Julio’s Return Not Enough to Save Tom Brady and the Buccaneers
Former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones is made his return tonight on Thursday Night Football, after missing a significant amount of time with a partially torn PCL in his knee,
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens to drop their record to 3-5 on the season. Coming off of two successful playoff runs which included a Super Bowl Ring, Tom Brady and Tampa Bay find themselves behind the eight-ball at the midpoint of the season.
Jones made two receptions in the game for 21 yards and a touchdown on four targets. He also took a handoff but didn't gain any yards. It was his first touchdown of his Buccaneers career due to missing time due to injury. but unfortunately it wasn't enough to get the team back on track in the win-loss column.
Brady and the Buccaneer offense also find themselves in rare territory. their offense is the weakness of the team. Before this year, Brady and the Tampa offense averaged 30.5 points per game over two seasons. This year though the offense has dropped to only averaging 18.3 points per game. This may be because long-time head coach Bruce Arians were replaced by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
A big part of this downfall has been injuries to Brady's receivers In week one of the 2022 season against the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa offense was clicking because of the connection between Brady and Jones. In a 19-3 victory, Jones was the X-factor for most of the Buccaneers' drives by averaging 23 yards per catch.
The downside to Jones's game this year has been the injuries. He is currently 33 years old, which often means you are more susceptible to getting hurt. In week two against the New Orleans Saints, Jones went out of the game with a partial tear in his knee. He tried to come back in week four but was not the same man who torched the Cowboy's defense.
In Jones's time to heal the Bucs have dropped in offensive production. In every other year, Tampa would destroy teams like a rookie-led Pittsburgh Steelers and a taking Carolina Panther team. This year though the offense looks off. The offensive line looks off and future hall-of-famers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin aren't catching wide-open passes.
The return of a reliable veteran wide receiver might help Brady and the Buccaneers fix their offensive woes and push for the third Super Bowl in franchise history. Tampa Bays needs to get things back on track now that "The Jet" is back in the lineup.
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