Tom Brady, Buccaneers show off firepower in rout of Raiders

LAS VEGAS – Tom Brady didn’t really need Antonio Brown on Sunday.

Brady used plenty of other weapons to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 45-20 romp against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday at an empty Allegiant Stadium.

Brady passed for 369 yards with four touchdowns and had his highest-rated passer game of the season (127.0) while demonstrating a certain comfort level in the Bucs offense. And there was only so such pressure. He was never sacked.

It sure helps to have a supporting cast of playmakers. There was Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and a guy named Scotty Miller.

Tom Brady #12, Rob Gronkowski #87, and Tyler Johnson #18 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Jamie Squire, Getty Images)

Brown, the controversial four-time All-Pro wideout who agreed to a one-year deal on Friday night, is coming to join this crew. Pending the usual health patterns, it could be an embarrassment of riches.

The Bucs (5-2) will take it while trying to stay ahead of the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South race.

And just think: There were fears that the NFL might have to postpone the game that was moved out of the Sunday night prime-time slot due to the threat of a potential COVID-19 outbreak after a positive test result for right tackle Trent Brown.

The Raiders (3-3) could have used a postponement or just called in sick, give the dismal performance.

Two other things we learned from the Bucs romp against the Raiders:

1. The Raiders’ O-line has had better days  With preparation disrupted by Brown’s positive COVID-19 test and a quarantine for the rest of the starting line, the unit (sans Brown) will hardly get an A-grade. On one second-quarter play, Devin White blitzed off the edge untouched to sack Derek Carr, which had to be more embarrassing because two linemen (Gabe Jackson, Brandon Parker) were flagged (penalty declined) for not aligning on the line of scrimmage. Parker was later flagged for a similar infraction and Jackson was tossed from the game in the third quarter for extra-curricular activity on a touchdown play. And the rushing game that usually starts up front was virtually non-existent in averaging 3.2 yards per carry (24 rushes, 76 yards).

2. Count Miller amid the TB12 collection of weapons  Brady arguably threw his best pass of the season in the second quarter when he dropped a 33-yard touchdown in the bucket to Miller, who made a beautiful over-the-shoulder haul with Nevin Lawson draped on his back. Then Miller, who entered the NFL last season as a sixth-round pick, added a 35-yard catch-and-run off a crossing pattern as he worked out of the slot in the third quarter. It set up a field goal. Miller led the Bucs with 109 receiving yards on six receptions. Interestingly, while Godwin (nine catches, 88 yards, one TD), Gronkowski (five catches, 62 yards, one TD) and Leonard Fournette (six catches) had moments, Evans didn’t have a catch until the fourth quarter. It stands to reason that with Brown’s impending arrival, Miller ultimately could move down a notch in the pecking order.

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Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady: Inside the numbers as future Hall of Fame QBs meet for third time

NFL fans were treated to quarterback duels between Drew Brees and Tom Brady in Week 1 and Brees and Aaron Rodgers in Week 3.  

Now, it’s time to see Brady and Rodgers in Week 6. The future Hall of Fame quarterbacks lead a pair of NFC contenders into a 4:25 p.m. ET matchup Sunday between the Packers (4-0) and Buccaneers (3-2).  

It is only the third head-to-head matchup between No. 12 and No. 12. Which quarterback has the edge on Sunday? Sporting News explores the past matchups between Rodgers and Brady for some trends you should pay attention to:

Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady  

Brady is close to catching Brees for the most TD passes in NFL history. Brady has 553 TD passes for his career – three fewer than Brees’ all-time-record of 556. Brady also ranks second in career passing yards with 75,946.  

Rodgers is the NFL’s all-time leader in passer rating (103.0). He ranks seventh in passing TDs (377) and 12th in passing yards (48,160).  

Brady and Rodgers have combined to win five AP NFL MVP awards. Brady won the award in 2007, 2010 and 2017. Rodgers won the award in 2011 and 2014.  

How many seasons has Tom Brady played in the NFL?  

