Around The NFL Writer
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might just be the most miserable 2-2 team in recent memory.
One of 15 NFL teams with a .500 record through four weeks of play, Tampa is tied with the Atlanta Falcons atop the NFC South, but entering their Week 5 matchup, it seems as if their pair of wins is the last thing on anyone’s minds. Instead, it’s been all about what hasn’t worked for the Buccaneers, a team in win-now mode that is expected to contend for the conference crown, not just the division title.
“I think there’s a lot of bad football from what I watch,” quarterback Tom Brady told reporters Wednesday when asked about the parity across the NFL, which includes his Buccaneers. “I watch a lot of bad football. Poor quality of football. That’s what I see.”
Brady hasn’t had an easy going so far. The 45-year-old quarterback took time away to deal with personal matters during camp, then returned to a roster that has seen a rotating cast of receiver due to injuries and suspension. When the Kansas City Chiefs — a team Brady’s Bucs demolished in Super Bowl LV — came to town last week, the results fell short of the Buccaneers’ Lombardi Trophy-chasing narrative.
Tampa’s defense crumbled under the constant pressure applied by Patrick Mahomes and Co., and Brady couldn’t put points on the board fast enough to keep up, leading to a 41-31 defeat on a national stage.
Making matters worse, Brady sustained a shoulder injury in the game, leading to more questions about his health. At 45 years old, it’s certainly understandable if such inquiries come off as abrasive to the future Pro Football Hall of Famer.
In no mood to speak at length, Brady responded succinctly to questions about his shoulder Thursday.
“Feels great. Thanks for asking,” Brady said. “I’ll be there Sunday.”
Brady will be there Sunday, as will most of his teammates. They’ll hope they can put together a better performance than the one last week that saw Todd Bowles’ defense allow the most points in his time with the Buccaneers, which dates back to 2019.
If not, more of the same awaits.
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey explained why he’s “happy” to be joining his new team after being traded from the Carolina Panthers.
J.K. Dobbins is undergoing knee surgery to remove scar tissues from his previous ACL surgery. The Ravens running back, who was experiencing stiffness in his knee, will miss 4-6 weeks.
Russell Wilson’s hamstring injury has thrown his Week 7 status into question. Wilson is questionable for Denver’s game against the Jets, coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters Friday.
Christian McCaffrey is headed west. In the running back’s wake remains a Panthers team forced to answer questions about its future. Scott Fitterer and Steve Wilks explained Friday the decision to trade the RB and what comes next.
Elijah Moore’s trade request prompted a change, but not the one he was seeking. Moore will not play in the Jets’ Week 7 game against the Broncos, coach Robert Saleh told reporters Friday, reiterating New York won’t trade the QB.
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49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reacted Friday morning to the acquisition of star running back Christian McCaffrey and spoke on how quick he will suit up for San Francisco.
Kenny Pickett will start Sunday night in Miami. The Steelers announced Friday that the quarterback has cleared concussion protocol. Tight end Pat Freiermuth and cornerback Levi Wallace also cleared protocol.
Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores returns to Miami on Sunday night for the first time since being fired by the Dolphins. But the ex-Fins coach isn’t viewing it as a revenge game.
DeSean Jackson enjoyed some of his best seasons with the Eagles when Michael Vick was the quarterback. Now that he’s joined Lamar Jackson’s Ravens, the veteran WR sees similarities between the two dual-threat QBs.
Saints QB Andy Dalton threw back-to-back pick-sixes in the second quarter, giving Arizona a 28-14 halftime lead. The pick-sixes followed an earlier interception in the end zone from Dalton that cost the Saints points.
DeAndre Hopkins’ return from suspension helped jumpstart an Arizona Cardinals offense that had played with clipped wings the first six weeks of the season. Hopkins caught 10 of 14 targets for 103 yards in Thursday night’s 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints.
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Around The NFL Writer