Tom Brady is finally heading to Hollywood – where Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams await | NFL News

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Tom Brady is heading back to California

Tom Brady is heading again to California

Tom Brady has ticked a variety of containers throughout his NFL profession. Playing in Los Angeles is not considered one of them.

That modifications on Sunday. The California-born seven-time Super Bowl champion will pitch his movement image-worthy epic to Hollywood as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Should all go effectively, he may simply take into account reserving a return journey for, say, round February, when the Lombardi Trophy comes to city.

Where Bruce Arians and the Bucs brandish their line-getting-over ring provider, the Rams hope they’ve the identical in Matthew Stafford, whose offseason arrival made Sean McVay the happiest man in the league.

So far so good for the story of two quarterbacks elevating the common age of the league’s far-too-early MVP candidates. While the NFL has turn into passionate about Justin Herbert’s arm energy, Kyler Murray’s pyrotechnics, the Josh Allen story, a ‘Hell, yeah!’ Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes’ perpetual genius, Brady and Stafford are again there sporting invisible ‘non-contact’ purple jerseys leaving groups terrified to give them a yard, figuring out full effectively they’re going to snatch 10.

It’s telling that by means of the first two weeks of the season Brady has been blitzed simply 19 instances (fifteenth) whereas Stafford has been blitzed 16 instances (seventeenth). On the events groups have dared to depart a receiver free, the progressions by means of reads have been too slick and the ball launch too fast.

Watch Matthew Stafford's best passes in his Rams debut against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL regular season

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Watch Matthew Stafford’s finest passes in his Rams debut in opposition to the Chicago Bears in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL common season

Watch Matthew Stafford’s finest passes in his Rams debut in opposition to the Chicago Bears in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL common season

Brady has solely been pressured on 9 events (thirtieth amongst beginning quarterbacks) and on 10 per cent of drop backs (thirty second), whereas being hurried simply twice (thirty first); Stafford has been pressured seven instances (thirty second) and on 11.9 per cent of drop backs (thirtieth), in addition to being hurried simply as soon as.

The X’s and O’s rely in the direction of loads. But so long as the pocket is clear, Brady and Stafford are bludgeoning defenses.

Sunday’s 48-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons prolonged Tampa’s streak of scoring 30-plus factors to 9 successive video games, breaking a document beforehand held by the New England Patriots behind Brady, whose 9 touchdowns by means of his first two outings are the most in his profession. Having completed twenty fourth in offensive effectivity final season, the Rams at the moment rank third behind Stafford whereas averaging 30.5 factors per sport (fifth).

Much is rightly stated about the consistency of the Bucs go safety that performed a defining position on the highway to the Super Bowl, nevertheless it helps to have a quarterback who nonetheless manipulates the pocket and recognises when to climb or when to slide pretty much as good as anyone in the league.

Such was the nature of a COVID-disrupted offseason in 2020, teething issues had been solely pure by means of the opening weeks of the marketing campaign. Brady was all the time going to be extra snug, extra harmful this yr having had time to correctly personalise and mannequin his offense with Byron Leftwich and Arians.

A star-studded Hollywood solid has cushioned the course of, however this Bucs offense is performing on a 44-yr-outdated slinging the ball sooner and additional than biology may normally permit a 44-yr-outdated to.

Brady is edging towards the NFL's all-time passing yards record (AP)

Brady is edging in the direction of the NFL’s all-time passing yards document (AP)

Brady is ranked third in the league in supposed air yards with 771 to this point this season, in accordance to Pro Football Reference, thriving in the shot-taking Arians offense that tended to land Jameis Winston in hassle.

He is six landing passes away from having thrown extra in his forties than Drew Brees (57), Brett Favre (41), Warren Moon (37) and Vinny Testaverde (24) mixed. Brady at the moment sits on 154 – 13 shy of the 167 he threw throughout his twenties. It’s laughably spectacular.

Peyton Manning holds the document for single-season touchdowns with 55. Brady, as early as it could be, is on the right track to obliterate that. The Florida solar-kissed ‘may truly play till he is 50’ protagonist might additionally break the NFL document for profession passing yardage in Week Four in opposition to, you guessed it, the Patriots.

How’s that for Hollywood?

