The Buccaneers quarterback, who has never started 0-2 in his entire 20-year career, started off hot as Tampa Bay jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead on their way to a 31-17 win. There was a report before the game that Brady was extra focused in practice this week, and that definitely seemed to translate on to the field as the 43-year-old led the Bucs on two touchdown drives before the first quarter even ended.
The second touchdown drive was capped with a beautiful 23-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Mike Evans that gave Tampa Bay a 14-0 lead.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians was probably thrilled to see some chemistry between Brady and Evans, especially after last week where Tampa Bay’s star receiver was limited to just one catch for two yards. Brady targeted Evans four times in Week 1 and one of those targets turned into an interception that led to a minor controversy in Tampa. After the loss to the Saints, Arians pinned the blame for the pick on Brady, before backtracking a day later and blaming Evans. Either way, the chemistry between Evans and Brady just wasn’t there.
This week, it was a completely different story. Including that touchdown pass, Evans caught seven passes for 101 yards. Evans actually set up Tampa’s first touchdown of the day in the first quarter when he caught a 50-yard pass from Brady.
Although Brady’s numbers weren’t overly impressive (23 of 35, 217 yards, one TD), Arians was probably just excited to see the chemistry grow between Brady and his receiving corps. Brady could have put up even bigger numbers if not for multiple dropped passes, including a throw that would have been an easy touchdown if it had been caught by LeSean McCoy.
Arians was actually asked about McCoy’s drop after the game, and based on his answer, it seems that everyone in Tampa has put last week’s drama behind them.
“Don’t worry, I’ll tell everybody it was Tom’s fault,” Arians joked, when asked about McCoy’s drop.
Of course, there wasn’t much that was “Tom’s fault” this week. Besides the throws to Evans, Brady made several other big throws in the game, including a huge flea-flicker in the second quarter that went for a 36-yard gain to Justin Watson.
The scary thing for the rest of the NFL is that the Buccaneers offense is probably only going to get better and better every week as Brady continues to get more comfortable.
Tampa Bay 31-17 over Carolina
Tennessee 33-30 over Jacksonville
Indianapolis 28-11 over Minnesota
Buffalo 31-28 over Miami
San Francisco 31-13 over N.Y. Jets
L.A. Rams 37-19 over Philadelphia
Rams-Eagles grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 40-39 over Atlanta
Falcons-Cowboys grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Chicago 17-13 over N.Y. Giants
Giants-Bears grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 26-21 over Denver
Broncos-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Green Bay 42-21 over Detroit
Lions-Packers grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Baltimore 33-16 over Houston
Ravens-Texans grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas City 23-20 over L.A. Chargers (OT)
Chiefs-Chargers grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Arizona 30-15 over Washington
Seattle 35-30 over New England
Patriots-Seahawks grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)