Everything's great in Buccaneerland now that Tampa got their first win of the season on Sunday against the Panthers, right?
The Panthers, with their multiple turnovers, basic zone coverages and ill-timed secondary penalties, were a layup opponent for Tom Brady and Co. in the Bucs' 31-17 victory. Tampa scored 24 of their 31 points off turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles and one on downs), and the Bucs only produced two drives longer than 46 yards.
Brady played much better in this game — and it would have looked better if there weren't at least seven drops, including one for a possible touchdown by LeSean McCoy (he had two) — but his final passing line of 23 of 35 for just 217 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a rating of 80.3 wasn't great.
To put it in perspective, Brady's final adjusted yards per pass attempt of 5.49 ranked 234th out of 287 career regular-season games by Brady. The loss to New Orleans wasn't much worse (5.25, 243rd).
There basically isn't much going on down the field. It wasn't just a byproduct of the Panthers' conservative scheme. Brady had chances to throw deep and often took the checkdown. If the Bucs' offense is going to be a force this season, Brady's going to have to get more aggressive.
And he's going to have to get on the same page with Mike Evans. His final stat line looks nice — 7 catches on 10 targets for 104 yards and a touchdown — looks good, but 50 yards came on one play — and Evans didn't even run that route how Brady expects. Evans averaged 9.0 yards per catch on his other receptions. That's middle of the road.
A video look at some of the issues in this game with Brady, Evans and Rob Gronkowski, and Brady's final grade with comparison to Cam Newton:
First failed third down to Evans, who doesn't look like he's happy with the Brady Experience, and the first pass of the second drive where Evans does not run the route to Brady's specifications:
50-yard pass to Evans, who actually slows down on the route (this happens a lot and something Brady won't like):
Opening play of second half. What seemed like a called pity target to Gronkowski gets intercepted.
Gronkowski gets a gift penalty when actually he wasn't held up, he just can't run by linebackers anymore:
Plus plays (8)
Starting with the back-shoulder touchdown to Evans, the two of them got cooking with two great throws to convert on third downs. Brady also had plus throws to Justin Watson and Leonard Fournette, who really made a nice adjustment and catch to keep a red zone play alive.
Negative plays (9)
Brady had five negative decisions, including five where he had deeper targets open but took the checkdown. On one late to McCoy, Brady had Evans and Gronkowski open. ... The flea-flicker was severely underthrown for no reason. ... The fumble was a bad handoff from Brady. Two other poor throws to Watson and OJ Howard (though Howard possibly should have flattened his route). ... The throw that bounced off the face of Cyril Grayson would have carried him out of bounds.
Scotty Miller drop TD
Brady knocked down
Grayson drop (poor throw)
McCoy dropped TD
Brady grade: 2.5 out of 5
Through Week 2