The Bucs Tried To Throw A Fade To Tom Brady That Failed Spectacularly

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks were in Munich on Sunday for the NFL’s first regular season visit to Germany, and the first half was all Bucs, as they took a 14-0 lead into halftime.

Seattle would get a field goal on their opening drive of the third quarter, but as was the case in the second quarter, Tampa’s offense found its groove and once again marched down the field deep into Seahawks territory. Early in the drive, they picked up a decent gain on a direct snap to Leonard Fournette in which Tom Brady split out wide and was uncovered as he trotted down the field.

The Bucs coaching staff and Brady noticed this, and decided to go back to that formation for some trickery as they got into the red zone, asking Fournette to fake like he was running another sweep to his right and then throw back to Brady on a fade. The problem was, Tariq Woolen was simply baiting the Bucs and dropped back into coverage on Brady, easily picking off the Fournette pass as Brady slipped and fell (getting a 15-yard penalty in the process for tripping Woolen as he came down with the ball).

I get what the Bucs saw on the first play, but they didn’t factor in the situation. At midfield, the risk of a Brady throwback is maybe a 15-yard gain and a first down, so Seattle can just ignore him knowing someone would get over there eventually to force him to step out of bounds. In the red zone, the Seahawks know a throwback would be a touchdown, so they’re going to keep an eye on him rather than just abandon him completely, and the Bucs somehow didn’t recognize that’d be the case.

The good news for Tampa is the Seahawks would turn it over on the ensuing drive with their own red zone turnover when Geno Smith fumbled the ball, so it didn’t produce a huge swing, but I think Byron Leftwich can tear that play out of his playbook as long as Brady is his QB.