inconsistent mess against maybe the best defense in the NFL, and play-calling was a big part of the problem. But Brady had opportunities to win this game regardless, and he threw it away. We can praise him for being the Bucs’ MVP this season while still recognizing that his egregious turnover and overall poor game was arguably the biggest reason Tampa Bay lost a very winnable game on Monday night.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
Subscribe
Notify of
34 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pete Wood
8 months ago

To me the game changing moment occurred in the waning moments of the first half. Hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong, but Brady was rocking and rolling,moving the ball downfield with the score tied. Then suddenly he stalled. Bucs punt with a minute left and Goff has no problem marching down the field. Matt Gay kicks the FG instead of the Bucs and Rams go into halftime with a three point lead instead of Tampa. If Tampa doesn’t choke and they have the halftime lead, the Bucs win the game.. I do not understand what happened to Brady in… Read more »

DerLutz
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

I had the same feeling. Maybe there were more Deep Shots on First Down that lead to 2&10

RW
RW
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

The Rams got pressure on Brady all night with 4 guys rushing; the left 7 guys to cover 4 receivers. In comparison how many times did the Bucs get near Goff on over 50 dropbacks; maybe 3 or 4? Easy to figure out.

Horse
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

Yes, I thought exactly the same thing and thought then that this might be the play of the game. Not sure if it was, but it’s close.

EastEndBoy
8 months ago

Terrible play call – deep route against that defense. Terrible choice – was it quadruple or only triple coverage. Terrible throw – even if the safety doesn’t pick it, it wasn’t going to be caught. Terrible strategy – we were marching on them, why not continue to take chunks down the field. Just plain terrible all around.

Pete Wood
Reply to  EastEndBoy
8 months ago

Idiotic attempt after attempt to heave the deep ball instead of short efficient passes.

EastEndBoy
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

Brady at/over 15 yards (per Next Gen Stats): 1 completion, 6 incompletions, 2 INTs. That’s success on 1 out of 9 attempts, and disaster on 2 out of 9. Enough said.

Last edited 8 months ago by EastEndBoy
BigSombrero
8 months ago

1 of 13 on passes over 15 yards with 2 interceptions. Evans broke up an interception also.

That’s the Tom Brady his critics are accustomed to seeing over the last few seasons. (Excuse: But Tom doesn’t have any good WRs!)

So, do tell, is it lack of arm strength, poor accuracy, or weariness from age?

Captain Sly
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Hope you are sharing those popcorn, I could use a few!

DerLutz
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

The second pick and and the safe from Evans were on overthrows -> arm strength not a problem.
I think its a mix of bad decision, bad play designs and calls. It also looks like Brady misses his small white WR. The deep ball conncetion with Miller was better

Virtual_Camel
Reply to  DerLutz
8 months ago

The absence of Scotty drives me crazy. Yes, get AB in there, but Scotty shouldn’t be down to a few snaps a game. Get him some touches.

RW
RW
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Like death and taxes you were guaranteed to show up today! So what changed from last week to today?

BigSombrero
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

I showed up last week. I tipped my cap to the great defensive performance and was impressed Evans finally got some offensive focus. I also remarked how close Brown was to catching a deep pass if Brady were more accurate.

Captain Sly
8 months ago

You could call out coaching nearly every game but last night it didn’t matter if the late Bill Walsh was play calling, Tom Brady was awful…. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I was kinda hoping that Blaine Gabbert would come off the bench during that last drive. I’m no fan of this offense but you Gotta hit those open receivers “no excuses” especially with Evans, AB, Godwin & Gronk as targets. Sorry my Pom Poms are down!

Horse
Reply to  Captain Sly
8 months ago

Just a note here; I thought Gronk actually played slower than usual.

RW
RW
Reply to  Captain Sly
8 months ago

What open receivers did he miss last night? Tell me a situation when I guy was wide open down the field and Brady missed him. The two picks were because guys were not open.

surferdudes
8 months ago

When Arains signed Brady he said his biggest job was to not screw this up. He failed. Arains, and Leftwich have turned the GOAT, Tom Brady into an old white version of Jameis Winston. Arains won’t be able to blame his Q.B. for his coaching failure this year. Licht needs to be held accountable after this season too. He’s had six years to make this a home grown roster like the Saints, but his drafts have not seen that happen. Right now we’re a collection of mostly F.A. talent, that Arains has failed to turn into a team. This season… Read more »

eaustinyoung
8 months ago

I’m done with Arians and Leftwich. If Brady can’t find his deep ball again from the beginning of the season, I’ll be done with him too. This team bullies bad teams and chokes against good ones. If anyone thinks this team will go deep in the playoffs, they’re wrong.

RW
RW
8 months ago

I question the whole offensive mindset of the Bucs. Why take so many shots deep down field especially when the Rams are in a conventional defense and not blitzing? The safeties are sitting back there and waiting for the deep throw. Meanwhile Goff threw over 50 passes and maybe 2 were over 15 yards downfield.The Rams took advantage of soft coverage and a lack of a strong pass rush to march downfield with short completions. Why wouldn’t the Bucs do the same? Brady is not Aaron Rodgers and has never been known as a “mad bomber” type; his strength is… Read more »

Buc stops here
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

Note to RW – Goff completed 39 passes for 376 yards, or averaging 10 yards a pass. That is really hard to do if you only throw two passes over 15 yards. In the last series alone when they got the field goal, there was an 18 yard pass and a 20 yard pass so I am assuming those are the two passes you are talking about that were over 15 yards – except they were not the only passes completed for over 15.

