The Duel

Key Stat Proves Tom Brady Played Better Than You Think in Week 1

Max Staley
Tom Brady is taking heat this week, but he wasn't as bad as it seems.
Tom Brady is taking heat this week, but he wasn't as bad as it seems. / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played a disjointed, ugly game in Week 1. The defense held up admirably, but sloppy penalties and turnovers from the offense and special teams unit sealed Tampa Bay's fate. Tom Brady has shouldered the brunt of that criticism, some of which has even come from his new head coach, as the future Hall of Famer threw 2 interceptions, including a horrible pick six.

However, Brady's debut was not nearly as bad as many are making it out to be. In fact, this stat proves that Brady was actually pretty good in Week 1.

Pro Football Focus gave Brady the league's seventh-best grade for his Week 1 performance.

While Brady ranking this high may come as a surprise, he was indeed better than most made him out to be. For one, his 239 passing yards are misleadingly low, as he threw four perfectly placed passes that resulted in 4 pass interference calls for a total of 101 yards.

That Brady played as well as he did is remarkable, because he had quite a bit working against him.

He had numerous drives stunted by undisciplined penalties and inexplicably conservative, run-heavy play calling. Tampa Bay was flagged 9 times for 103 yards, and if we remove Ronald Jones' one splashy 21-yard rush, he totaled 16 carries for 45 yards.

And let's not forget he made his Bucs debut on the road against a top-10 defense in Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics without the benefit of a normal offseason. This was a brutal spot for Brady and the Bucs.

Brady's bounce-back game could come as soon as Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers, though. Carolina was Football Outsiders' fourth-worst defense in 2019 and just gave up 34 points to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1. Tampa Bay enters this one as 9.5-point home favorites.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.