By no surprise, all the attention was on Brady and Bill Belichick because of the relationship they’ve had over the years. Well, that didn’t please Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who believed that spotlight took away from the real focus: the actual game. Via NFL.com:
I was very, very frustrated with everybody saying this was a quarterback and a coach. This is a team sport. The Buccaneers won this game. We beat the Patriots. We were losing sight that this is a team game. Everybody wanted to make this all about Brady and Belichick. I don’t think Bill played a snap. He had 22 guys out there playing their ass off, and I knew he would. We had 22 guys out there playing their asses off. One of them just happened to be named Brady.”
Arians does have a point. The entire focus was on Brady and Belichick, especially following the conclusion of the game when they exchanged a quick hug. But, the Patriots coach reportedly visited with TB12 for 20 minutes in the locker room as well.
Maybe jitters played a part, but Brady wasn’t his normal self for the Buccaneers in a rather average performance. He completed 22 of 43 passes for 269 yards but didn’t throw for a single TD. However, Brady did become the all-time leader in passing yards, surpassing Drew Bledsoe. Talk about the perfect place to do it.