Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have looked off through the first six games of the 2022 season and the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers underscored their struggles.
Brady had a late touchdown pass, was sacked twice and was only 25-for-40 passing. He also berated his offensive linemen in an exchange that was caught on the FOX broadcast of the game.
On Monday, Brady posted a photo on Instagram showing linemen Robert Hainsey and Luke Goedeke. The photo came with a message.
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“Football is hard. We’re not playing like we are capable. We’re in it together. We’ll turn it around,” he wrote.
Fellow linemen Donovan Smith and linebacker Devin White appeared to have Brady and the team’s back with messages in the comments section.
Tampa Bay lost 20-18. The team was 4-for-14 on third downs and only 1-for-4 in the red zone. He showed his frustration on the sideline toward the end of the first half, cursing at his offensive line.
After the game, Brady told reports the stagnant offense was what sunk the Buccaneers.
“I think it’s just execution. We have to play a lot better. It really doesn’t matter if you run it, if you throw it, you throw it outside, you throw it inside, run it inside, run it outside, it’s an execution game,” Brady explained. “You either make the play or you don’t. There’s too many plays we’re not making.”
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Brady said the team did not make enough plays to “earn” the victory.
“We didn’t earn it. We didn’t earn the win so. It’s a game of earning it,” he said. “It’s a game of playing well, performing well and we’re just not doing a good job of it. I don’t think we’ve done it for six weeks. I think we’re all playing less than what we’re capable of. We’ve all got to look at ourselves in the mirror and figured out why.”
Tampa Bay ran 68 plays, seven more than the Steelers, and had the ball only two seconds longer than Pittsburgh.
“I think losing comes down to, obviously, scoring less points than the other team. You evaluate why you scored less points than the other team,” Brady said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the Steelers or the Chiefs. You can look at this and say why didn’t we score more points? Well we didn’t do well in the red area, first of all. We didn’t do good, we were 2nd-and-goal at the 1 and we didn’t do a good job there. We had other red-area opportunities and we didn’t do a good job there. We had opportunities on 3rd-and-short to extend drives, we didn’t do well there.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing if you’re not making the plays then it doesn’t matter if it’s the Steelers, the Chiefs, the Packers or the Saints it’s either you make the plays or you don’t, it’s a production business.”
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The Buccaneers will look to break out of their slump against the Carolina Panthers next week. Tampa Bay has dropped three of their last four.