It’s the start of a new year, but it’s still the same old dominant Tom Brady. On the 23ed anniversary of Michigan’s leading back from a pair of comebacks in the Orange Bowl 2000, the Bucs quarterback staged another comeback effort on Sunday.
Down 21-10 in the fourth quarter against the Panthers, Brady continued to find wide receiver Mike Evans on deep balls that were the difference in the Bucs capturing their second straight NFC South division title. With 13:49 left in the game, Brady first found Evans for a 57-yard touchdown to make it 21-16:
Then, with 6:47 left, Brady connected with Evans on a 30-yard touchdown pass to complete their hat-trick and give them the lead:
It would be a big day for Evans (10-207-3), who doubled his touchdown total in one game in 2022. Equally impressive, however, were the throws Brady made. For Evans, this was one of the best games Brady has played since joining the team as a free agent in 2020.
“Tom was just dropping dimes,” Evans said. “Those were some really good balls. This was one of the best games I’ve seen Tom play since he’s been here. They were like they went straight into my…into the breadbasket every time. He played an incredible game.”
The wily old gunfighter was at full strength on Sunday, completing 34 of 45 passes for 432 yards and his three touchdowns to Evans. The 432 yards matched his single-game best with the Bucs, according to Fox Sports’ Greg Auman.
Bucs WR Evans: “He’s the GOAT for a reason”
At 45, he still hasn’t relapsed like many older quarterbacks do. His arm is as strong as ever, as evidenced by the deep throws to Evans and the firing of arrows across the middle to Godwin. Rather than being retired, Bucs fans are sure to be happy that he will continue his storied career with another playoff run.
Evans complimented Brady’s ability to lead a team to comeback wins throughout his career by simply admitting, “He’s the GOAT for a reason, we’re blessed to have him on our side and I look forward to the rest of the season. ”
It’s been mostly a season of forgetting the offense, but games like this remind everyone how powerful this duo and this unit as a whole can be. Prior to a playoff run, the offense showed that they could turn the corner and put up 30 points.
That all starts with TB12’s ability to connect with receivers, as he did with both Evans and fellow receiver Chris Godwin. Between Evans (207) and Godwin (120), Sunday marked the first time this season that two Bucs receivers put down more than 100+ yards in a game.
On a day when Bruce Arians was included in the team’s ring of honor, the offense was firing on all cylinders, reminiscent of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Now the team wants to make a mark for the 2022 season in the playoffs . How far they go depends on Brady’s dominance and making the most of his offensive weaponry.
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