Tom Brady holds Joe Burrow in high regard. “He’s a great young player. He’s got a great arm, runs well, very athletic.
I’m really impressed by him overcoming the adversities that he has,” said the seven-time Super Bowl champion, who faces the top pick in the 2020 draft for the first time Sunday, when the sputtering Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals.
“There were high expectations for him coming out and he’s lived up to it. So a lot of credit to him, and their team’s done a great job,” Brady added.
“They were in the Super Bowl last year, they’re playing really well this year. Good defense, good offense, good special teams group. Well-coached. It’s going to be a tough game.”
Eyes on Tampa. pic.twitter.com/frIay1dIIG
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 14, 2022
Especially the way the underachieving Bucs (6-7) have been playing lately. While Brady leads the league in completions and is fourth in passing yards behind Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Burrow, a talented Tampa Bay offense continues to struggle getting into the end zone.
After averaging over 30 points per game the past two seasons, the Bucs are down to 17.2 – 28th in the NFL – after losing 35-7 at San Francisco last week.
The Bengals (9-4) have won five straight, seven of eight overall, to match the Baltimore Ravens for the best record in the AFC North.
While there may be no quick fix for Tampa Bay’s scoring woes, the Bucs can take solace in knowing a playoff berth is still within reach. Despite having a losing record, they’re in first place in the weak NFC South, one game ahead of the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons with four games left.
“I think the one thing about football is you get what you deserve. You’ve got to go earn it,” Brady said of the Bucs still having all of their goals in front of them.
“The Rams were the Super Bowl champions last year. This year they’re not having the kind of year they want,” the 45-year-old quarterback added, noting there are a lot of things – penalties, lack of offensive execution and other factors – that can bring a team back to the pack.
“It’s a challenge, and you just try to figure out the challenge,” Brady said. “It’s a long race. It’s not over in Week 13. That’s why you play all 17. … We’ll see where we’re measured at the end of the year. But there’s no … quit, there’s no lack of fight. … We’re trying hard to make the right improvements.”