Now that the NFL Draft is over, all we can do is wait and predict what we think is going to happen. In Tampa, with the arrival of Tom Brady, prediction season is in full swing. In Vegas, they don’t necessarily tell you what they think, however, they give you plenty of clues to connect the dots as you see fit.
The latest from the Ceasars Sportsbook has set new Buccaneers quarterback Brady’s over/under of passing yards at 4099.5. Or, in other words, just 42.5 more than he had in 2019 with the Patriots.
In most cases, a 42.5-yard increase is good, especially for a quarterback that is going to be 43 at the start of the season. However, given the drastic difference in players surrounding Brady in Tampa as opposed to his final season in New England, the number seems a bit low.
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For instance, only Jared Goff, Matt Ryan, and Jameis Winston had more pass attempts than Brady in 2019. And, of those three, only Goff (9-7) led his team to a winning record. Brady, on the other hand, led to the Patriots to a 12-4 record and another AFC East division championship. So, the ability to throw the volume of passes necessary isn’t an issue. Nor is winning games.
In addition, if you watched just the first half of the Patriots last season you wouldn’t believe the narrative surrounding Brady that was formed by some by the end of the year. During that stretch, Brady averaged 281.4 yards per game and had a 95 passer rating en route to an 8-0 start. That yardage average would have topped 4,500 for the year. That is, of course, if Brady enjoyed the same luxury of talent he did during the second half of the season as he did the first.
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During those first eight games in 2019, Brady saw the likes of Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown, and a healthy Julian Edelman roaming the field. By the end of the season, just Edelman remained and he needed to scratch and claw to get through the season with the number of injuries he suffered. In Tampa, he will have it better than what he did during the first half of 2019.
No offense to Edelman, Mike Evans is better. Chris Godwin is a far cry from where any of the other receivers were for New England outside of Edelman and we haven’t even mentioned that a rested and healthy Rob Gronkowski will be spelled by both O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. A sizeable upgrade from a 38-year-old Ben Watson with an Achilles injury.
It seems reasonable to suggest that Brady would come closer to the 281.5 yards per game he had at the start of the 2019 season as opposed to the 253.6 YPG he finished the year with. Before 2019, Brady threw fewer than 4,100 yards just once since 2010. That came in 2016 when he threw 3,554 yards… in just 12 games.
Take the over.