Arians Confident in Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady Despite Close Loss to Rams

Bucs' confidence remains high despite Tom Brady's struggle with deep passes
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Entering Monday night's game against the Rams, completing deep passes down the field had already been a point of emphasis for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady.

As the game went on, it became clear throwing down the field continues to be an issue for Brady. The veteran quarterback threw two interceptions on deep passing attempts, one of which sealed the 36-33 victory for the Rams on the Bucs final drive. 

Up until that point, Arians said he was "very confident" on the final drive of the game that at least the Bucs would tie the game, if not take the lead late.

"The whole game we had the confidence that [we] were going to find a way to win," Arians said Monday. "It seemed like we were kind of clicking there and were able to put a drive together, march right down the field, and really that’s what we should do almost every single time we have the ball. [It] shouldn’t have come down to the last drive and we’re going to have to figure out why that’s happened against some of the better defenses.”

Of course, the Bucs didn't win and Brady knows those types of interceptions can't happen moving forward.

“Just a bad read," Brady said on the final interception. "Cam [Brate] was running up a seam and at the last second, I saw the safety coming over and just popped it over Cam’s head. Just a bad read, a bad throw, decision – everything. Can’t happen.”

Against the Rams, Brady was 1-for-9 on passes thrown 15-yards-or-more and that's where the two interceptions came into play. Any pass over 15 yards was either incomplete or a turnover. Brady explained what Los Angeles did to make it so difficult to complete those passes.

“They did a good job preventing them," Brady said. "They kind of play a defense that makes it tough to hit them. They’re not impossible to hit but they’re tight. Guys did a good job running them. We had a couple of shots but in the end [we] didn’t come up with any.”

While the Rams rank as a top defense in the NFL, the inability to throw down the field is starting to become a trend for Brady.

Brady is 0-19 on deep passes in his last 4 games and missed on his last 22 deep attempts, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. That's the longest streak for any QB since 2017, per Next Gen Stats.

"It’s kind of been what teams have been doing to us is playing a little softer coverage, trying to not give up the deep plays because we have so many guys who can take the top off the defense," tight end Cameron Brate said. "[We’re] just going to have to figure out how to sustain more drives and move the ball a little bit more efficiently.”

Brady said he and the Bucs will continue to study why he has struggled with deep passes.

"Again, we’ve had some chances – definitely," Brady said. "The receivers are doing a great job and I’ve got to get them the ball. Got to figure out how to do that.”

This week brings another tough test in the Kansas City Chiefs, who have the eighth-best passing defense in the league. The Chiefs have held opposing offenses to just 221.6 passing yards per game.

Still, Arians is disappointed in the loss to the Rams and described the game as "one that got away." Despite this feeling, the confidence level remains high.

"Have to give them credit though they made plays, they made a lot of good plays," Arians said about the Rams. "I have full confidence, just like the whole defense had confidence in the offense, it just didn’t swing our way.”