Tom Brady is straight up not having a good time

To be clear, there is a lot of football left in the 2022 NFL season.

But right now, it looks like Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is straight up not having a good time.

Brady and the Buccaneers were on the road Sunday to take on Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Pittsburgh missing their top three cornerbacks, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, and pass rusher T.J. Watt, one might expect the visitors to roll into Acisure Stadium and win comfortably.

Not so fast my friend.

Even with the Steelers missing five starters on the defensive side of the football, the Buccaneers lost on the road by a final score of 20-18, with Mitchell Trubisky coming off the bench and making a number of critical throws in the second half to lead the Steelers to the victory.

On the other side, Brady and the Tampa Bay offense struggled mightily in the first half, managing just three field goals from Ryan Succop as they trailed 10-9 at the halftime break. While the Buccaneers converted ten first downs in the first half, they were just 1-for-6 on third downs, and a pair of drives stalled out inside the red zone.

Making matters worse for Brady was his production, or lack thereof, in the first half. The veteran quarterback completed just 10 of 21 passes for 110 yards in the first half, and was held out of the red zone. Brady was also pressured throughout the first half and sacked twice, leading to this moment where the quarterback lit into his offensive line near the end of the second quarter:

If Brady was mad before halftime, the opening kickoff of the second half did not improve his mood. Pittsburgh returner Steven Sims Jr. returned the kickoff deep into Tampa Bay territory, handing Pickett and the Steelers offense a short field:

The Tampa Bay defense held, holding the Steelers to just a field goal, but the Buccaneers again found themselves trailing by four to a team that was double-digit underdogs during the week.

Then it was Brady’s turn to put together a drive, and the Buccaneers again drove deep into Pittsburgh territory, thanks in large part to this completion from Brady to Chris Godwin:

Yet again, however, the drive stalled deep in Pittsburgh territory. Despite facing a 1st and goal at the Steelers’ 9-yard line, the Buccaneers were again held to a field goal. As offense came off the field, one wondered if the Microsoft Tablets were in danger on Tampa Bay sideline …

But the struggles from Brady and the offense were certainly noteworthy, particularly given the state of the Steelers defense:

Those struggles even led to the one and only Darren Rovell putting Brady’s return — and whether he regretted coming back from retirement — to a vote:

Meanwhile, things were not exactly clicking on the opposing sideline. While Pickett started the game 11 of 18 for 67 yards, and connected on his first NFL touchdown pass, he was knocked from the game in the second half with a concussion, forcing the Steelers to turn to Mitchell Trubisky.

Setting off the battle of mediocrity between Trubisky and Brady that we all anticipated when this game was announced by the NFL’s scheduling office.

But then, a touchdown pass!

From Trubisky …

After Tampa Bay punter Jake Camarda launched his fifth punt of the day, giving the Steelers possession on their own 29-yard line, Pittsburgh put together perhaps their best offensive drive of the game. The Steelers marched 71 yards on 8 plays, culminating with this touchdown strike from Trubisky to Chase Claypool:

The extra point gave the Steelers a 20-12 lead with under ten minutes left in the game.

Finally, the Buccaneers’ passing game seemed to have life again. On the ensuing Tampa Bay possession, completions to Godwin and rookie tight end Cade Otton, got the Buccaneers into Steelers’ territory. But as the Buccaneers had seen earlier in the game, getting into Pittsburgh territory was one thing, but finishing drives with a touchdown instead of a field goal seemed to be another thing altogether.

This time, however, was different. The Buccaneers finally finished off a drive with a touchdown, as Brady connected with Leonard Fournette on this 11-yard touchdown:

On this designed swing screen, Fournette takes advantage of the blocking in front of him and barrels into the end zone, bringing the Buccaneers within two points. That set up a decision for Todd Bowles and Tampa Bay, and the head coach kept his offense on the field for the two-point conversion. But Devin Bush, the Pittsburgh linebacker, drove on the throw and deflected it, keeping the Steelers’ two-point lead intact.

Tampa Bay would need a stop from their defense on the following Steelers’ possession, and when Pittsburgh faced a 3rd and 15 on their own 20-yard line, it looked like that stop was about to happen. Trubisky and Claypool stepped up again, however, as the two connected for a 17-yard gain to give the Steelers a fresh set of downs, forcing the Buccaneers into clock-management mode as they began to burn timeouts.

A few plays later, the Steelers faced another third-and-long, facing a 3rd and 11 on their own 36-yard line. Another chance for the Buccaneers defense to get off the field on third down.

And another chance for Trubisky and Claypool to connect:

Trubisky extends the play by rolling to his left, then looks for Claypool along the sideline. The receiver makes a tremendous adjustment, pulling in the throw for the 26-yard gain.

Trubisky then picked up another set of downs with his legs, and before you knew it, the quarterback was lining up in victory formation.

All Brady could do was look on and watch:

The loss drops Brady and the Buccaneers to 3-3 on the season, tied atop the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons. Again, as everyone expected when the season began. As for Brady, he finished the day by completing 25 of 40 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. While the outburst directed at his offensive line might have worked somewhat, as he was not sacked in the second half, this is an offense that is struggling right now.

Entering Sunday, Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense ranked 19th in the NFL, averaging 20.6 points per game.

Tied with the New England Patriots.

While the Buccaneers are dealing with injuries, particularly along the offensive line, this is a unit that is underwhelming through six games. That was the case back in 2020, Brady’s first year in Tampa Bay, when the offense really did not get on track until after their bye week, and a late-season loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

There is still time for them to figure things out, but it does seem like it is getting late early.

And it certainly seems like their quarterback is not having a good time.

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