Consider it panic time for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The team has dropped consecutive games as a considerable favorite. After losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6, Tampa Bay sqQuandered a chance to turn things around with a 21-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers, who just traded away Christian McCaffrey and would have had the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft if the season ended after Week 6, had not beaten the Bucs since Brady joined the division. That all changed in dramatic fashion on Sunday, as Carolina rolled past Tampa Bay in an alarming upset.
The Atlanta Falcons’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday means the Bucs still hold a share of the NFC South lead at 3-4 on the year. However, following another ugly outing, the pressure and questions in Tampa Bay are at an all-time high.
Here’s a closer look at Brady’s performance in Sunday’s defeat:
Brady completed 32 of his 49 pass attempts for 290 yards. He was sacked just one time for 14 yards and recovered his only fumble.
The 45-year-old has eight passing touchdowns through seven games. Last season, he had 21 through the Buccaneers’ first seven games.
Tampa Bay nearly had a touchdown in the opening minutes against the Panthers. Mike Evans got past the Carolina defense and Brady delivered a strike, but the wideout somehow dropped what would have been a walk-in touchdown:
That was the best chance the Bucs had of getting on the board in the first half, and Brady’s frustration continued into the second half:
Trailing 14-0 in the fourth quarter, Brady and Co. finally got to a goal-to-go situation. A 13-play, 67-yard drive stalled out, though, and the Bucs settled for a field goal with 13:38 remaining in the fourth.
Outside of that, all the highlights in Sunday’s game came from Carolina.
D.J. Moore got the scoring started with a 20-yard touchdown reception late in the first half. Chuba Hubbard then doubled the Panthers’ lead in the second half with a 17-yard rushing touchdown. Tommy Tremble put a bow on the upset victory by reeling in a 29-yard touchdown from P.J. Walker with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter.
Brady and the Bucs need to get over their latest performance in a hurry. The team will head home and face the Baltimore Ravens in four days for a Thursday Night Football showdown.
This will be Brady’s first time facing the Ravens as a Buccaneer. He last visited Baltimore in 2019 with the New England Patriots, who went on to lose their first game of the season 37-20 on Sunday Night Football.