For the first and only time in his illustrious career, Tom Brady finished under .500 last season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still made the playoffs in a poor division with an 8-9 record, but it was clear they weren’t up to par with the rest of the playoff teams.
They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys, 31-14.
Off the field, it was a stressful year for Brady as he dealt with the divorce from Gisele Bundchen. And Bruce Arians, Brady’s head coach when they won the 2021 Super Bowl, said the future Hall of Famer «wasn’t himself» all season.
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«The injuries to our leaders were very, very tough,» Arians said. «Tom wasn’t himself, you know, with all the things that were going on. And I have to give him all the credit in the world for fighting what happened last year for his teammates. I think the world of him, but He wasn’t the real Tom Brady.»
Brady was reported to have lost 15 pounds during the season amid the stress of it all off the field. He also dealt with many questions about his impending retirement. Brady temporarily hung up his shoes after the 2021 season, but announced a return just 40 days later.
Brady also missed training camp for 11 days before the 2022 season due to «a bunch of things.»
Brady announced his «forever» retirement on February 1, and Arians believes he meant it.
«I definitely think so,» Arians said. «He’s spent a lot of time with his kids and he’s off to the next chapter. He’s got so much going on, you know. He’s a busy guy.»
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The seven-time Super Bowl champion threw for 25 touchdowns on the season after throwing an NFL-leading 43 the year before.