Tom Brady is in his 21st season in the NFL. He made his NFL debut on Nov. 23, 2000, taking over for starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in a blowout Thanksgiving loss to the Lions. 

How many seasons has Aaron Rodgers played in the NFL?   

Aaron Rodgers in his 16th season in the NFL. He made his debut on Oct. 9, 2005 with the Packers in mop-up duty for Brett Favre in a blowout victory against the Saints.  

Aaron Rodgers vs. Tampa Bay  

-Rodgers has four career starts against the Buccaneers, and he has a 2-2 record in those starts. That includes three road games. Rodgers is 85 of 136 (62.5 percent) for 1,048 yards, eight TDs and seven interceptions in those games.  

-Rodgers made his first appearance against Brady in New England in a 35-0 loss on Nov. 19, 2006. Rodgers completed 4 of 12 passes for 32 yards in a blowout loss. 

Tom Brady vs. Green Bay   

-Brady has made five career starts against the Packers – two against Brett Favre, one against Matt Flynn and two against Rodgers. Brady is 3-2 in those games and split the starts against Favre and Rodgers.  

-Brady is 103 of 169 (61.0 percent) with 10 TDs and three interceptions against the Packers in those five starts.  

Rodgers vs. Brady head-to-head matchups   

Rodgers and Brady have met head to head just twice in their career. They split those two meetings.  

Brady is 44 of 70 for 539 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions in two head-to-head starts against Rodgers, who is 48 of 81 for four TDs and zero interceptions in those two games.  

A look at those two meetings: 

Green Bay 26, New England 21 (Nov. 30, 2014)   

The Patriots (9-2) and Packers (8-3) entered the game with winning records at Lambeau Field, and Rodgers finished with 368 passing yards and two TDs. Brady had 245 yards and a pair of TDs. The Packers sealed the victory on a late connection from Rodgers to Randall Cobb, which elicited a memorable reaction from Brady.  

New England 31, Green Bay 17 (Nov. 4 ,2018)  

The second matchup fell on Sunday Night Football, and it came complete with a promo from Michael Jordan.  

Brady, who finished with 294 yards and a TD, led two TD drives in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game. Rodgers finished with 259 passing yards and two TDs in the loss.  

Rodgers vs. Brady playoff history   

Brady is a six-time Super Bowl winner with a 30-11 record in the postseason, and he has 222 career victories as a starter in the regular season. Brady won all six Super Bowls with Bill Belichick in New England.  

Rodgers won a Super Bowl with Green Bay in 2010, but he has yet to get back to the big game. Rodgers took the Packers to the NFC championship game in 2014, 2016 and 2019. He is 11-8 in the postseason, and Green Bay reached the NFC championship game last season under first-year coach Matt LaFleur.   

Rodgers vs. Brady in 2020  

Rodgers is off to a fantastic start in 2020. He is completing 70.5 of his passes, and that comes with 1,214 yards, 13 TDS and no interceptions. He is in the MVP conversation, and the Packers are one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFC.  

Tampa Bay is 3-2 with Brady. The Buccaneers are coming off a Thursday Night Football loss to the Chicago Bears. Brady is still learning with new coach Bruce Arians, but the veteran quarterback is completing 64.3 percent of his passes with 1,375 yards, 12 TDs and four interceptions. 

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Tom Brady roasted on Twitter after losing track of downs on Bucs’ final drive

Tom Brady appeared to commit a mental error at the worst possible time Thursday night. The Buccaneers quarterback thought he had one more play after turning the ball over on downs to the Bears late in the fourth quarter.

Tampa Bay needed just a field goal to win and was trying to get into position for it. The Bucs had a first-and-10 at their 37 when Brady:

Threw incomplete to Mike Evans.

Threw a 4-yard dumpoff.

Threw incomplete to Rob Gronkowski.

Threw incomplete again downfield.

Brady put up four fingers after the last pass as if to ask, “Isn’t it fourth down?” No, Tom, it wasn’t.

Twitter wasted zero time roasting Brady for his mistake. Everything from J.R. Smith to Ric Flair to Brady playing golf with Tiger Woods got used:

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