Last week former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier warned that Antonio Brown might have a destabilizing effect on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “The moment he makes it about himself, Tampa’s not going to go to the Super Bowl,” said Shazier during his most recent appearance on The Ringer NFL Show podcast, while also noting that his former teammate has blocked him on Twitter and Instagram for comments he made about A.B. during an interview on NFL Network.
While there’s no indication that Brown has yet done anything to “make it about himself” in Tampa Bay, his presence sure didn’t help his team’s Super Bowl prospects as the New Orleans Saints (6-2) annihilated the Bucs (6-3) by a score of 38-3 on Sunday Night Football.
New Career Lows for Tom Brady
It was the most one-sided loss of Tom Brady’s NFL career, eclipsing a 31-0 defeat to the Buffalo Bills in 2003, which occurred while Brady was a member of the New England Patriots. It was also the first time in Brady’s career that his team was swept by a division opponent in a season series. (The Saints beat the Bucs in the season opener, 34-23).
Finally, it was the first time in Brady’s 21-year career that he started any game—that’s 333 starts—with four straight three-and-outs.
Tom Brady, Antonio Brown Stat Lines vs. Saints
In the end, Tom Brady completed 22 of 38 passes for 209 yards with zero touchdowns and three interceptions. One of those interceptions came on a pass intended for Brown, when the former Steelers receiver seemed to suffer a miscommunication with Brady. Long story short: Brown slowed and cut his route short and Brady’s pass was plucked out of the air by Marcus Williams, as you can see immediately below:
David Onyemata and Malcolm Jenkins also had interceptions for the Saints, while Brady was sacked three times, including twice by Trey Hendrickson.
Meanwhile, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes against the Buccanneers, putting him back in the lead over Brady in terms of all-time touchdown passes, with Brees at 564 and Brady stuck at 561.
Brown finished the game with three catches for 31 yards on five targets. (It was his first NFL action since September 15, 2019, when he had four receptions for 56 yards and one touchdown for the Patriots in a 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.)
A former sixth-round draft pick of the Steelers out of Central Michigan, Brown played in Pittsburgh between 2010 and 2018. During those years he appeared in 130 games (103 starts), with 837 catches for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. He also returned 186 punts for 1,759 yards and four touchdowns (9.5 yards per return). In addition, he had 47 kickoff returns for 1,173 yards and one touchdown (25.0 yards per return).
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