Tom Brady sums up his debut downfall: "Bad throws"
It was a shock to the system. It was hard on the eyes. It was more than the new colors or the new team or no longer being in New England. Something didn't look right about Tom Brady in Sunday's season opener. Scanning the field for a receiver, Brady threw late to the sideline toward Justin Watson. Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted the pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to start the third quarter.

It was Brady's second interception of the game. Safety Marcus Williams had a pick in the second quarter after a miscommunication between Brady and Mike Evans. Those were the biggest mistakes in an error-prone 34-23 loss to the Saints, making a dud of Brady's Bucs debut.

“It certainly was poor execution,” Brady said. "That's what it comes down to. It's a game of execution and obviously they made more plays than we did and I made some bad, terrible turnovers and it's hard to win turning the ball over like that. Obviously, I've got to do a much better job. They were bad throws. That's what it comes down to. Bad throws. Can't do it."

Nobody is more familiar with pick-sixes than the Bucs, who watched Jameis Winston throw an NFL-record seven interceptions returned for scores among his 30 stolen passes in 2019. But until Jenkins waltzed into the end zone, Brady had only thrown 14 regular-season pick-sixes in his career.

Counting his last pass for the Patriots — against the Titans in the playoffs — Brady now has had a pick-six in each of his past three games. This is what the Bucs had hoped to put in their rearview mirror when they parted ways with Winston, who served as the Saints' third quarterback Sunday. And to be honest, those who questioned whether Brady's arm was losing strength pointed to some of those throws.

But with the Bucs and all their receiving talent, it was supposed to be different. Then Superman met the men of steal from New Orleans. “It doesn't matter how much talent you have if you throw an interception returned for a touchdown,” Brady said. “I've got to correct that.”

Okay, that's enough self-abuse for one future Hall of Fame quarterback with six Super Bowl rings. If Brady is willing to take a few chunks out of his unequaled legacy, apparently the Bucs will oblige the way they did Sunday. Brady finished 23 of 36 passing for 239 yards with two interceptions and touchdown passes to O.J. Howard and Mike Evans, his only catch of the game which came with 2:41 remaining in the game.”

Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times, published 14 September 2020