The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the Los Angeles Chargers in a week 4 matchup at Raymond James Stadium. The final score was 38-31, but it was not the story of the game. The main story of the game was the comeback that the Bucs pulled off. They were down 24-7 in the second quarter and they looked dead in the water. The Chargers were getting everything they wanted offensively, were hitting these seemingly no name deep threats for touchdowns, and still, the Bucs came back. This is why they signed Tom Brady.
For starters, the defense played a lot better than the score indicated. One touchdown the Chargers scored was off a Tom Brady pick six. They created turnovers again, which is something they have done all year thus far. They got beat on a few blitzes that Justin Herbert made them pay for with a few deep TDs. The Chargers had Austin Ekeler go down early, and they were not able to muster up a run game against this hard nosed defense. They had a total of 23 carries for a grand total of 46 yards and zero touchdowns. Herbert, however, was 20/25 for 290 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT.
Another story in this game was the injuries. O.J. Howard may be done for the year with an achilles injury. Mike Evans also went down early, but he came back to have a great game. His resilience alone is nothing short of amazing. He has seemingly been hurt in every game this year, and yet he shows up the next week ready to ball out. With all of the injuries this offense has faced, his insane production has been needed. He ended the game with 7 catches on 8 targets with 122 yards and a TD. He is simply one of the best wide receivers we have seen this generation.
How were the Bucs able to make this comeback? You guessed it, Terrific Tom. He struggled against the Chargers pressure early on, but after halftime he was surgical. It also helps that Ronald Jones was able to have 20 carries for 111 yards without Leonard Fournette in the lineup. The Bucs did not go away from running the ball even with the early deficit, which is a good thing. You see coaches go away from the run earlier than they should because they think their QB can make the comeback easier with his arm, which in most cases is true, but Brady is smart enough to know the run game was still needed.
He spread the ball around to basically every receiver and tight end who stepped on the field. He ended the game with 30/46 for 469 yards and 5 TDs with 1 INT. It was a fun shootout between him and the rookie QB Herbert, but he ultimately prevailed in the duel. That pick six he threw did not affect his confidence in the slightest, as he’s been here before.