Efe Obada’s season could hardly have got off to a worse start. The defensive lineman was waived from the Panthers roster at the final hurdle. Just 24 hours later, after a couple of injuries hit Carolina’s chosen 53-man roster, Obada was re-signed. He was a Panther once more. Obada describes the process of being cut and re-signed as an “emotional roller coaster” which “put a chip on my shoulder”. “I definitely believe I'm a better player for it,” says Obada. “It is what it is. I am just grateful I got another opportunity to play on this team.” The 28-year-old has not looked back since the ordeal, registering 3.5 sacks and completing 13 tackles so far this campaign. Obada has sacked Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford, but, most notably, Obada hauled down arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, in a huge moment in any defensive player’s career. “I’m just grateful for everyone on that play,” says Obada, speaking from Charlotte. “Everyone did their job. It was on a bucket list, definitely, to sack Tom Brady. But yeah, I don’t know. It feels normal."
The reigning Super Bowl champions (9-1) visit the Bucs (7-4) on Sunday, with Patrick Mahomes facing Brady for the fourth time in his young career and Brady looking to shrug off a couple of subpar performances against playoff contenders. “He’s played against our system a number of times, even going back to New England,” Mathieu added.
Matt Harmon looks at five pressing questions heading into Week 12 of the NFL season, including whether Tom Brady will bounce back and if the Titans offense can keep rolling.