TAMPA BAY – It’s safe to say Tom Brady’s and the Buccaneers’ partnership has been a very successful one.
For obvious reasons: Brady won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers and he threw 40+ touchdowns in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career.
In fact, Brady’s 83 passing touchdowns over the last two years are the most he’s ever thrown over a two-year span.
It doesn’t look like he’s slowing down, either. Brady’s 43 touchdown passes in 2021 led the NFL and many considered him to be the league’s MVP instead of Aaron Rodgers.
But, according to one NFL analyst, Sports Illustrated‘s Connor Orr, Brady will see a drop-off in production this year.
Orr recently wrote out 100 predictions for the 2022 NFL season and one of them predicted that Brady will throw fewer than 35 touchdown passes in 2022:
30. Tom Brady will throw fewer than 35 touchdown passes
Doubting the greatest player in NFL history. What could go wrong! Just so this doesn’t get lobbed up for someone to dunk on me, the Buccaneers will be a dominant, run-heavy team in 2022, allowing Brady to be more of a table-setter.
It’s hard to envision Brady failing to reach 35 passing touchdowns
Sure, Antonio Brown is no longer around and the future is still murky when it comes to Rob Gronkowski’s eventual retirement decision. Chris Godwin is also rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered back in December.
But, Brady still has one of the best wideouts in the game in Mike Evans and the ever-versatile Russell Gage at his disposal. Tight end Cameron Brate has solid hands and is a effective red zone threat. Evans is also a great red zone threat. Leonard Fournette proved to be a reliable pass-catcher in 2021, as well.
The other depth players like Cyril Grayson, Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, and Tyler Johnson have also shown they can make plays in the NFL. Just not on a consistent basis like the other guys.
And, Brady is still Brady, at the end of the day. He showed last year that he can still perform at a high level, even without targets like Brown and Godwin in the lineup.
Ever since Antonio Brown’s outburst, Tom Brady has completed 75% of his passes for 780 yards and 7TD/0INT in just a little over 9 quarters of play.— Evan Winter (@evan_winterAtoZ) January 17, 2022
The #GoBucs have scored 90pts since then, as well. #whoneedswho
In other words: there are still plenty of ways for Brady to reach 35 touchdowns in 2022.
The above scenario doesn’t even include the likely return of Gronk and the eventual return of Godwin. This offense will be extremely hard to stop once they’re involved.
And, it’s a 17-game season. That extra game looms large in regard to records, nowadays.
There’s definitely a good chance the Buccaneers run more in 2022. In fact, it’s likely to happen. But I wouldn’t go as far to say that it’s going to affect Brady’s stat line to the extent where he throws under 35 touchdowns in 2022.
You can check out Orr’s full column, here.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports