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  • Matt Santoleri


Tom Brady's stats are still very good, but the eye test this year reveals he is near the end or arguably the greatest NFL career of all time. Photo by Andy Lewis.

After the 2021 NFL season the player more commonly referred to as “The GOAT” than his actual name, Tom Brady, had decided to hang them up.

Leading the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns while setting an NFL record for completions in a single season seemed as good of a way as any to put the finishing touches on an illustrious career that wouldn’t end with adding to his already NFL record of seven Super Bowl rings.

Nothing left to prove to the world as the once slept on sixth-round draft pick was now universally known as the best to ever take a snap at the quarterback position finishing with a winning record vs all 32 NFL franchises and seemingly besting father time himself in the process.

That walk into the sunset lasted all of forty days as Brady decided to make a return for season 23, one of his toughest on and off the field in some time.

Without turning into TMZ, it's hard to write a story about Brady in 2022 that doesn’t at least comment on his very public marriage woes with his wife of 13 years Giselle Bündchen, who the two share two children of their own along with co-parenting a third from Brady’s previous marriage.

The rumor mill has swirled around her pressuring Brady into finally calling his NFL career quits for some time now as he has accomplished about all you can in a lifetime while retaining his physical health.

Considerable amount of the very public tension that has surfaced recently between the two stems from this as her and the family thought they finally had Brady’s full attention after years of him pouring so much time and effort into his career.

Brady getting 11-days away from the team during the heat of training camp for “personal reasons” only highlighted this tension that has spilled out to the public eye.

The Buccaneers slow start of 3-2 through the first five games and overall uninspiring offensive performance has people wondering if this attention has finally cracked a player who seemed unflappable under pressure.

This hasn’t shown up on the stat sheet when looking at his season totals putting him third in passing yards, fourth in completion percentage, and first overall in completions among all full-time starters, but when you peel back the box score and watch the tape, it’s evident that something is missing.

That something could be literal players he’s missing this season from last like All-Pro Guard Ali Marpet who retired, starting Guard Alex Cappa who left for Cincinnati in Free Agency, Pro Bowl Center Ryan Jensen who will miss most if not all this year with a knee injury, and All-Pro tight end and good friend Rob Gronkowski who joined Marpet in retirement this off-season too.

Not to mention his two most explosive weapons in Wide Receiver’s Chris Godwin and Mike Evans who have both missed time.

The crispness and fluidity we come to expect of a Brady run offense has just not been there and for all the yards the team has put up through the air they are the No.31 ranked running offense, 66 YPG and only the No.21 best scoring team in the league, 20.6 PPG. Two statistics in which they averaged 98.4 yards running and 30.1 PPG, second highest in the league.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Tom Brady’s greatness, but for the player who has kept father time at bay for so long, time to shape this team into a true contender may just be running out. *

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