Brady Comes Out Victorious in Return to Foxboro


Tori Richman

Tom Brady both beat his former team and broke Drew Brees’ record for career passing yards on Sunday night against the Patriots.

Quinn Sheehan, Contributing Writer

Tom Brady led the Patriots as their franchise quarterback from 2001 to 2020, winning 3 MVP awards, 6 Super Bowls, and a myriad of other accolades while becoming the greatest quarterback in NFL history, in most people’s eyes. However, a lack of offensive weapons in New England in his later years playing for the Patriots led to his departure in the spring of 2020 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a new supporting cast, all Brady did was lead the Bucs to their second Super Bowl victory in franchise history, dismantling the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. The Brady-less Patriots did not fare so well in the 2020 season. While the defense remained strong, the offense struggled mightily with new quarterback Cam Newton at the helm, as they only managed to win 7 games and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

In the offseason, the Bucs re-signed nearly all of their stars which is extremely rare for a defending champion team, and they remained as one of the top contenders for this season. The Patriots used the offseason to reload and retool their roster. The additions of Matthew Judon, Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Jalen Mills, and most importantly, first-round draft choice quarterback Mac Jones, had Pats fans excited for their chances this season. When the schedule came out and the Patriots and Bucs were slated to play on Sunday night in week 4, both Bucs and Pats fans alike were anticipating this matchup.

Brady and the Bucs were just about as good as advertised for the first 3 games going 2-1 with the loss only coming to another Super Bowl contender in the Rams. The Patriots’ first three games were a mixed bag. They easily blew out the Jets in week 2, but a close loss to the Dolphins and a bad loss to the Saints left them at 1-2. The Patriots were in desperate need of a spark, and what better way to get it than taking down their old quarterback?

When Brady first ran onto the field for warmups, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause, but as soon as the game started it was all business as boos could even be heard from the stands on the Bucs first offensive drive. Early in the game, Brady would break the career passing yards record which was previously held by Drew Brees, another incredible accomplishment in Brady’s incredible career. Unfortunately for Brady and the Bucs, the party would be spoiled as the Patriots got off to a nice start, holding the lead for a large part of the game. However, Brady did what Brady does and he led the Bucs down the field to set up a field goal that gave them the lead. Still, with around two minutes left, Mac Jones and the new-look Patriots had a chance. Jones would do his part, bringing New England into field goal range with 59 seconds left. Unfortunately, kicker Nick Folk would just miss a tough 56 yarder through the rain. With the Bucs’ 19-17 win, they improved to 3-1 on the season as the Patriots dropped to 1-3. However, the Pats fought hard and showed heart against a team that experts agreed was much better than them. 

Mac Jones in particular was impressive, proving to many that the Patriots made the right choice and that he can be their franchise quarterback for years to come. However, Hingham High senior Matt Gates disagrees as when he was asked whether Jones had proven himself, he said, “I don’t think so because I believe they would be at least 2-2 with Newton at quarterback”. Hopefully, they can take away the positives and improve on the negatives to dig themselves out of this early-season hole, but HHS senior John Steele is not too hopeful. When asked about the Patriots’ chances of making the playoffs he replied, “Zero. The Patriots have much less talent compared to previous years and there are many teams in the hunt better than the Pats”. Luckily for the Patriots, they get the lowly Houston Texans this week without their starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The Texans are regarded by most as one of the worst teams in the league so hopefully, an easy win can re-energize the team and help them bounce back from a pair of tough losses.