After Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shocked the New Orleans Saints with another game win, he fixed his open jacket as he entered the press conference room and said the only thing that would be expected of him at this point in his illustrious Career.
“The way we designed it,” Brady said, smiling to a laughing crowd of reporters.
Brady’s mix of emotions throughout the game – screaming on the sidelines in frustration at how the offense sputtered to celebrate Rachaad White’s game-winning touchdown to seal a stunning 17-6 win – was stark.
But after years of watching the same movie, at this point it’s almost to be expected that Brady still has enough time in the game to win it if the score says there’s a chance.
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The fourth quarter was tied 16-3, and Brady had only won a game by at least 13 points in the fourth quarter in his career. That was the Super Bowl LI vs the Atlanta Falcons that resulted in an overtime win for the New England Patriots.
Overtime was not necessary for this. Instead, Brady just had to find the end zone for the first time in the game, with rookie tight end Cade Otton catching a one-yard bootleg pass from the GOAT to put the Bucs to six points.
New Orleans felt the pressure and needed a couple of first downs to spoil the game as the Bucs still had all three timeouts on their touchline.
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Instead, Andy Dalton and his bunch went three and out, burning just two of the Buccaneers’ timeouts and still not reaching the two-minute warning, effectively giving Brady two timeouts and more than enough time to win the game by one touchdown and successful extra point.
At this point in the game, it’s like Brady has designed it multiple times before. He shattered the Saints’ defense with short, methodical passes to allow his receivers to dodge.
And when he needed that big play, he found Julio Jones hauling in a pass on a massive jump hold that put the Bucs on the Saints five-yard line.
Brady then found that Chris Godwin for the touchdown that would have won the game had failed to call in tackle Donovan Smith, the NFL’s most heavily penalized offensive lineman that season.
Nonetheless, Brady found Godwin again for nine yards to give the Bucs a chance from the Saints’ six-yard line.
At this point, Brady was waiting for White to win his matchup against linebacker Demario Davis and stretched his body into the end zone. Ryan Succop’s extra point was good, and Brady added his 44th game win to his future Hall of Fame resume.
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The season isn’t set up the way Brady would like at this point as Tampa Bay just picked up its sixth win of the season.
But the Bucs sit at the top of a terrible NFC South Division and stand out a little from the crowd with this win.
While there wasn’t much to laugh or joke about for most of that game, all that matters is a win – something Brady is used to in times of crisis.
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Brady finished the game with 281 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 36 of 54 passes.