It is still weird seeing Tom Brady in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform. We have now reached the halfway point of the season. And it is still weird not seeing Bill Belichick in his cutoff sweatshirt on the sidelines while Brady shreds opposing defenses.
But it is 2020. As strange as Brady in Tampa might be, it is our new reality.
One thing Brady still knows how to do, however, is win. Monday Night Football might have been ugly, but it was a win. Tampa Bay scored a 25-23 victory against the New York Giants to move to 6-2 on the season. Their defense almost blew it at the end, but the team still got the job done.
The offense wasn’t perfect either. They were actually outgained by the Giants, 344 yards to 357.
In the end, it didn’t matter. Brady was the more efficient quarterback. His ability to avoid turnovers separated him from Daniel Jones, who threw two second-half interceptions that turned into 10 points for Tampa Bay.
Jones struggled for the most of the night, but he made a couple of good throws. The touchdown pass below to wide receiver Golden Tate pulled the Giants within two with only 28 seconds left in the game.
Jones to Tate! @Giants TD!
— NFL (@NFL) November 3, 2020
It was a big-time throw in a big-time moment. But Jones was a tick late on the following throw on the two-point conversion, which ended New York’s chances of sending the game into overtime.
The refs initially threw a flag for pass interference on the play, only to pick it up a few minutes later, but we’ll debate those decisions at another time.
Brady wasn’t perfect, but he was efficient. And the team’s 19-point second half proved that the offense can be down without being out. Mike Evans got involved, and so did Rob Gronkowski. Even without Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, the Bucs managed to do enough.
It’s scary to think about where this team — and the offense, in particular — could be by the time the playoffs roll around. Since a 34-23 opening week loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Bucs are 7-1. They suffered a one-point defeat to the Chicago Bears in Week 5.
It’s still weird to see Brady in Tampa Bay, but it’s not weird to see him walk off a winner, just like he was in New England.
Now it’s time to see him get another crack at Drew Brees and the 5-2 Saints in Week 9.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.