As the end of Brady’s contract neared, fans waited for what kind of lucrative contract he was going to sign. Of course, there was already speculation that Brady was going to sign with a different team. Still, hell froze over when Brady hit the free agency and eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thus ended the Brady-Belichick dynasty, the greatest QB-coach combo in history.

Brady’s Final Years

Patriots Nation was heartbroken by the news. When Rob Gronkowski announced that he was coming out of retirement and joining the Bucs, it just deepens the wound. Buccaneers fans’ Super Bowl hopes have now increased ten-fold, with the inclusion of Pat’s former tight end.

What we have to remember is how Brady’s productivity decreased in his final seasons. To date, Brady’s best performance was at Super Bowl 51, against the Atlanta Falcons. He rallied the team for a historical 25 point comeback. The following year, he had another stellar showing, this time against the Eagles. A fumble-recovery in New Englands’ final drive proved costly, thus preventing two straight wins.

For the third year in a row, Brady and co returned to the Big Game against the LA Rams. Julian Edelman was awarded MVP, with ten catches for 141 yards, more than half his team’s total yardage. A lot of which were short passes. Regardless, it was Sony Michel who scored the game’s only touchdown, winning 13-3.

All that Brady was able to do was game manage. It was foreshadowing of next season.

2019 started smoothly, and the Patriots breezed through eight teams. Week 9 was a huge turning point for the season, as it exposed Brady’s decline in a 20-37 loss to the Ravens. He was overwhelmed by a much more efficient defense, which he had rarely struggled against.

When New England was bumped down into the Wild Card round, an above-average team in the Tennessee Titans held Brady to twelve points. A possible comeback was thwarted with a last-second pick-six, to end Brady’s career with the Patriots.

Impact of Brady and Gronk

We all know the routine, Brady reads defenses and ends up shredding them to pieces.

Whenever Gronk received a pass, it was near impossible to slow him down, much less stop him. That is what many fans envision. Brady in the pocket finds Gronk wide open and completes the pass. Touchdown. Make no doubt that we’ll see that.

Towards the end of this season, Brady no longer was doing that. There were games that he humiliated defenses, but nothing impressive. Sure, Gronk had already declared retirement before then, but there were still plenty of offensive weapons. But as the season progressed, you saw frequently dropped passes, more interceptions, and an increasing dependency on the running game. Departure was imminent.

As a Buc, we can not forget what new offensive weapons Brady will have at his disposal.

With nine touchdowns and 1,333 yards, Chris Godwin is an excellent wide receiver in his own right. Mike Evans was also at the front line, with eight touchdowns and 1,157 yards. Those are respective stats, especially under a struggling QB in Jamies Winston. Those numbers are to increase by a significant amount, with Brady at the helm. When you add a rejuvenated Gronk into the mix, defenses will have to step up their game.

Again, to clarify, Brady is not an immortal QB. Father Time will reel its ugly head and might cost the Bucs a game. Luckily for Tampa Bay, they compete in the NFC. Only a few other NFC teams pose a huge threat. At face value, the 2020 Bucs seem primed for a Wild Card spot.

Road to retirement

The worst-case scenario is that Brady or Gronk aren’t as good as advertised. What if this turns out to be some over-glorified retirement tour? Bucs Nation is praying that Brady can bring them that ring they been longing for.

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