The Las Vegas Raiders will continue their brutal early-season schedule on Sunday by facing off against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Largely due to Brady, the Buccaneers look much different than they have in recent years, sitting atop the NFC South at 4-2. Jon Gruden and the Raiders are 3-2 and are just coming off of their bye week.
Brady is coming off of a huge blowout win over the Green Bay Packers and will want to keep the momentum going against a Raiders teams with some surprising victories this season. The Raiders have managed an above .500 record despite playing the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs in four consecutive weeks.
Brady’s historic greatness is well-documented, but it remains a mystery to Jon Gruden that he’s been able to compete at such a high level despite his age, via Levi Edwards of Raiders.com:
“You don’t know what age he is,” said Gruden. “We should take a good look at it. He’s not showing any signs of age at all. He’s one of the great quarterbacks, certainly. We know that. He’s adapted every year to different personnel, different coordinators. He’s the best. It’s a great thrill for us to be able to compete against him.”
These comments about Brady’s age-defying play are not out of the ordinary, but they mean a little more coming from Gruden as the Raiders were one of the teams rumored to have the best chance at landing him in free agency this past offseason.
The Raiders would have definitely liked to bring in Brady, but they’ve done well for themselves with Derek Carr at the helm. Through five games, Carr has looked as good as ever.
Sunday will be a great opportunity for the Raiders to assert their dominance over yet another NFL powerhouse, with wins over the Saints and Chiefs already this season.
They will be doing it short-handed though as the team will be without Trent Brown, Johnathan Abram and Damon Arnette due to coronavirus (COVID-19) issues. The hope is the rest of the Raiders’ offensive line will be able to play, but that also remains to be seen.
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