“The guy throws it as good as anybody in the league still,” Stafford instructed reporters. “Coming out of the hand, he throws it great. Mechanically, he’s as sound as anybody. He’s on time. Great anticipation, ball placement, got a ton of spin, a ton of juice on it still, can throw it down the field.

“I feel again to the playoff sport in Green Bay, proper earlier than half, where he hits 10 down the sideline, I imply that is a heave in Lambeau, drops in on ’em. So he can do all of it. From the pocket, that man’s pretty much as good because it will get.”

The precision-timing that fuelled Brady’s success in New England is what Stafford and his cannon have been greeted by.

Expectations are heightened, but football will be far kinder to the 33-year-old in LA.

McVay quite masterfully accentuated the strengths while limiting the limitations of Goff, serving as the perfect window-dresser whose smoke and mirrors would tee up the crossers, option routes, quick outs and overs tailored to an accurate intermediate passer. When it worked, it really worked.

And credit where it’s due. When it lands, Goff has a beautiful deep ball in his locker. It’s just not as good as that of Stafford.

Goff had four touchdowns and six interceptions on deep passes of 20-plus yards in 2020, compared to Stafford’s 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. That’s one, big, part of the upgrade.

Offensive production from the Detroit Lions would so often bank on Stafford connecting on a deep-shot to move the chains or digging out the side-arm throw or off-platform dagger while improvising in a collapsing pocket and with limited separation ahead of him.

The Rams have relaxed that reliance on him to strap an offense to his back and be the ‘hero’, the difference between Stafford and Jared Goff being that he could, if needed.

Everything is more calculated; everything is more incisive with McVay. And when the coverage is good or the protection falters, Stafford is significantly better than Goff at going off-script to negotiate an emergency.

The downfield bomb has been more a threat than a promise thus far, the Rams’ second-most 7.5 yards after catch per reception evidence of a seamless transition for Stafford. If the short and sweet chain-moving stuff comes up short, they know the haymaker is there.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until he's 50-years-old as the Super Bowl LV champions prepare to face the Atlanta Falcons in week two of the NFL season

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until he’s 50-years-old as the Super Bowl LV champions prepare to face the Atlanta Falcons in week two of the NFL season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until he’s 50-years-old as the Super Bowl LV champions prepare to face the Atlanta Falcons in week two of the NFL season

Both Brady and Stafford orchestrated near-flawless touchdown-scoring opening drives in their respective wins over the Falcons and Indianapolis Colts at the weekend. It was art.

Stafford’s opening throw was a 16-yard connection to Robert Woods, the play-action distraction of Darrell Henderson combining with tight end Tyler Higbee’s out-route from a half-back position in giving safety Khari Willis happy feet, his eventual bite leaving Woods with inside leverage for an easy catch on the slant.

His second pass was a perfect demonstration of him gliding through his progressions, Cooper Kupp’s deep corner clearing the middle of the field for primary read Van Jefferson on an over-route, only for good coverage to prompt Stafford to switch his eyes left to a wide-open Henderson in the flat for a 23-yard catch-and-run.

The drive continued with Higbee leaving the edge rusher unblocked to join Henderson in dragging two linebackers into the flat while Kupp’s go route and Woods’ deep out opened up mid-field for Van Jefferson to haul in a 14-yard completion. Easy.

Tampa went down a similar unblocking route on their opening touchdown, Chris Godwin leaving Isaiah Oliver untouched on the blitz while trusting Brady to get the ball out and ensuring he is available to pull Deion Jones in underneath to leave Rob Gronkowski with a one-on-one mismatch against Duron Harmon.

A notable wrinkle to both has been the creative use of personnel, be it Higbee and Kupp lining up in the backfield for the Rams or a Cameron Brate sneak route as a disguised blocker luring a Foyesade Oluokun side-step marginal enough to open the window for a 17-yard pass to Antonio Brown.

Amid blistering unbeaten starts, there is still room for improvement. The Bucs have recorded a joint-most five turnovers and are tied for a league-most 22 penalties through the opening two games, while the Rams have only converted 55.56 per cent of red zone opportunities. Both are hot, without really hitting full stride yet.

Even better: Brady and Stafford will each find themselves up against one of the most daunting defensive units in the league come Sunday.

It’s a quarterback contest befitting of Hollywood.

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