Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and offseason pickup Julio Jones combined for one of the highlight reel moments of Week 1 late in the second quarter that had the football world buzzing.
In the final minute of the second quarter, Brady found the future Hall of Famer deep downfield for a beautiful 48-yard catch that led to Ryan Succop’s 47-yard field goal. It was one of three catches for Jones, who finished with 69 receiving yards on the day.
Brady certainly didn’t throw like a 45-year-old on that play. But a sideline camera (shown on Paramount Plus’ “Inside the NFL program) captured Brady admitting to Jones that he simply doesn’t “have that young arm like I used to.”
After enduring more than four months as a free agent, Jones signed with the Buccaneers in July to pursue a Super Bowl championship.
Following a detailed workout plan and well-documented and strict diet, Brady has managed to defy all odds by playing at an MVP-like level in his mid-40s. The seven-time Super Bowl champion is the oldest starting quarterback in NFL history.
The late George Blanda is the oldest player to suit up for a professional football game, having played until the age of 48. His pro career began with the Chicago Bears in 1949 and commenced in 1975 as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
Brady announced his retirement following the Bucs’ Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams last year, only to go back on the decision 40 days later. Though Brady certainly looks like someone who can play well beyond 2022, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that this is expected to be TB12’s final season.
Coming off a convincing Week 1 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Brady and the Buccaneers will try to move to 2-0 when they visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon.