Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at a bit of a crossroads.

Brady is one of the more unique older age sports stories of all time, leading a competitive Buccaneers squad while at the ripe age of 45 and commanding an offense that possesses an impressive arsenal of weapons.

The Buccaneers on the other hand, are a team led by a hard nosed staff, that loves to depend on their physical, talented defense to put the offense in good spots to score points.

These two different philosophies and ways to play have clashed and have even created a decent amount of glory, joy, and success for themselves along the way. None more notable than their Super Bowl title in 2020-2021, their first since the exciting days of Jon Gruden and his mean, lean defense.

But as much success the Buccaneers and Brady have together, a trend has developed this season that has begun to feel concerning, at least regarding their outlook as a true Super Bowl contending squad moving forward.

It’s the offense, and the team’s dependency on Brady to bail them out of spots more often than not.

That’s a statement that might seem questionable at first, considering just how good Brady has remained well into his 40s. But in reality, it’s a mere abuse of power and circumstance if you keep pushing Brady to bail your stagnant offense out of bad situations.

“It was a grind,” Todd Bowles said. “For three quarters, it was a grind.”

Take today’s game against the Los Angeles Rams for example.

The Buccaneers’ offense as a whole had at least six total drops, and that’s not counting a potential seventh late in the fourth quarter. These drops came at crucial times too. On third downs, open targets, and wide open touchdown grabs — specifically Scotty Millers’ touchdown drop in the fourth quarter.

These drops forced Brady to continue maneuvering through the offensive mess, while also hoping that the defense would hold strong just to give him a chance to find some points.

Luckily for Brady, his handy defense responded to the challenge and gave this Buccaneers offense plenty of times to start chugging their engines. But those chances were wasted more times than not, either due to drops, unfortunate failures in the run game, or poorly timed penalties that killed momentum.

These mistakes hurt this offense severely today, and were a big reason why Brady had to throw 58 passes on the day.

Fortunately for the Buccaneers, Brady saved this offense with a masterful game winning drive. One that included a textbook clinic of how to thrive moving down the field without any timeouts.

These mistakes can be cleaned up, but the negativity that can come as a result of depending on your 45 year old quarterback? That can’t simply be wiped away with a little spray of bathroom cleaner and a heavy duty piece of paper towel.

You have to get this offense figured out, it’s a must.

If you don’t, who knows what you’ll be working through offensively if Brady has to continue being the bail out guy for an offense that’s begging for consistency right now.

However, if any team can work through this sort of issue, it’s a Buccaneers team that has been through almost every last scenario imaginable.

Both good and bad.

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Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports