Tom Brady ended his 22nd preseason campaign in the NFL on a high note, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 23-16 victory over the Houston Texans at the NRG Stadium on Saturday night. With the start of the 2021 season, Brady ratcheted up the intensity less than two weeks away, leading Tampa Bay’s first-team offense to a pair of touchdown drives.
Head coach Bruce Arians surprised many when he decided to start Brady as his quarterback for the preseason finale against the Texans. Some called it a risky outing for the 44-year-old star, who is also coming off knee surgery this past offseason.
Brady plays spectacular football in the preseason finale
He did start for Tampa Bay in its preseason opener against Cincinnati, playing six snaps in the Bucs’ 19-14 loss to Bengals, and was sacked once. Brady then sat out the following week in another loss to Tennessee.
Brady was determined, however, to end the preseason campaign with the Bucs feeling good about themselves. His opening drive against the Texans didn’t go according to plan, throwing a couple of incompletions before the Bucs were forced to punt.
Unlike the preseason opener, Arians decided to keep Brady in the game after the opening drive, and that decision paid dividends for Tampa Bay. He completed seven straight passes on his following drive, capped by a 24-yard bullet to wide receiver Chris Godwin for the game’s opening touchdown. The extra point wasn’t converted, as Tampa Bay settled for the 6-0 lead.
Tom Brady and Chris Godwin are in midseason form 🔥 pic.twitter.com/YoOXKPZXCT
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) August 29, 2021
Brady dissects Texans defense with the help of Godwin and Brown
Brady returned for another drive after another stop by the Tampa Bay defense, and he didn’t disappoint again. Brady ended the first quarter with another connection with Godwin, throwing a 32-yard pass for another long gain. The drive ended with Ronald Jones II running unopposed to the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown, giving Tampa Bay a 13-0 lead before Brady called it a night.
Tom Brady darts one to Chris Godwin to end 1Q.
Yes, we will still be tweeting this in 10 years 🧙♂️
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 29, 2021
The numbers Brady put up on Saturday were pretty remarkable. He completed 11 of 14 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown in just more than a quarter of play, dishing out a spectacular 136.3 passer rating during his short stint against the Texans.
After a disappointing opening drive, Brady carved up a Texans’ defense that has been playing very well this preseason, leading Tampa Bay to 91 and 93-yard touchdown drives. Houston safety Justin Reid summed it up best in an interview after the game, saying, “Tom Brady went out there and did Tom Brady things.”
Also helping Tom Brady on Saturday was Antonio Brown. He is fast becoming Brady’s favorite weapon in the Tampa Bay offense, compiling four receptions for 42 yards on five targets.
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