Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady thought fourth down was third down last night in Chicago, causing him to focus less on converting and more on getting the ball closer to field-goal range on the play that he believed was third down. After the game, coach Bruce Arians insisted that Brady knew it was fourth down. On Friday, Arians reiterated his position.
“I don’t know how to answer it for him,” Arians said of the lingering confusion as to whether Brady had a senior moment. “We all knew it was fourth down. I think he saw what he saw.”
I don’t know what that means, because what we all saw was Brady holding four fingers in the air. Unless he was simply demonstrating Patrick Mahomes’ placement on the 2020 NFL top-100 list, Brady was asking the officials whether it was fourth down after fourth down had happened.
After the game, Brady evaded the question of whether he knew it was fourth down, with the help of a reporter who stunningly premised his question of whether Brady didn’t know it was fourth down by saying, “I can’t imagine that was the case.”
Most who watched the game can imagine it was the case, especially since he had multiple chances to say “yes I knew” or “no I didn’t” and chose to say neither.