NFL

Brady in 2022 looks like 'his last year in New England', says Fitzpatrick

By Sports Desk October 19, 2022

Tom Brady is cutting the same frustrated figure he did in his final season with the New England Patriots, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is still not ruling out a Super Bowl run in case "Tom becomes Tom again in the playoffs".

Brady briefly retired in the offseason, only to soon reverse that decision and return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But the legendary quarterback then missed time in the preseason and has struggled so far in the 2022 season, with the Bucs falling to 3-3 with Sunday's shock defeat to the lowly Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Tampa Bay offense that ranked seventh and second in Brady's first two years with the team is now down in 21st.

The 45-year-old is moving the ball only 6.7 yards per passing attempt. He has only dipped below that mark once since 2002, throwing for 6.6 yards per attempt in 2019 before leaving the Patriots.

Former Bucs QB Fitzpatrick is concerned, although he is not writing off a record-extending eighth Super Bowl success.

"I think I've seen this from him before," Fitzpatrick told The Bill Simmons Podcast on The Ringer.

"His last year in New England, it was another example of a year where there was so much visible frustration from him.

"He was exasperated all the time by his team-mates and play-calling, and you could visibly see him upset more than usual on the field and the sideline. That's what this year feels like a little bit.

"That being said, I've played for Todd Bowles in New York. First of all, his defensive scheme is great, it's tough to go against, he's very aggressive. That trickles down to the team.

"I think they won some games early because of the defense, and they haven't performed so well of late.

"I still see the Bucs as a team that is going to sleepwalk their way to 10-7, make the playoffs, and then hopefully it all comes together because maybe then Tom becomes Tom again in the playoffs. That's just what this season feels like right now, for me."

Brady is in his 23rd season in the NFL, and Fitzpatrick has been in awe of his focus up to this point.

"That's always been the amazing thing about him when I watch him," he added. "Even though it's been so long, he's so locked in all the time.

"Whether it's been an inferior opponent or a big game on Sunday, Monday night, Thursday night, he was always so locked in.

"I'm just missing that a little bit when I watch him this year."

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