TAMPA, Fla.: Tom Bradys wanting forward, although not past this weekend.
No ones had extra success within the NFL playoffs than the seven-time Tremendous Bowl champion, who says his focus is on attempting to assist the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles and never a blinding postseason resume or how nicely hes performed at age 44.
The Bucs (13-4) set a franchise report for wins throughout the common season, with Brady becoming a member of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as the one quarterbacks up to now 30 years to guide the league in passing yards, touchdowns, makes an attempt and completions.
With a career-best 5,136 yards the third-highest single-season complete in NFL historical past and 43 TDs, the argument may be made that this has been his most interesting season.
If Brady agrees, hes not saying.
I really feel like its, for me, all the time concerning the groups success so its exhausting to match one 12 months to a different. I really feel like I wish to play as a championship-level participant. Thats what Ive mentioned for a very long time, the Bucs star mentioned.
I mentioned a very long time in the past after I suck In poor health retire. However what I actually meant was when Im not able to main the staff to victory, then another person has to do the job. I really feel like I can do this, Brady added. Clearly, weve put ourselves in an honest place. Now had been within the postseason, and weve bought to handle a really powerful opponent.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was 3 years previous when Brady made his first postseason begin in 2001.
Brady enters Sundays NFC wild-card spherical matchup at Raymond James Stadium with a glowing 34-11 playoff report. Hes thrown for 12,449 yards and 83 touchdowns each all-time league bests in these 45 video games.
Hurts, 23, is in his first 12 months as Philadelphias full-time starter. The Eagles have received seven of 11 video games since dropping to Tampa Bay 28-22 at dwelling on Oct. 14, together with 4 of the previous 5 to earn the No. 7 seed within the NFC.
One of many keys to the surge has been the NFLs high dashing assault.
Hurts is one in all eight quarterbacks in league historical past to throw for greater than 3,000 yards and run for greater than 750 in the identical season. He led the Eagles with 784 yards dashing and 10 TDs on the bottom, with most of that manufacturing coming since dealing with the defending Tremendous Bowl champs.
He has positively gotten higher all through that point, which doesnt shock me in any respect as a result of Jalen is a scholar of the sport. Jalen needs to get higher and craves to get higher. … I feel youre simply seeing him develop nearer and nearer to his ceiling, first-year Eagles coach Nick Sirianni mentioned.
With Hurts making his playoff debut and Brady starting his NFL-record nineteenth postseason, the expertise issue clearly favors Tampa Bay.
However its not as if Hurts has by no means carried out on an enormous stage, having performed so in school with Alabama and Oklahoma.
Any expertise that Ive had previous to coming to the NFL, all of these assist me, Hurts mentioned. Whatever the stage or the secret, its concerning the Philadelphia Eagles executing to the most effective of their skills and having the fitting sort of focus and preparation.
Brady was requested the place his glittering playoff report ranks amongst his many accomplishments, together with being the NFLs profession passing chief.
Thats an excellent query. In case you had requested me what my report was, I might have mentioned: I dont know. Its simply the truth of doing this and staying centered on whats forward and never wanting again, Brady mentioned. Id like to get to 35-11 that might be my reply. Acquired to go win a really powerful sport towards an important opponent.
TURNING TO THE RUN
The turning level in Philadelphias season got here when operating the ball grew to become the focus of the offense. A glimpse of that success occurred within the six-point loss to the Bucs in October. The Eagles solely handed the ball to a operating again as soon as within the first half of that sport and trailed 21-7. However Miles Sanders ran seven instances for 55 yards within the second half as Philadelphia made it a one-score sport.
The Eagles ran for at the least 130 yards within the subsequent 9 video games, together with seven in a row with greater than 175 yards.
NEXT MAN UP
Tampa Bays high-scoring offense hasnt proven any indicators of slowing down, even after dropping WR Chris Godwin (98 receptions, 1,103 yards, 5 TDs) to a season-ending knee harm and the dismissal of WR Antonio Brown. WR Mike Evans (74 catches, 1,035 yards, 14 TDs) and Rob Gronkowski (55 receptions, 802 yards, six TDs) have had huge seasons, and lesser-known receivers Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson and Scotty Miller are profiting from the alternatives theyve been given to contribute. The Bucs are averaging 405.9 yards and 30.1 factors per sport.
Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich stops wanting declaring that Brady has had the most effective season of a 22-year profession that started with a two-decade stint with the New England Patriots.
Nevertheless, Leftwich careworn the 44-year-old quarterbacks numbers dont lie.
I feel hes taking part in at a excessive, excessive stage. I imply what extra is there to say? … To have that sort of 12 months and to have that sort of season, no matter your age, Leftwich mentioned. If youre 25, if youre 26, everyones begging and hoping they’ll have that sort of 12 months.
AP Professional Soccer Author Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.
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