Monday huddle: Brady is carrying the Bucs in the same way the defense carried them to a Super Bowl title

Hall of Fame quarterback might be playing his best football at age 44

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shouts as he runs on to the field before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (Matt Rourke, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.

Brady continues to beat father time.

Last season, the formula for Tampa Bay’s run to its second Super Bowl title was to ride its stout defense to success, with Tom Brady at the quarterback position simply asked to provide a steadying hand, not make mistakes, and make plays when he had to.

The formula obviously worked, especially when the Bucs held the powerful Kansas City offense to just nine points in the Super Bowl.

But this year, the roles have been switched.

With Tampa Bay’s secondary ravaged by injuries and the Bucs allowing 24 points per game, the biggest reason the Buccaneers are 5-1 is because Brady is not only carrying a team on his shoulders like no other 44-year-old in NFL history has, but like no other team he’s been on during his Hall of Fame career.

Brady leads the NFL with 2,064 passing yards, is completing 68.5% of his passes, is second in the NFL with 17 touchdown throws and has tossed only three interceptions.

Because of his play, the Buccaneers have scored the most points in the NFL after Week 6.

Maybe Ponce de Leon planted the fountain of youth at Raymond James Stadium and Brady discovered it.

That might be the only logical explanation as to how Brady continues to defy the odds -- and not only avoids regression at his age, but gets even better.

It’s a rough times for the Gators.

When Florida left the field following a 31-29 loss to Alabama on Sept. 18, the Gators were disappointed, but rightfully felt it was a sign of bigger things to come, going toe-to-toe with the defending national champions and then-No. 1 team in the country.

Now, all those good feelings have disappeared for a season that has gone south.

Following a 49-42 loss at an LSU team that reportedly is getting rid of head coach Ed Orgeron after this year, the Gators are 4-3 overall and 2-3 in league play.

In its past eight games against Power 5 conference opponents, Florida is 2-6.

The only wins came against Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Things can definitely get worse, given the next matchup is the annual rivalry showdown against Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 30.

A family health scare for Malzahn.

Central Florida head coach Guz Malzahn was already planning on flying to Birmingham, Alabama following Saturday’s game against Cincinnati to visit his daughter, Kenzie Stander, who gave birth to her first child earlier in the week.

But Malzahn had to take an even more hurried flight to Birmingham after Kenzie had to be re-admitted to the hospital with post-birth complications.

Malzahn later said in a statement that Kenzie was stable and doing well.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.