From retiring to then unretiring to taking an 11-day hiatus from training camp, Brady has been in the news plenty.
But, the 45-year-old quarterback has returned to the Bucs and he even played in the team’s third preseason game.
While some quarterbacks do not play in the preseason at all, Brady has played at least one game each of the past four years.
The future Hall-of-Famer looked sharp in his only series, completing six of eight passes for 44 yards.
He even found the newest Buccaneer, Julio Jones, for a 20-yard gain.
Tom Brady driving the ball 25+ yards to Julio Jones near the boundary. This was on Brady’s first drive back this preseason. pic.twitter.com/swlqTbSSE6
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) August 29, 2022
The one drive under Brady led to a field goal.
The Buccaneers will go as far as Brady goes this season.
Without him under center, they have no chance of competing for a championship.
So allowing him to take time away from away the team was a necessary evil.
Also, despite entering his 23rd NFL season, Brady was just voted the number one player in the league by his peers.
— NFL (@NFL) August 29, 2022
Brady is coming off of a 2021 season where he threw for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns.
You cannot blame Brady for wanting to return after a season like that.
Also, the Buccaneers lost to the Rams in the divisional playoffs.
That certainly fuels Brady to come back and show he is capable of winning another Super Bowl.
For the Bucs’ offense, their weapons are similar to what they had in 2021.
They bring back leading receiver Chris Godwin, who may miss a week or two as he recovers from ACL surgery.
Godwin had an incredible 98 receptions in only 14 games last year.
Also, the Bucs still have Mr. Consistent, Mike Evans.
Evans finished off his eighth straight 1,000-yard season last year, and he even added 14 touchdowns.
With his 6-foot-5 frame, he is one of the best touchdown makers in the NFL.
Now that Brady is back and the preseason is over let us take a look at how the Buccaneers might fare this season.
Tampa Bay is once again the heavy favorite to the win NFC South.
But, they have an incredibly difficult start to the regular season.
They open on the road against the Cowboys and Saints.
Then in Weeks 3-4, they host Green Bay and Kansas City.
Those first four games are most likely the toughest of any team in the NFL.
The Buccaneers’ defense will especially be tested early facing some of the best offenses in the NFL.
New head coach Todd Bowles, who took over for Bruce Arians, will have his work cut out for him.
The offensive line for the Bucs is already in trouble as well, and the season has not started.
They have already lost four offensive linemen to injuries in training camp/preseason.
With starting center Ryan Jensen being the most notable name.
Brady is not a mobile QB, so if he is forced to move around in the pocket due to poor offensive line play the Buccaneers could be in trouble.
While Tom Brady led teams are normally locks to make the playoffs, having to play the Ravens, Rams, 49ers, and Bengals at later points in the season is a problem.
Brady will have to continue to play at an MVP level for Tampa Bay to have the success they are hoping for this season.