By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Remember a million years ago in Week 1, when the Buccaneers looked a bit disjointed, and Tom Brady was throwing pick-sixes, and the football world that’s spent 20 years hating the quarterback was celebrating with schadenfreude as his wondrous plans in Tompa Bay appeared to be going up in smoke?

Well, since then, things have turned in Brady’s favor, because the sun always shines on Tom Brady.

The quarterback was outstanding on Sunday, completing 25 of his 38 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 28-10 Buccaneers victory in Denver. (He did have a fumble to his name after another botched handoff, but Leonard Fournette recovered the loose ball.) While the Broncos may be a doormat this year, it’s still notable that the 43-year-old turned in one of the best games at Mile High that he’s ever had.

Brady hit some tight windows:

He put passes in places only his all-world receiver could get them:

He threw bombs:

He showed that arm strength is no issue:

He executed plays which he previously used to win Super Bowls:

He spread it around, too. He completed passes to eight different receivers, all of whom had multiple receptions. He got Rob Gronkowski involved for the first time (six catches, 48 yards), he threw two one-yard touchdowns to Mike Evans, he got Chris Godwin back into the mix (before he left with another injury), and he hit Scottie Miller for a 47-yard deep ball.

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The Buccaneers had to have liked what they saw out of their quarterback on Sunday, and they also got a dominant performance from their defense. Granted, it was against an offense led by quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien, but it was nevertheless a stifling performance as they recorded five sacks and two interceptions.

And by the end of the night, after the Saints lost at home to the Packers, the Bucs found themselves sitting atop the division at 2-1.

For Brady’s part, the old man is completing 65.1 percent of his passes this year, after he completed 60.9 percent of his passes last year in New England. He’s on pace to throw 32 touchdowns, after throwing just 24 a year ago.

Of course, being on pace for things doesn’t mean a whole lot, and divisions aren’t won in September. Brady certainly knows that. The Bucs may not know that. But Brady knows that.

“Lot of things to improve on,” Brady said after the victory. “Obviously, happy to win. But we’ve gotta keep turning it up a notch.”

Clearly, this was one of those games where Brady looked good, the offense looked good, the defense looked good, and the team won by 18 points. Most players are happy in such a situation; Brady is not most players.

Tom Brady walks off of the field after defeating the Broncos. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Brady knows that the Bucs’ wins have come against Carolina and Denver, two teams that are a combined 1-5 and certainly don’t rank anywhere near the list of actual Super Bowl contenders. As such, Brady wasn’t exactly in a party kind of mood during his postgame press conference.

Brady was actually set up with a question to talk about how great things are, but he refused to even entertain it.

Reporter: When you compare your performance in Week 1 to where you guys are as a whole, how much difference, how much growth have you seen just in those three weeks?

Brady: “I think we have a lot of room for improvement. Soo we’re going to get back to work, and by no means was this close to what we’re capable of. We gotta get back to work and try to get closer.”

That’s the type of championship-driven mentality that likely feels foreign for those who’ve worked in and around the Bucs organization for some time. But it’s that attitude — in conjunction with Sunday’s performance — that is precisely what the Bucs signed up for when they made the decision to go after the greatest of all time.

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