Among the most remarkable records in Tom Brady’s football career in a very long string of them was the fact that Brady had never suffered a losing season as his team’s primary starter. Not in high school, not in college, not with the New England Patriots, and not with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But with the Buccaneers’ 30-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, that streak has been broken. The Bucs, who have the NFC’s four-seed as the “winners” of the NFC South with an 8-9 record, have handed Brady his first losing season.
Now, the Buccaneers will host a playoff game, but that still stings. Not that it was all Brady’s fault. His offensive line has been banged up, the communication with his receivers hasn’t been great, and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich has steadfastly refused to give Brady enough of the three things he prefers in any scheme — play-action, pre-snap motion, and no-huddle. Leftwich may have coached himself out of any head coaching opportunities, which he had more than enough of at the end of the 2021 season.