NFL power rankings, Tom Brady’s post-retirement season, Justin Herbert’s injury

Two games into Tom Brady’s post-retirement season, there is indeed a lot going on, to paraphrase the Tampa Bay star.

The seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback has a modest 402 passing yards. On Sunday, his frustration showed when he smashed a tablet on the sidelines. But the defense-led Buccaneers are 2-0 after winning at New Orleans to end a six-game regular-season losing streak against the Saints.

“It’s an emotional game,” Brady said during his post-match press conference. “I think a bit better execution helps all around. The defense still played well. … [It’s] a team we really struggle with, so it feels good to win.

Or as he put it, perhaps more succinctly, in a video posted on social media: “The ugly also count. And sorry for breaking that tablet. I think it’s going to be another Twitter meme or something.

It’s been a turbulent year for Brady. He announced his retirement in February. He announced his non-retirement just under six weeks later, prompting Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay to say at the league’s annual meeting: “I thought, ‘[Shoot], man, can we kick this guy out of the league? ”

Brady lost his coach when Bruce Arians quit and Todd Bowles took over. He signed a 10-year deal with Fox, worth $375 million, to move to the broadcast booth once his playing career was over. He was a central figure in the NFL punishing the Miami Dolphins and their owner, Stephen Ross, for tampering.

Brady turned 45 in August and took an 11-day break from training camp, explaining after his return: “I’m 45, man. There is a lot of [stuff] pass. There have been recent reports about the status of his marriage to model Gisele Bündchen. Brady said last week he accepts the scrutiny of his privacy, calling it “a natural thing that I have dealt with for a long time”. And Bowles confirmed to reporters Monday that Brady was removing Wednesdays from practice throughout the season as scheduled maintenance days.

No one should question Brady’s commitment to football, not even when it comes to his absence from training camp. The New England Patriots have been so successful for so long, in large part because Brady and coach Bill Belichick are equally ruthless competitors. it was no wonder that they eventually went their separate ways, but were able to coexist for two decades. Brady also wins the post-Patriots portion of his career, having immediately added another Super Bowl win with the Buccaneers.

No one should be particularly surprised, either, if Brady earns an eighth career Super Bowl triumph this season before heading to Fox. He led the league in pass attempts, completions, passing yards and touchdowns last season, after all, at 44.

Next is a meeting with quarterback legend Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Tampa. The Buccaneers could be without receiver Mike Evans, who the NFL suspended for one game Monday for his role in Sunday’s fight with Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Wideouts Chris Godwin and Julio Jones were injured and on the inactive roster for the win over the Saints. The Buccaneers reportedly made arrangements on Tuesday to sign wide receiver Cole Beasley to their practice squad.

Brady didn’t say this bonus season was his last hurray on the court. But he’s already retired once, and now he’s achieved his long-held goal of playing until he’s 45. Fox’s job awaits. He can’t play forever, no matter what he made believe.

When Brady’s longtime rival Peyton Manning could no longer play at the elite level, decline came quickly. In Manning’s penultimate NFL season, in 2014 with the Denver Broncos, he threw for 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns and had a 101.5 passer rating. In his senior season, in 2015, he threw for 2,249 yards and nine touchdowns (with 17 interceptions) and had a 67.9 passer rating. The Broncos defense carried Manning to a Super Bowl title.

Brady hasn’t had a career-altering physical issue like Manning’s neck injury. He pretty much ended all debate about the greatest quarterback in history. Yet he continues to play.

And, as always, it’s captivating to watch.

They beat the defending Super Bowl champions (the Rams) and the top seed in last season’s AFC playoffs (the Titans) by a combined 72-17. The Bills look unstoppable.

They held off the Chargers and now face the shocked Colts.

The defense leads the way. The Bucs allowed 13 points in two games but are now meeting the Packers and Chiefs in back-to-back games.

Jalen Hurts threw the ball well. He ran the ball well. And the Eagles had no problems Monday night against the Vikings, with help from Kirk Cousins.

Now this was the version of Tua Tagovailoa the Dolphins thought they were getting when they drafted him.

Herbert’s problematic rib injury

Justin Herbert’s situation is worth watching not just this week, but as the season progresses.

The Los Angeles Chargers have an interesting decision to make about their third-year franchise quarterback as they prepare for Sunday’s home game against the improved Jacksonville Jaguars. Herbert missed a game after taking a hard knock and hurting his ribs in Thursday night’s loss to Kansas City. He came back and threw a dart from a fourth pass to set up a late touchdown.

Coach Brandon Staley announced Friday that Herbert suffered a fractured rib cartilage, calling the quarterback’s day-to-day status. The Chargers have a capable replacement, Chase Daniel, to play this weekend if Herbert is ruled out. But even beyond that, such a rib injury could be troublesome for Herbert in a season of high expectations after the Chargers narrowly missed the AFC playoffs last season.

“These ribs are going to hurt for a while,” former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon wrote last week on Twitter. “Total pain. This will make training difficult next week. Extra days off will be really helpful. May need injection before game next week.

Staley seems to have reduced his aggression a bit on the fourth down. Against the Chiefs, the Chargers converted all four fourth down attempts. But they threw a field goal on fourth-and-two from the Kansas City 13-yard line. They kicked fourth and second from the Kansas City 47-yard line and again fourth and second from the Kansas City 48-yard line.

It didn’t pay off against the Chiefs. But with the Chargers’ improvements in defense, Staley’s more measured approach could serve them well – provided Herbert is healthy and able to throw the ball effectively. The Chargers aren’t a playoff team without him at anything near full capacity.

Davante Adams? Hello? Are you here? He had two catches for 12 yards in the overtime loss to the Cardinals.

They are 0-1-1 and have been outscored 44-3 in all quarters of their two games except the fourth.

The offense only managed three field goals in the loss to the Broncos. Maybe Davis Mills isn’t the answer to quarterback after all.

They tried but couldn’t rally from a 28-3 deficit in the loss to the Rams. It only works when they are the team in front.

They are 0-2 and the losing streak, dating from last season, is nine games. Matt Rhule shouldn’t be taking calls from David Tepper.

‘No update or timeline’ on commanders’ inquiry

The NFL said last week there was no change in the status of Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder as the league awaits the findings of an investigation led by attorney Mary Jo White.

Once White’s investigation is complete, the league said, commissioner Roger Goodell will discuss the situation with Snyder.

“There is no update or timeline at this point in terms of his findings,” Jeff Miller, executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy for the NFL, said during the interview. of a conference call with journalists. “But as soon as she’s finished, I’m sure we’ll talk about it. The commissioner said so. I think that remains the status quo, so he will have a discussion with Dan when the time comes. And, again, these conclusions have not yet been communicated to us. His work continues.

In July 2021, following a COs workplace investigation overseen by attorney Beth Wilkinson, the NFL announced that the team had been fined $10 million and that the wife of Snyder, Tanya, co-CEO of the franchise, would oversee day-to-day operations for an indefinite period. period.