Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the field on Saturday against the Detroit Lions, knowing they had a game to take advantage of. Sure enough, before the final seconds before halftime even ticked away, this one was over.
Days after the Lions were hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, dealing a further blow to a team that was already short-handed, Brady and Co. took advantage in Week 16.
Recognizing a defense without multiple starters and a majority of its defensive coaching staff, the Buccaneers quickly seized on the incredible opportunity. A quick six-play, 82-yard drive was capped off with a gorgeous touchdown strike from Brady to Rob Gronkowski.
Things went from bad to worse for Detroit. If playing without their interim coach wasn’t enough, another setback made life even more difficult. Matthew Stafford twisted his ankle on the team’s opening drive, never returning to the game.
A few minutes later, Brady found Mike Evans open in the end zone for an easy 27-yard touchdown connection. The Buccaneers were racing out to an early lead and more was coming.
After setting the Buccaneers’ single-season record for passing touchdowns, Brady kept adding to his wild first-half performance. Leading 27-0 with under two minutes in the half, the future Hall of Famer connected with Antonio Brown with 74 seconds left to take a 34-0 lead.
As the Detroit Lions dragged themselves into the locker room at halftime, Bray walked off smiling with a phenomenal showing through two quarters.
After weeks of people questioning whether his arm strength was gone and the Buccaneers were a fluke, Brady answered with a 348-yard, four-touchdown showcase in two quarters. By the time both teams returned from halftime, Brady was done for the day and Blaine Gabbert took over.