Going up against Tom Brady in the postseason is a daunting task in itself. When he’s playing in his home yard, it becomes an even more frightening story.
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If any team has the defensive weapons to thwart Brady and the Buccaneers, though, it might be Los Angeles. Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller and Aaron Donald headline the array of dangerous defenders the Rams possess, and any of them are capable of making a huge impact.
Donald is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year who regularly attracts double-teams due to his immense presence up the middle. Miller has been one of the league’s premier pass-rushers over the past decade. And Ramsey is one of its best shutdown corners.
This means that the Rams have playmakers in every facet of their defense capable of deterring Brady’s tactics.
But can their talent translate against the best to ever do it?
Kevin Wildes says yes.
“Tom Brady is a superhero … who doesn’t like to be touched at all,” Wildes said Friday on “First Things First.”
“He’s lost nine games as a Buccaneer. When he gets sacked three or more times, he’s 4-6. When he gets sacked less than three times, he’s 25-3. In a loss to the Rams earlier this year, how many times did he get sacked? Three times. He’s going up against Aaron Donald. Ryan Jensen, we don’t know how good he’s going to be. He’s a game-time decision, so is Tristan Wirfs.“
Nick Wright also predicted the Rams will triumph, alluding to the Bucs’ slew of injuries as the central reason behind his hypothesis.
“A lot of guys didn’t practice,” Wright said. “It’s not just Wirfs and Jensen. It’s also Cyril Grayson and Breshad Perriman. You have running back injuries. Jason Pierre-Paul is out with personal reasons, Tom Brady took a veteran’s rest day yesterday. That is concerning. I think the Bucs are too banged up, too tired.”
In Wright’s mind, rumblings surrounding Brady’s potential retirement could also present some nerves for his teammates.
“I think there’s going to be some extra anxiety for those receivers other than Evans and Gronk about ‘what if this is Tom’s last game? I can’t be the one who lets him down, runs the wrong route.’ There are murmurs that this could be Brady’s last season. I don’t think that plays well into the hands of the Bucs.”
But Chris Broussard believes that it’s downright foolish to pick against the GOAT.
“Brady is not only coming off a really good playoff game last week, he’s coming off a should-be MVP season,” Broussard said. “It was one of the best years of his career. Instead of facing a team who doesn’t have a great receiving threat, you’re facing a team with Mike Evans. He’s not middling like a lot of people have been saying, he’s nice. And Gronkowski is still there doing his thing.
“Instead of playing in the plush confines of SoFi Stadium, you’re going to Tampa Bay. Brady is 21-4 at home in the playoffs. That is more home playoff wins combined than the next two QBs, who happen to be guys named Peyton Manning, and Joe Montana. And you talk about defense? I liked what I saw from Tampa’s defense last week. They looked hungry, energized, and they shut down Philly’s run game which has been the best in the league.”
Chris Broussard is “going with Tom Brady, all day.”
Chris Broussard previews the upcoming divisional-round matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams. Watch as he breaks down why he’s expecting Tom Brady to pull out a win this weekend.
Brady is certainly a force to be reckoned with on his home turf.
His 21 home playoff victories are more than 19 NFL teams, while he’s thrown 6,711 yards, 48 TD to 19 INTs, and has a 92.7 QB Rating through games of the sort. He’s also never lost a home playoff game in which he hasn’t thrown an interception in (13-0).
But his numbers take a drastic turn for the worse when he’s under pressure.
When his pocket is clean, Brady’s nearly infallible: 457-for-630 (72.5%), with 4,882 yards, 38 TD and eight INTs. When he is pressured, his numbers are far less flattering: 57-for-126 (45.2%), 705 yards, seven TDs and four INTs.
The Rams will be eager to get up close and personal with Brady come Sunday, but can they avert him enough to produce a victory?
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