Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to a shock 21-3 loss to the unfancied Carolina Panthers while Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers suffered a third straight defeat with a 23-21 loss at Washington in the NFL on Sunday.
The results leave the two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks with losing records after seven games, both Tampa Bay and Green Bay on 3-4.
The Panthers traded their main offensive talent, running back Christian McCaffrey, to San Francisco on Thursday and came into the clash as heavy underdogs.
But Carolina nullified seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady and the Bucs’ offense.
Brady was 32-of-49 for 290 yards as the 45-year-old’s team suffered a fourth loss, leaving the former New England Patriots star in the worst position he has found himself in at this stage in a season for 20 years.
Carolina quarterback P.J. Walker, replacing injured Baker Mayfield, delivered a first win for Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks.
Walker found D.J. Moore at the back of the end zone with a 20-yard pass to give the Panthers the lead in the second quarter and Chuba Hubbard’s 17-yard touchdown run made it 14-0 in the third.
All the Bucs could manage was a 27-yard field goal from Ryan Succop in the fourth before Walker delivered again, finding Tommy Tremble with a 29-yard touchdown pass to secure the victory.
“We all just need to do our job better. There’s no easy way about it,” said Brady.
“Anytime you score three points, that pretty much sums it up. We’re plenty capable of making plays, we’re just not making them consistently enough to score points.”
Rodgers also found himself beaten by a backup quarterback as Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders rallied to win.
A four-yard pass from Rodgers to Aaron Jones gave the Packers an early lead and they made it 14-3 on De’Vondre Campbell’s 63-yard interception return touchdown early in the second quarter.
Heinicke’s started nine-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gibson pulled Washington within 14-10 and his superb 37-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin put the Commanders ahead.
Rodgers ‘not worried’
Two field goals gave Washington a nine-point lead before Rodgers again connected with Jones to make it a two-point game.
To add to his disappointment, it was Rodgers who threw a lateral out of bounds in the desperate final play of the game.
Despite the setback, 38-year-old Rodgers said he wasn’t overly concerned about the team’s form, believing they would bounce back strongly.
“I’m not worried about this squad. In fact, this might be the best thing for us,” he said.
A top next generation quarterback, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-23 victory at San Francisco in a rematch of the 2019 season Super Bowl.
Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman had a stellar day with three touchdowns — two rushing and one receiving.
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott led the Cowboys over Detroit 24-6 in his first appearance since a thumb injury in week one. The Cowboys are 5-2 while the Lions fell to 1-5.
Prescott finished with 207 passing yards and one touchdown, completing 19 of 25 passes.
Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also made a triumphant return in his first game after being sidelined under NFL concussion protocol, leading the Dolphins over visiting Pittsburgh 16-10.
Tagovailoa’s troubles with head injuries led the NFL to toughen rules about players with head injuries returning to games.
The Seattle Seahawks (4-3) moved atop the NFC West with rookie Kenneth Walker III rushing for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in a 37-23 road victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
The New York Giants claimed their fourth straight victory with a 23-17 triumph over the Jacksonville Jaguars, with quarterback Daniel Jones finishing with a career-high 107 rushing yards on 11 carries as well as throwing for 202 yards.
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