Pete Wood
8 months ago

This isn’t about whether Brady can throw the deep ball or not. The issue is whether or not it makes sense to throw the deep ball against a particular opponent. Last night the deep ball made no sense and wasn’t working. We were playing into the strengths of the Rams. Other weeks, it will be a good strategy. The continued inability of this coaching staff to adjust the game plan just baffles me.

Buc stops here
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

You have to throw the deep ball to keep the defense honest. The Rams had two tasks on defense – stop the run (they did) and stop the short pass (they did enough). The long pass took care of itself as Brady was unable to complete much of anything. This is not something new – it happened late last season in New England as well. Mark my words- you are going to see the same thing from the Chiefs next week. They will focus on stopping the run and the short passes, and use man coverage for the long passes.… Read more »

Virtual_Camel
Reply to  Buc stops here
8 months ago

I don’t think any opponent gameplans to stop the short pass against the Bucs. Byron does that on his own with his playcalling.

RW
RW
Reply to  Buc stops here
8 months ago

The Rams threw one deep ball in 51 attempts. The Saints never throw deep balls. short and intermediate routes are fine. And watch the Chiefs next week; they throw lots of short balls and very few home runs. You just need a well thought out offensive strategy and well designed plays and routes. And those are lacking on the Bucs.

Buc stops here
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

I did not say deep ball. I said passes over 15 yards- and yes, the Rams threw plenty. That last series before the game winning field goal, there were two in that series alone. I don’t know what games you were watching CW but by long pass I mean anything over 15 yards which is not that long.

Last edited 8 months ago by Buc stops here
Buc stops here
8 months ago

This is what I was afraid of when Tom Brady was signed. He showed signs of decay in the second half of last season in NE when his percentage of passes completed over 20 yards tanked badly. Last night Brady was 1 of 9 over 20 yards, with 2 interceptions. He was really far off on the long balls missing the receivers. He underthrew an open Mike Evans late in the first half when Mike had beaten the cornerback and tried to come back to the ball unsuccessfully. There was another play where he overthrew Mike Evans right to the… Read more »

Horse
8 months ago

Yes Brady had a bad game throwing deep, but in his defense he receives the plays from the OC. My bigger concern is our 5-10 yard pass defense coverage in our middle. Might be time to reconsider White’s role; he is slow to respond in his pass coverage area. Jon pointed this out weeks ago and it is now a serious issue that requires some attention by the DC. David never had this issue; now White is in his second year, and he’s gotten worse. Other teams already are aware of it. Also what happened to Winfield?

Buc stops here
Reply to  Horse
8 months ago

The defense had two interceptions and kept the Rams offense in check, only giving up 24 points. Even when Brady threw that first INT, they only gave up 3 points, not 7. The offense was put in position to win at the end of the game with 2 minutes left. Brady still could not throw a pass over 15 yards to his own team, throwing it to the Rams instead. Blame anyone you want it still comes back to Brady. The defense was not perfect but it was plenty good. Against the Panthers last week it was even better, but… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Buc stops here
Spruce
8 months ago

So Brady throws a couple pick sixes in his last two games with the Pats and you think what. It had nothing to do with Brady. I said at the beginning of the season expect exactly what happened. You can also expect lasers perfectly placed as well. 25 TD’s, 9 picks and that’s what……bad? Decent QB rating. That was a good game. I get it. Brady is there to win in exactly that situation and I guaranty he will. Just not last night. Bucs nation on to the Super Bowl one week and looking for blood the next. It’s getting… Read more »

Buc stops here
Reply to  Spruce
8 months ago

I have never been on the Brady wagon. I said before the season started his performance will decline in the second half of the season. You are starting to see it now. The Bucs will not go far in the playoffs. Brady is a step up from Winston, don’t get me wrong. But he is too old and his play the last couple of years shows it when the season winds down. Mark my words – you won’t see this team in the Super Bowl – I guarantee it. I love the Bucs, I thought Brady was an improvement and… Read more »

Spruce
Reply to  Buc stops here
8 months ago

The Bucs record without Brady speaks for itself. He’s the reason they will be a Wild Card team. They may not go far in the playoffs. They may surprise and if they do the reason will be Brady. Brady does trail off as the season grinds on. However he gets new life at playoff time and can be deadly. There is no substitute for playoff experience.

owlykat
8 months ago

The Rams were mugging Brady all night. We need a strong OL like the Saints have and Brady could have killed the Rams. Turnstyle D. Smith was letting in the Rams til he was hurt and we had no adequate replacement at LT. We have plenty of good receivers so Licht better be bringing in strong OL players at the top end of the draft this year and BA moving Wirfs to LT.

Buc stops here
Reply to  owlykat
8 months ago

Brady was sacked all of… one time. He was not pressured all night long. That was the Saints game, but not this week. He was hurried a couple of times, but I would say the pressure on him was relatively minor this week. He just could not complete anything over 15 yards – 1 of 9 and two interceptions. Note on the two INTs there was no blitz and the pressure was not bad at all.

BDOG
8 months ago

Piss poor O coordinator, ZERO ingenuity, BA’s O philosophy pathetic, not effective in 2020. the goat is lost in a piss poor offense, he does dink and dunk, safe plays, quick release, and WINS championships, TB12=6, to BA/BL=0. That simple, aint winning shit until BA and BL gone. BA screwing up Brady, now thats impressive folks! BA should be proud, personally i rec quit drinking, and golfing and get a qualified O coordinator,or hell just let Brady call his own plays. this bucs staff doesnt know what analytics r, still run on 1st down, no yards, then pass when expected… Read more »