NFL

Tom Brady facing playoff obstacle that he’s never had to deal with in his 21-year career

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Tom Brady has played in an NFL-record 41 playoff games over the course of his career and during those games, he’s faced a lot of different challenges, however, there is one thing Brady has never had to deal with and that’s being a road team in a wild-card game. 

Over the course of his 21-year career, Brady has played in the wild-card round a total of four times, but in each of those games, he played at home due to the fact that the Patriots had won the division. Amazingly, during his time in New England, Brady and the Patriots never made the postseason as a wild-card team like the Buccaneers did this year. 

For Brady, this week could present a challenge and that’s because if there are any situations where he seems to struggle in the postseason, it’s when he’s playing on the road or when he’s playing in the wild-card round and this week’s game against Washington will combine both of those. 

In Brady’s eight career road playoff games, he’s gone just 4-4 and he hasn’t exactly been great. A big reason he has a .500 record on the road is that he’s thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (9) in those eight games. Brady’s last road game came in the 2018 AFC title game when he led the Patriots to a 37-31 overtime win over the Chiefs. In that game, Brady threw for 348 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions (One of the picks wasn’t his fault, but the other one was an ugly interception in the end zone). 

Of Brady’s four road losses, three of them came to Peyton Manning and Washington certainly doesn’t have anyone close to Manning’s talent on their roster, so there might not any reason for Buccaneers fans to worry. 

As for those wild-card games, Brady is 2-2 in the wild-card round, including 0-2 in the last two that he’s played in. The Patriots lost to the Titans 20-13 last year and in that game, Brady’s final throw ended up being a pick-six. Before that, Brady’s last loss in the wild-card round came during the 2009 season when he threw three interceptions in a 33-14 loss to the Ravens

If Washington is going to win on Saturday, the Football Team is likely going to put together a similar game plan to what Baltimore pulled out more than a decade ago. In that win, Joe Flacco only had to throw 10 passes because the Ravens were able to rush for 234 yards and their defense shut down Brady. Washington has the defensive talent to slow down the Buccaneers, but their offense hasn’t shown much firepower this year. 

Although the Buccaneers are favored by 8.5 points, it could be risky betting on a quarterback who has a tendency to struggle on the road in the playoffs.

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