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Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit new low: 3 instant reactions from latest loss

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now 3-4 on the season after a humiliating road loss to the hapless Carolina Panthers.

Tampa Bay headed into this one as whopping 13-point favorites. Bank of America Stadium in Carolina was pretty much empty days after the Panthers dealt away All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey. Working under interim head coach Steve Wilks, Carolina had lost 12 of its past 13 games dating back to last season.

Everything was set up for Brady to avoid finding himself under .500 this late in the season for the first time throughout his future Hall of Fame career. It did not happen. The Buccaneers were absolutely embarrassed by someone named P.J. Walker to the tune of a 21-3.

The Bucs’ defense allowed Walker to complete 16-of-22 passes for 177 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Veteran castoff D’Onta Foreman went off for 118 yards on 15 attempts in Carolina’s first game without McCaffrey.

As for the Buccaneers’ offense, Tom Brady was forced to throw the ball 49 times with their running game (14 rushes, 38 yards) struggling to do anything of substance. Now at 3-4, the Buccaneers look like a shell of their former selves. Here’s some instant takeaways from this brutal Week 7 loss.

Related: Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule and game-by-game predictions

No idea where Tom Brady goes from here

tom brady, tampa bay buccaneers
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To say that this season has been frustrating for Brady would be an understatement. The 45-year-old quarterback has taken said frustration out on tablets in the sideline and was just seen screaming at his offensive line in last week’s ugly loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

All of this comes at a time when Brady’s personal life, justified or not, is in the headlines. It also comes after another all-time great quarterback opined that the seven-time Super Bowl signal caller just isn’t having fun.

“I was up there just happy as can be watching the game. This is just my opinion, Tom is the greatest. The Super Bowl rings show it. It didn’t look like he wanted to be out there. Maybe it was the pressure, and he was getting hit and whatever was going on. At one point I looked down there and said, there’s no way he’s enjoying this. No way. I was enjoying being up there watching the game. It just didn’t look fun for him.

When a defense gets after you, sometimes your anger and your disgust for things happen because the other team is affecting you. Not because it’s you. But yeah, it just looked like a different Tom.”

Ben Roethlisberger on Tom Brady after Week 6

Brady isn’t one to quit. He’s not going to retire in-season. But it stands to reason that this will be the quarterback’s final season in the NFL. We just hope his brilliant career doesn’t end in the same fashion as we saw with Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees in recent seasons. That is to say, Tom Terrific being a shell of his former self.

Related: Tom Brady’s standing in Sportsnaut NFL QB rankings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense is a hot mess

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Dating back to Week 5, Tampa Bay has scored all of one touchdown in its past 25 offensive possessions. The team is not even attempting to throw the ball down field as evidenced by what we saw from Brady and Co. on Sunday against a pretty good Panthers defense.

Brady averaged 5.9 yards per attempt against the Panthers. Mike Evans tallied 96 receiving yards on 15 targets. Chris Godwin had 43 yards on 13 targets. When your top receivers combine for an average of less than five yards per target, that’s never a good sign. It could be an example of Byron Leftwich’s offense. It could also be a prime example of Brady’s own regression.

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade rumors

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jason Licht needs to make a move

NFL: Combine
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Regardless of what we’ve seen from the Buccaneers through seven games, it’s high time for their general manager to be active ahead of the Nov. 1 NFL trade deadline. Brady opted to unretire in an attempt to win that eight Super Bowl title. Sure it’s not looking great. But this team is built to win short-term, not long-term.

Simply put, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers owe it to Tom Brady to put this team in position to win moving forward. Whether it’s adding a top-flight running back to the mix or finding an upgrade on defense, the onus is on Licht to get something done. It’s that simple.

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