This matchup might not feel animus on the surface, but all it takes is one key component having an issue, and there it is. Brady is that component after coach Shanahan and the 49ers decided to pass on his services following Tom’s exit from New England.
Tom grew up in the bay area and was a Niners fan. So, of course, he wanted to go home and play for the organization he rooted for as a child. One thing that drives Brady and has during his entire career is proving people wrong. Being drafted 199th overall can have that effect on a person.
Recently, another example of Brady holding a grudge became clearer. Following the Super Bowl win in his first year in Tampa, Tom made an appearance on “The Shop” with LeBron James and made some disparaging comments about an unnamed team sticking with a certain “M-for” at QB over him.
At the time, it was thought that Tom was referring to Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners, given their history dating back to New England. Now we know it was the Raiders and them deciding to stick with Derek Carr over Brady. Though the Niners are off the hook for that, they didn’t sign Tom when they had the chance, which should make for quite the battle when the Bucs visit the bay area in Week 14.
Dishonorable mention Week 13: Deshaun Watson vs. Houston
Deshaun Watson won’t touch the field this regular season until Dec. 4. Watson will be serving an 11-game suspension for the 24 sexual misconduct civil lawsuits brought against him. Sure, sitting Watson down for 11 games (after the NFL’s appeal) is better than the initial six concluded by former judge Sue L. Robinson.
It is interesting, though, how the league and Watson’s side/NFLPA agreed on him being eligible to return just in time to play the Texans in Houston. You’d think the NFL might want to avoid having Watson in Houston so soon. Ratings and talent are what matter to the NFL.
Browns owner Jim Haslam spelled that out after the 11-game suspension was announced by the league.
This one isn’t “technically” a revenge game, but it will be marked on the NFL calendar. Honestly, I feel the NFL could figure out a way to keep Watson from appearing in this game. Some way, somehow. Part of Watson’s suspension is completing a counseling program before he can be fully reinstated.
With the lack of remorse he’s shown thus far for the women he’s negatively affected, if his attitude hasn’t changed by November, that could be enough for the league to keep him out at least an extra game.