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Tom Brady Dominates In Bounceback From Blowout Loss, Leading Buccaneers To 46-23 Win Over Panthers – CBS Boston

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — He may be the greatest of all time, but even Tom Brady has a horrible game from time to time.

But he’ll almost never do it two weeks in a row.

The 43-year-old Brady kept up that tradition on Sunday, in a game where he was simply excellent for the Buccaneers in their 46-23 win over the Panthers in Carolina.

After a humbling performance on national TV against the Saints last week, Brady completed 28 of his 39 passes (71.8 percent) for 341 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown on a QB sneak.

Brady spread the ball around to eight different receivers, and he looked to old friend/new friend Antonio Brown twice on the touchdown drive that essentially iced the game away in the fourth quarter. The first came on a third-and-2, when Brady delivered a strike to the right sideline, where Brown made a contested catch. Then two plays later, Brown ran an out route, got behind the cornerback, and was off to the races after catching the pass from Brady, scampering up the sideline for 25 yards.

Though Brady’s deep ball wasn’t working for much of the day (he missed Brown, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski on deep shots), he was fitting balls into tight — and sometimes nonexistent — windows.

Brady took advantage of Evans’ height when he threw up a pass to the back of the end zone that only the 6-foot-5 receiver had a chance to catch. The resulting touchdown tied the game at 17-17 before halftime.

Earlier in the first half, Brady arced a perfect rainbow to Gronkowski, who turned into Vintage Gronk upon making the over-the-shoulder catch.

Brady dropped another rainbow in the bucket on a similar completion to Evans:

On Brady’s first touchdown pass — a 5-yarder to Cameron Brate to tie the game at 7-7 — the quarterback put some zip on his pass to beat the defender and hit the tight end in the mitts:

A first-half completion to Chris Godwin was truly a thing of magic, with some insane placement and some tremendous work by the receiver to find it in traffic:

The offense got a boost from a 98-yard touchdown run by Ronald Jones, and 31 of Brady’s passing yards came on a successful wide receiver screen to Godwin in the third quarter. Nevertheless, it was a crisp, impressive showing for the quarterback who now has 23 touchdowns in his 10 games this season. He threw 24 total touchdowns last season.

With the game in hand, Brady got to put a cherry on the top of a season sweep over the Panthers with the easiest touchdown he’ll throw all year:

The stats could have actually been better, too. Tyler Johnson dropped a pass in the end zone on a third down, and a near-touchdown to Evans probably should have been caught by the All-Pro on, too. The Bucs settled for field goals on both of those drive.s Evans had another drop in the game, as did Leonard Fournette.

Brady and the Bucs were of course coming off a train wreck of a performance on Sunday Night Football against the Saints. The entire Tampa team struggled in that blowout loss, and Brady was no exception. He was 22-for-38 for 209 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. It was his worst game of the year and one of the worst games of his entire career.

But Brady tends to respond well to such scenarios. Sunday’s broadcast noted that he is 7-1 in games coming off losses of 20 or more points, with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in those games. With Sunday’s performance, he upped it to an 8-1 record with 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

The win lifted the Buccaneers to 7-3 on the season, as they remain in the mix for both the NFC South crown and the top overall seed in the NFC.

Brady’s teammates and coaches have now witnessed firsthand the way the Hall of Famer responds to performances that might stunt the confidence of most players. The first time came after Brady clearly lost track of downs on a fourth-down incompletion in the final minute of a loss to the Bears. Brady came back from that gaffe with a deadly efficient performance en route to a blowout win over the then-undefeated Packers.

Now, after one of the worst games of his career, Brady came back with a thoroughly professional performance in another blowout victory for Tampa.

Tom Brady (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.




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