Tom Brady doesn’t want another first quarter to be part of what keeps him up at night.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback admitted to Westwood One’s Jim Gray that he doesn’t “sleep much after a game” according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. That admission came after a win but also the fifth-straight game with a poor first quarter performance.
“Sometimes it’s mental, sometimes it’s physical, and then you’ve just got to try to make the correction,” Brady said in Thursday’s press conference per Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “It can really be a number of things, and regardless, you’ve got to clean it all up.”
Tampa has a dive to clean up offensively when it comes to first quarter play of late. Teams outscored the Bucs 52-7 in first quarters of the past five games according to Knight.
“From my standpoint, I want to be decisive,” Brady said on Thursday per Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com. “I want to eliminate gray area and go out and play really technically and fundamentally sound so I can throw the ball as accurately as possible.”
Brady and the Bucs (8-5) possibly caused grey hairs with only five offensive plays in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings (6-7) last Sunday per Smith. The Bucs came into the game on a two-game losing streak where poor first quarters may have cost them those games. First quarter drives in the Bucs’ games against the Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) and Los Angeles Rams (9-4) never went much of anywhere.
“It’s tough, you know, because those are important plays earlier in the game,” Brady said according to Knight.
At least against the Vikings, the Bucs made it out of the first quarter tied at 0-0. The Atlanta Falcons (4-9), which the Bucs face on Sunday, don’t have a strong first quarter resume either. The Falcons have seven first quarter offensive touchdowns this season per Pro Football Reference.
Brady doesn’t deny part of the slow starts falls on him.
“I kind of said after the (Vikings) game, you’ve got to be sharp from the moment you take the field,” Brady said per Smith. “For me, it always comes back to technique and I’m always analyzing why something worked or why something didn’t work, whether that’s a play or throw or a thought in my head.”
First quarters look like kryptonite for Brady this season. He averages 6.2 yards per attempt and has 667 yards passing, his lowest totals for any quarter, according to Knight.
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