Tom Brady finally found his mojo again to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers register a much-needed win against the Minnesota Vikings to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Bucs, who were on a 2-game losing streak, were reeling on offense due to a misfiring Brady. However, things turned around for the former Patriot in the game against the Vikings, as Brady threw 2 touchdowns for no interceptions.
What made the difference? Coach Arians’ decision to shift to a more run-oriented game.
When asked whether running the ball was the key focus for the Bucs offense, Arians’ via the team’s official transcript, stated that often games dictate how a team evolves its strategies and that the decision to run the ball was based on how the game unfolded.
“I think yes and no… I think games dictate how much you run it. What’s the score at the end of the third quarter? We were leading, so it leads to more runs and RoJo ran really, really well, especially on that last drive,” said Head Coach Arians.
“We wanted to set up some play-action [but we] didn’t hit as many as we had hoped. When asked early this week about our identity, I think we just showed our identity. We can do any damn thing we want to do.”
Heading into Sunday, the Buccaneers were the 6th seed for a playoff spot from the NFC with a 7-5 record. In the defeats to the Kansas City Chiefs and the LA Rams, Brady threw a combined total of 4 interceptions. Tampa’s shot-caller was clearly going through a slump.
Brady’s role in the offense against the Vikings was no less important than it was in the earlier games. Though his pass attempts in the game were cut down to almost half as compared to previous outings this season, Brady was clinical.
Brady completed 15 of his 23 attempts and got nearly 200 passing yards under his belt. But most importantly for Brady and the Bucs, there were no interceptions.
Heading into Week 15, the Buccaneers will hope that this newly found balance will help their ambitions of landing a spot in the Playoffs.