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Monday Night Observations
I should have bet the Cowboys. The Cowboys were bad last week, but the Bucs have been bad all year. The Bucs were 8-9, and only due to borderline miraculous comebacks against the Rams, Saints and Cardinals. Tom Brady can still throw a nice ball, but he needs everything around him to be just right, and against good defenses that won’t usually be the case. Yahoo Sports has a headline saying, “Brady can’t possibly go out like this, can he?” but the overwhelming majority of greats go out exactly like that — out of sync and showing only faint glimpses of what they once were (nice throw on the Julio Jones TD!)
That said, he can still play if he wants to. I doubt he’d stoop to the Jets — that’s worse than shilling for FTX — but it would be amusing if he were the next former thing on the Colts, and the Raiders always make for a good David Beckham-on-the-LA-Galaxy-type destination. Credit to Brady though — even in a blowout, he padded his all-time playoff stat lead with 351 yards and two more TDs. He’s Nolan Ryan for strikeouts, Wayne Gretzky for assists.
If ever there were a game to miss four PATs, this was the one.
Troy Aikman pointed it out ad nauseum, but after a shaky couple drives, Dak Prescott played a virtually flawless game. It’ll be tougher next week in San Francisco, but credit where it’s due.
I swapped in CeeDee Lamb for Tony Pollard at the last minute in the NFFC Postseason Hold ‘em contest — Lamb averaged more points per start all year, and I wasn’t sure why I put Pollard in over him originally. Most of the game Pollard was ahead until the late Lamb TD gave him the lead. Of course, what happens next week will be worth double and matter more.
Dalton Schultz (8-7-95-2) has been big down the stretch, but he was only one percent used in the contest.
There’s not much to say about the Bucs’ aging skill players. Mike Evans would have had a monster day had Brady’s deep ball to him been a foot shorter. If Brady leaves, this looks like a rebuild.
It seems like Todd Bowles will keep his job, despite the disappointing season. I don’t know how good of a head coach he is, but I was impressed by his based attitude and courage in the face of the commonplace, corporate-media-promoted style of racism earlier this year.