Tom Brady did what he usually does when the game is on the line. This time, though, it was the New England Patriots who were on the other side of one of his comeback wins. Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a win in his return to Gillette Stadium by defeating the Patriots 19-17 on Sunday Night Football.
The game, which many experts predicted to be a runaway Buccaneers win, turned out to be an exciting contest that came down to the final minute. Nick Folk missed a 56-yard goal with under a minute left, and the Buccaneers escaped Foxborough with a hard-fought win. Bill Belichick and his Patriots will now get ready to take on the Houston Texans and look to get back in the win column.
There was intense build-up leading up to this game, and rightfully so. The media, the fans, almost everyone it seems, were saying it was Brady versus Belichick and not the Buccaneers versus the Patriots, which may have been true to an extent. Belichick is notorious for not discussing much after a game is played and moves on to the following opponent. However, facing his former quarterback, which helped him win six Super Bowl Championships, is something he has never done and probably will never do again. You know he wanted to win this game, so now the question is how does he move on from this game?
Belichick’s Record Without Brady
There have been many things said about his record without Brady. He is currently in his 27th season as a head coach. He spent five seasons with the Cleveland Browns and is in his 22nd with the Patriots. Brady was his quarterback for 18 seasons (he missed 2008 with a torn ACL.) His record with Brady is 249-79 which includes the playoffs. Without Brady, he is 64-76.
In his stint with Cleveland, Belichick had one winning season in 1994, when the Browns finished 11-5 and made it to the AFC Divisional round. In the 2008 season, the Patriots went 11-5 without Brady. Matt Cassell, who Belichick drafted in the 7th round in the 2005 NFL Draft out of USC, took over the starting job and had a solid season going 327 of 516, for 3,693 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. That was his second winning season without Brady as his quarterback.
We Are On To Houston
After a game win or loss, Belichick will take a few questions about the game. After a couple, he will say they are moving on to the next opponent. This week was no different than any other. Sources said that he and Brady met for about 20 minutes after the game in the Buccaneers locker room, possibly giving the two closure on the situation. The two will now move on to their respective team’s next game. The Buccaneers (3-1) will face the Miami Dolphins (1-3) at Raymond James stadium. Meanwhile, the Patriots (1-3) will visit the Texans (0-4)
As the Patriots were preparing for the Texans this week, the team announced that they traded former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers. If that weren’t enough, the Pats could go into the game missing four starting offensive linemen. Trent Brown has been out since week one with a calf injury. Isaiah Wynn (Covid list), Michael Owenu (Covid list), and Shaq Mason (abdomen) have been limited all week. If they miss this game, the depth of the offensive line will be severely tested. However, like always, it will be the next man up.
There is no doubt that Belichick is relieved that the Buccaneers game is over and done with. No more Brady questions or questions about what they said to each other after the game. I am sure all NFL fans are wondering just exactly how he feels about the whole situation. Knowing how Belichick is, he has already moved on. The only thing on his mind right now is the Houston Texans and preparations to win that game.
One question many NFL fans ask is who was more responsible for the Patriots Dynasty. That is a debate for another time. Many people will now say that it is Brady. Especially since he left Foxborough and led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title in his first season in Tampa. Plus it was without Belichick. All that is true, but remember it was Belichick who drafted Brady and gave him a chance. If that doesn’t happen, the question, of who was more responsible for the Patriots Dynasty, doesn’t exist.
main image credit