Brady carves up Dolphins in big win

by Gary Shelton on October 11, 2021

in general

Brady threw for 411 yards and five scores./TIM WIRT

Monday, 3 a.m.

Here's a question: If Tom Brady got a shot at the Tampa Bay secondary, how many yards would he throw for? A thousand?

Even by Brady's standards, Brady was excellent on Sunday. He hit 30 of 41 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns before sitting out the final few minutes of the game, leading his team to a 45-17 victory. He had a 144.4 quarterback rating.

“You know, last week’s redzone was kind of an anomaly," said Bucs' coach Bruce Arians. "This week, we executed much better down there. But yeah, I think for Tom [Brady], he sees it. He sees and he’s got a lot of weapons. I thought O.J. [Howard] stepped in really good today – critical situations. So yeah, there’s contribution from everybody and he trusts guys. So, his understanding of what we’re trying to do down inside the 25. Outside the 25, he can still throw that deep ball as good as anybody.”

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The Bucs are 4-1 on the season. Brady leads the NFL in yardage and touchdowns.

At age 44, Brady is looking sort of frisky.

"Like I said, every day he comes to practice, he’s 12 [years old]," Arians said. "I think it’s [son] Jack out there. He’s like a little kid every day.”

As is their history, the Bucs turned a relatively close game into a route in the fourth period, scoring the last three touchdowns of the game. For a long time, Jacoby Brissett kept Miami in the game, hitting 27 of 30 passes for 275 yards.

But this will be remembered as Brady the Unstoppable. The Dolphins could rarely slow him down. For the day, Brady hit Mike Evans on touchdowns of 34 and 22 yards, Antonio Brown on touchdowns of 62 and 4 yards and Giovani Bernard on a 10-yarder.

It was the first time Brady has ever thrown for five touchdowns and more than 400 yards in a game.

The Bucs' offense was efficient as Brady used his weapons. Brown caught seven passes for 124 yards. Mike Evans caught six for 112 yards. Chris Godwin caught seven for 70. Leonard Fournette had his second straight strong game, rushing for 67 yards and catching passes for 43.

"Pretty amazing," Brady said of Brown. "I just give him a lot of credit -- he has been through a lot and has shown a lot of mental toughness, a lot of resilience, a lot of support from a lot of different people in his life at different times. Everyone just really wants him to succeed and B.A. (Bruce Arians), Byron [Leftwich], they just do a great job with all the different guys we have – we have a really unique group of guys. Very talented – obviously – but very selfless too. The ball is going a lot of different places and all those guys are getting opportunities to make plays and it’s just fun to see when everyone is involved, how fun it could be.”

And Fournette?

"He’s playing outstanding," Arians said. "He’s always had great hands. He’s taken it on himself to concentrate better in the passing game and see’s how much of a threat he can be in the passing game. Pass protection same thing. He’s become an all-round really, really solid back. You know that’s what he was drafted for that high and he’s playing to that level."

Said Brown, who has had his controversies: "In life, we all need conflict. We all need to go through to shape our purpose and make us better. If we always sat there and didn't go through anything, we would no appreciate life, or we wouldn't be able to grow. I think the things I went through were able to prepare me to grow and make me a better person. I'm glad to be here today."

The Bucs felt better about their defense than perhaps they should have, but Miami scored 10 of their 17 on the first two drives of the day.

"I think Todd [Bowles, the defensive coordinator] gets all the credit in the world," Arians said. "I told our pass-rush they need to get in the weight room. Shit they had [Jacoby Brissett] wrapped up about five times and couldn’t get him on the ground. Jacoby’s strong. We harassed him, but we need to get those sacks and finish those things. You know we got a couple big turnovers and again, we protected the ball offensively."

The Bucs were four-of-six in the red zone.

"We did a good job," Brady said. "I think we’re just trying to work hard to be on the same page. I think all of us, 11 guys seeing it the same way executing toward the same thing. Everyone playing a different role at a different time. Some guys are getting it, some guys are blocking for it, some guys are blocking in the run game, some guys are blocking in the pass game, some guys are catching it in the pass game. So, we’re just going to have to be on the same page.”

The Bucs have a short week ahead, playing in Philadelphia against the Eagles on Thursday night (8:20 p.m.).

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