The contrast is hard to ignore, even if most Patriots fans might not want to hear it.
Both the Patriots and Buccaneers were playing during the late Sunday afternoon window – and the last two Patriots starting quarterbacks had very different days.
Cam Newton and the New England offense was self-destructing, with the new Pats starter getting benched after a 98-yard, three-interception performance against the 49ers — but the man he replaced kept on writing his name in the NFL record books.
Tom Brady threw four touchdowns and added another on the ground in the Buccaneers’ 45-20 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Brady’s fourth touchdown pass of the game was the 559th of his regular-season career, passing Drew Brees for the most in NFL history.
Brady started his day with something he’s done many, many times before in his storied career: a 1-yard touchdown run
Speaking of things Brady has done many times in his career, what about throwing touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski?
Sunday’s touchdown pass to Gronk was the 92nd all-time scoring strike from Brady to his long-time tight end, tying Steve Young and Jerry Rice for the second-most in NFL history.
If Brady-to-Gronk is a tried and true recipe for success, Brady’s best throw of the game — and potentially the season — went to one of his newest targets: Scotty Miller. This perfectly thrown 33-yard touchdown pass gave Tampa a 21-10 lead at the half.
But Brady wasn’t done there, tying Brees on the all-time TD list with a 4-yard strike to Chris Godwin and then passing Brees with a 1-yard pass to Tyler Johnson.
After a slow start with the Tampa offense, Brady is now firing on all cylinders — and that’s even before adding Antonio Brown into the mix. In Brady’s first two games with the Bucs, he threw three touchdowns and three interceptions — but in the last five games, the GOAT has tossed 14 touchdowns and only thrown one pick, with Tampa scoring at least 38 points in three of those games.
Curran: Brady, Bucs are sticking their necks out for AB
Tampa Bay now leads the NFC South with a 5-2 record, and the Bucs’ +80 point differential is the best in the NFL.