Brees Looks Old & Brady Looks Rusty As Saints Beat Buccaneers 34-23
In the week one matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, it was a battle between two aging quarterbacks. Tom Brady came in trying to prove himself outside of the infrastructure of the New England Patriots and Drew Brees came in trying to show that he hadn’t lost a step after a below-average 2019 NFL season. Neither succeeded.
Brady looked out of sync with his new receiving crew all night, throwing two interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown, and averaging less than seven yards per completion. “I made some just bad, terrible turnovers,” Brady said. “I obviously have got to do a lot better job.” Brady has shown signs of regression over the last few years, but many thought that that may be a symptom of who he was throwing to rather than his own play, and even though he had a rough night, I would not write him off yet. Brady looked out of sync with his receivers all night and while he seems less willing to stay in the pocket under pressure, he was willing to throw the ball downfield and put his receivers in good positions to get the ball or draw a pass interference penalty on the defense.
Brees just looked old. While I expect the Saints offense to be its usual fantastic juggernaut with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara making up the best skill position group in the league, Brees seemed unwilling to throw the ball downfield – as he has more and more the last few years – which shortens the field for his receivers. Brees averaged a little over five yards per completion with the Saints mostly relying on their running game and creative sets that confuse sets to get in the endzone. “I’d probably say I played awful,” Brees said. “Certainly, we are used to playing at a much higher level offensively and especially in the passing game. So, we’ll get that back on track.”
I still think that both quarterbacks getting back in their strides since they both seem to defy aging, but it is becoming harder and harder every year to be as sure of yourself that that is going to happen.