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Tom Brady finally heads to Hollywood – where Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams await him |  NFL News

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Tom Brady returns to California

Tom Brady ticked a lot of boxes during his NFL career. Playing in Los Angeles is not one of them.

That changes on Sunday. The seven-time California-born Super Bowl champion will present his movie-worthy epic in Hollywood as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. If all goes well, he might just consider booking a return trip for, say, around February, when the Lombardi Trophy hits town.

Where Bruce Arians and the Bucs brandish their online ring supplier, the Rams hope to have the same with Matthew Stafford, whose offseason arrival has made Sean McVay the happiest man in the league.

So far, all has been going well for the story of two quarterbacks raising the average age of the league’s far too early MVP contenders. As the NFL fell in love with Justin Herbert’s arm strength, Kyler Murray’s pyrotechnics, Josh Allen’s story, a “Hell, yeah!” The perpetual genius of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, Brady and Stafford are back with invisible “contactless” red jerseys leaving teams terrified of giving them a yard, knowing full well that they will snatch 10.

It is telling that in the first two weeks of the season Brady was only bombed 19 times (15th) while Stafford was bombed 16 times (17th). On occasions where teams have dared to leave a receiver free, the progressions through the readings have been too smooth and the ball release too fast.

Tom Brady finally heads to Hollywood – where Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams await him |  NFL News

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Watch Matthew Stafford’s best assists on his Rams debut against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL regular season

Watch Matthew Stafford’s best assists on his Rams debut against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL regular season

Brady has only been pressured nine times (30th among starting quarterbacks) and 10 percent of setbacks (32nd), while only being pressed twice (31st); Stafford has been pressured seven times (32nd) and over 11.9% of setbacks (30th), and has only been pressed once.

X’s and O’s count for a lot. But as long as the pocket is clean, Brady and Stafford club the defenses.

Sunday’s 48-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons extended Tampa’s 30-point streak to nine straight games, breaking a record previously held by the New England Patriots behind Brady, including all nine touchdowns during his first two outings are the most important of his career. . Having finished 24th in offensive efficiency last season, the Rams are currently third behind Stafford with an average of 30.5 points per game (5th).

A lot is rightly said about the consistency of Bucs pass protection that was instrumental on the road to the Super Bowl, but it helps to have a quarterback who always handles the pocket and knows when to climb or when to slide. as well as anyone in the league.

Such was the nature of an offseason interrupted by COVID in 2020, startup problems were only natural during the first weeks of the campaign. Brady was always going to be more comfortable, more dangerous this year after having had time to customize and correctly model his attack with Byron Leftwich and Arians.

A star-studded Hollywood cast cushioned the process, but this Bucs offense works on a 44-year-old who throws the ball faster and farther than biology would typically allow a 44-year-old.

Tom Brady finally heads to Hollywood – where Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams await him |  NFL News

Brady approaches NFL all-time passing yardage record (AP)

Brady is ranked third in the league in planned aerial yards with 771 so far this season, according to Professional football benchmark, thriving in the Arians offensive which tended to get in trouble for Jameis Winston.

He’s six touchdown passes from throwing more in his 40s than Drew Brees (57), Brett Favre (41), Warren Moon (37) and Vinny Testaverde (24) combined. Brady currently sits 154-13 of the 167 he pitched in his 20s. It is ridiculously impressive.

Peyton Manning holds the single-season touchdown record at 55. Brady, as early as possible, is on course to erase that. The sun-kissed Florida protagonist “could play until he is 50” could also break the NFL record for career assists in Week 4 against, you guessed it, the Patriots.

How is Hollywood?

“The guy throws him as well as anyone in the league,” Stafford told reporters. “Coming out of hand, he throws it really well. Mechanically he’s as solid as anyone. He’s on time. Great anticipation, ball placement, has a ton of spin, a ton of juice yet. above, can throw it on the ground.

“I think back to the playoff game in Green Bay just before half-time where he hits 10 on the sideline, I mean it’s a lift in Lambeau, fall on them. So he can do anything. . Out of pocket, that guy is as good as it gets. “

Stafford and his gun were greeted by the precision timing that fueled Brady’s success in New England.

Expectations are raised, but football will be a lot nicer to the 33-year-old from Los Angeles.

McVay masterfully accentuated the strengths while limiting Goff’s limits, serving as the perfect showcase whose smoke and mirrors would highlight crossings, optional routes, quick exits and overtaking suited to a precise intermediate passer. When it worked, it really worked.

And credit where it’s due. When he lands, Goff has a nice deep ball in his locker. It’s not as good as Stafford’s.

Goff has four touchdowns and six interceptions on deep passes over 20 yards in 2020, compared to 13 touchdowns and six interceptions for Stafford. That’s a, big, part of the upgrade.

The Detroit Lions’ offensive production would so often capitalize on Stafford connecting to a deep shot to move the chains or dig up the side arm throw or off-platform dagger while improvising in a collapsing pocket and with a limited separation in front of him.

The Rams relaxed that self-confidence to tie an offense to his back and be the “hero,” the difference between Stafford and Jared Goff being that he could, if necessary.

Everything is more calculated; everything is more incisive with McVay. And when coverage is good or protection is weakening, Stafford is significantly better than Goff at getting out of the script to negotiate an emergency.

The downline bomb has been more of a threat than a promise so far, the Rams’ second-highest 7.5-yard run after the capture by reception, proof of a smooth transition for Stafford. If the short, sweet tricks for moving the chain are short, they know the hay is there.

Tom Brady finally heads to Hollywood – where Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams await him |  NFL News

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until the age of 50 as Super Bowl champions LV prepare to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 of the nfl season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady says he could play until the age of 50 as Super Bowl champions LV prepare to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 of the nfl season

Brady and Stafford both orchestrated nearly flawless opening-goal practices in their respective victories over the Falcons and Indianapolis Colts this weekend. It was art.

Stafford’s opening pitch was a 16-yard connection to Robert Woods, Darrell Henderson’s play-action distraction combined with tight end Tyler Higbee’s exit from a mid-back position to give Khari Willis happy feet safe, its final bite leaving Woods with inner lever for easy grip on the tilt.

His second pass was a perfect display of him sliding through his progressions, with Cooper Kupp’s deep corner clearing the midfield for the Van Jefferson primary reading on a route, only for good cover to prompt Stafford to change eyes to a wide-open Henderson in the apartment for a 23-yard catch-and-run.

Practice continued with Higbee leaving the edge rusher unlocked to join Henderson by dragging two linebackers into the flat as Kupp’s road and Woods depth opened up in midfield so Van Jefferson could finish on. 14 yards. Easy.

Tampa took a similar unlocking path on their first touchdown, Chris Godwin leaving Isaiah Oliver untouched on the blitz while trusting Brady to get the ball out and making sure he’s available to shoot Deion Jones underneath for leave Rob Gronkowski with a face-to-face. a shift against Duron Harmon.

A notable wrinkle for both has been the creative use of staff, whether it’s Higbee and Kupp lining up in the backfield for the Rams or Cameron Brate’s stealth route as an alluring disguised blocker. a side step Foyesade Oluokun marginal enough to open the window for a 17-yard pass to Antonio Brown.

Amidst runaway unbeaten starts, there is still room for improvement. The Bucs have recorded the most five turnovers and are tied for the league’s most 22 penalties in the first two games, while the Rams have converted just 55.56% of red zone opportunities. Both are hot, without really hitting full blast yet.

Better yet: Brady and Stafford will each face one of the league’s most formidable defensive units on Sunday.

It’s a Hollywood-worthy quarterback contest.

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