Because misery loves company, the Browns take comfort in knowing they are among 30 other victims of Tom Brady’s 23-year dominance as an NFL quarterback.
The Browns (3-7) have the uncomfortable task of taking on Brady and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 27 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Brady is 7-1 against the Browns throughout his stint with the New England Patriots between 2000 and 2019.
The Browns have lost two straight games and six of their last seven games. The Buccaneers, 5-5, are going in the opposite direction. They lost five out of six games and then won their last two games. They were goodbye last week.
The last thing the Browns defense needs is a beaming look as they look over the line of scrimmage and see Brady lined up in the shotgun, surveying the field with that cold stone look in his eyes before posting the snap calls.
“I don’t think you feel that way about it,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said before practice on Nov. 23. “I think you must be worried about doing our job. He’s a great player. He doesn’t take sacks. He throws no interceptions. He throws it at a high level. He is punctual and accurate.
“We really need to defend that offense and defend that pass attack and again the pass attack that comes from their game action, which is really good. Those are the challenges, not so much the big picture if you will.”
Brady, 45, has thrown 12 touchdown passes and two interceptions this season. He leads the NFL in passing attempts (427) and completions (282). He was fired 14 times.
Nobody associated with the Browns knows Brady better than Jacoby Brissett. Brissett, 29, was a rookie with the Patriots in 2016 – Brady’s 17th season in New England.
“Everyone sees him as Tom Brady, and he doesn’t think he’s Tom Brady, I would say,” Brissett said. “I know he’s been the same guy since the first day I met him. Honestly, he’s set me to a higher standard than I probably held up to myself early in my career. So many things I can say about him.”
Brady was the winning quarterback in seven Super Bowls – six with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers. He’s 248-78-0 for his career as a starter, so obviously he’s dominated more than just the Browns. He stands 33-3 against the Bills, 10-0 against the Falcons, 12-3 against the Colts, 30-7 against the Jets, 7-0 against the Cowboys and 7-1 against the Bengals by a few to name. The only team that gets the best out of Brady is Kansas City. The Chiefs are 6-5 against him.
“Being in the room with him, getting his understanding of football and learning from him, his competitive nature drives him,” said Brissett. “He clearly wants to do everything to win.”
The Buccaneers are not a one-dimensional team. They rushed the ball 44 times for 161 yards on November 13 when they defeated the Seahawks 21-16 in Munich, Germany.
Browns: Cornerback Greg Newsome (concussion), guard Wyatt Teller (calf) and tackle Jack Conklin (rest) did not practice on Nov. 24. Safety D’Anthony Bell (concussion) and tight end David Njoku (knee, ankle) were restricted after no practice on November 23.
Buccaneers: Quarterback Tm Brady (rest), wide receiver Julio Jones (rest) and defensive tackle Vita Vea (foot) didn’t practice.