At 44 years young, Brady is accomplishing the unthinkable. He is doing the improbable, and darn-near impossible, while making it look second nature.
Regardless of the 17th game added this season, Brady is on pace to shatter his career high in passing yards. Through six games, Brady is averaging a league-leading 344 passing yards per game. Over a 17-game spread, Brady is pacing for 5,848 passing yards. That number would break Peyton Manning’s single-season record of 5,477.
Oh, and by the way, Brady is also pacing for 48 passing touchdowns — just two short of his career-best 50 which he threw back in 2007.
Bears fans should be bracing for an afternoon in which they will surely throw things. So hide the remote, lamps and potted plants once the game is on. This could get ugly.
The Chicago Bears defense may be obliterated by Tom Brady this weekend.
The Bears’ pass defense currently ranks as the 8th-best in football, giving up just over 218 yards per game through the air. While that number looks impressive, a big reason why is due to the Bears’ pass rush getting home.
Currently tied for first in the NFL with 21 sacks through six games, the Bears boast the league’s top sack duo in Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn. However, that duo may not get a shot to attack Brady.
Chicago could be without Quinn on Sunday, which would be a huge loss to the front seven. They may also be without Akiem Hicks, leaving just Mack as the only big threat off the edge.
While Jaylon Johnson has enjoyed a breakout season, he’s the only player in the Bears secondary who is playing well. Eddie Jackson is allowing an opposing passer rating of 156.2 through six games, which is one of the worst marks in all of football. Meanwhile, Kindle Vildor and Tashaun Gipson aren’t much better at 153.7 and 118.7.
Without their pass rush at full strength and a secondary that has struggled mightily, the Bears are in trouble this weekend.
We haven’t even touched on the Buccaneers’ weapons yet. Brady has plenty of them at his disposal, even if not all of them are healthy. Antonio Brown is nursing a sprained ankle, and his status is up in the air. But, Brown has looked like the guy we once saw in Pittsburgh — simply terrifying.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski may also return from injury this weekend, and the Bears are not a good defense against tight ends. Speaking of a guy who looks like his former self, Gronkowski has been outstanding in 2021, and just as difficult as ever to defend.
Let’s not forget the towering Mike Evans, who is always a problem in the red zone, and Chris Godwin, who might be one of the game’s best route-running, possession receivers.
It might be unfair to say this, but this game could be on the shoulders of rookie quarterback Justin Fields to keep competitive. And, in a Matt Nagy offense, that is going to be a difficult ask of Fields.
The play-calling has been subpar all season long, and at this point it might not even matter who is calling plays because it’s still Nagy’s playbook.
This is becoming a season where Bears fans should begin caring mostly about the future. If Fields holds himself well on Sunday against the Bucs and shows signs of development, then we should be pleased. As for the final score, the likelihood of Bears fans being pleased with that is slim to none.