Expectations were high for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they signed legendary quarterback Tom Brady to a two-year deal worth $50 million in the offseason. Brady didn’t disappoint in his first year as he carried to a 10-5 record and a playoff berth for the first time since the 2007 season despite having no preseason games and limited interaction with the team due to the pandemic. Brady is also having one of his best seasons in recent years as he has thrown for 4,234 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions through 15 weeks. One more touchdown pass against the Falcons would give him his highest number of touchdown passes since the 2011 season, not bad for a 43-year-old quarterback.

Brady also surpassed the franchise record for touchdown passes in a season set by Jameis Winston last year.

Arians assesses Brady’s performance

Ahead of their regular-season finale against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians faced the media on Friday and talked about quarterback Brady and his impact on the team. When asked about his assessment of Brady’s season as a whole, Arians replied “totally exceeded", per a report by Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. With limited practice before they faced the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 Arians said they were still learning words. As the season goes along, Arians said Brady learned and adjusted on the fly with the words and concepts.

“A guy might have a three or four-way go on a route and we limited it to two — things like that,” he said. Arians said Brady and the team kept evolving to the point now where the veteran quarterback calls a play with the picture of that sequence in his head. “He’s really, really playing well. He’s exceeded it. His leadership is beyond anything I’ve ever seen,” said Arians.

Experts favor Bucs over Falcons

The Buccaneers take on the Falcons on Sunday eyeing a crucial win that will decide their fate in the postseason. The Buccaneers need a victory to seal the No. 5 seed in the NFC and arrange a date with the NFC East champion, which will be determined on Sunday. If they seal the No. 5 seed, the Buccaneers are sure to face a team with a losing record in the Wild Card Game whoever among the Washington Football Team, New York Giants, and the Dallas Cowboys advance to the postseason.

The Buccaneers entered the week as a 6.5-point favorite over the Falcons in their rematch. In their first meeting, Brady had to bring the Buccaneers out of a 17-point hole en route to a 31-27 win. The majority of experts expect the Buccaneers to repeat anew against the Falcons on Sunday. Among them are Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com and all the football experts at ESPN, US Today, and Pro Football Talk, according to a report by Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com.