Through the first seven weeks of the season, there have been plenty of surprises. The Jets and Giants are actually good. The Eagles are undefeated. It's a whacky world. The biggest surprise, however, might just be the collapse of the two oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
Brady and the Bucs are an absolute mystery. From a stats perspective, the league's oldest QB isn't actually looking super awful. He's averaging just over 276 passing yards per game, has as many "big-time throws" as superstar Patrick Mahomes per PFF, and has thrown just a single interception this season.
The real problem is his lack of touchdowns. Brady's thrown just eight this year despite having the third-most pass attempts in the league. That equates to a touchdown thrown on just 2.7% of passes — the lowest touchdown rate of his career by a pretty decent margin.
Perhaps the weirder part is that he's got the personnel to get it done — Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette. Heck, outside of rookie LG Luke Goedeke (sorry, Luke), the offensive line hasn't even been that terrible. The pieces are all there. They're just not gelling.
Odds to know: Brady's MVP odds are dwindling, but Vegas still has the Bucs as heavy favorites to win the NFC South at -230 (Bet $23 to win $10 profit). Instead, if you think Brady can help bring this team back, consider betting Brady to lead the NFL at +1000 as a potential value!
There was once upon a time (AKA as recently as last season) that Rodgers was considered the pinnacle of efficiency. Just a year ago, he was one of six quarterbacks to throw 37 or more passing touchdowns in the regular season despite being tied for the 12th in pass attempts. In fact, he was the only quarterback to throw for 15 or more touchdowns with fewer than five interceptions (he had four). How insane is that?
Now, the three-time reigning NFC North champions rank bottom 12 in points scored and a losing record to show for it. Rodgers's attempts to push the ball down the field have been mostly futile. Though he's tied for the second-most pass attempts of 20+ yards but is averaging a horrid 8.7 yards per attempt on those plays. Not. Good.
Is this really what losing a receiver like Davante Adams can do to a man?
Odds to know: At the close of Week 7, Rodgers and Giants QB Daniel Jones have the same odds to win NFL MVP (+7500). It feels pretty far out of reach, even if he does turn things around. Instead, if you think Rodgers still has the juice, consider betting the Packers to win the NFC North at +500 (Bet $10 to win $50).
I'm rolling with Aaron Rodgers here. Though the Bucs' presence in the NFC South affords them some lenience in the race to make the playoffs, it still feels like Rodgers is just one playmaker away from looking like himself again. You know — before the Ayahuasca.