You knew Rex Ryan wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to analyze Tom Brady’s downfall.
Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered their second consecutive loss Sunday, a shocking 21-3 defeat to a Carolina Panthers team that essentially waved the white flag on its season by trading star running back Christian McCaffrey. The Bucs now have as many losses through seven games (four) as they had in the entire 2021 regular season.
So, what’s causing Tampa Bay’s struggles? Ryan, who spent many years coaching against Brady in the AFC East as head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, highlighted two glaring issues.
“This team is old and slow,” Ryan said. “You talk about unwatchable on offense — they are unwatchable on offense.”
Rex Ryan on Tom Brady and the Bucs:
“This team is old and slow. … They are unwatchable on offense.” pic.twitter.com/Qg7EubVCuz
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN)
There’s a stat to back up Ryan’s take: The Bucs offense ranks 31st in the NFL in average top team speed (12.4), ahead of only the Indianapolis Colts as the league’s second-slowest team.
Those two attributes obviously describe the 45-year-old Brady, who is one of the slowest players in the NFL.
“Tom Brady looks like a shell of himself, even physically,” Ryan added. “… It looks like there’s no answer because there’s no speed on the field.”
The Bucs appear to have plenty of weapons on paper, from running back Leonard Fournette to wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones and Russell Gage. Godwin, Jones and Gage have all battled injuries this season, however, while Fournette and Evans are more known for their strength than their speed.
Tampa Bay ranks 25th in the NFL in points per game (17.7), so the team clearly misses playmakers like retired tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Antonio Brown. It doesn’t help that Brady has lost three of his five starting offensive linemen from 2021, and he’s had less time to throw to a less explosive receiving corps.
The result is Brady operating his most anemic offense since his final campaign with the New England Patriots in 2019. That season ended with Brady throwing for just 209 yards and an interception in an AFC Wild Card loss to the Tennessee Titans — but Brady and the Bucs have some work to do if they want to even reach the 2022 postseason.
This content was originally published here.