For most of Sunday’s divisional-round playoff matchup, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were having a difficult time with the Los Angeles Rams.
Los Angeles led the Buccaneers 27-3 in the third quarter. At that point, it appeared the world champions’ goal of repeating was done. However, the Bucs slowly worked their back and tied the game at 27 late in the fourth.
But, Matthew Stafford hit Cooper Kupp on a 44-yard strike that set up Matt Gay’s 30-yard game-winning field goal at the buzzer to give the Rams a 30-27 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
With the win, the Rams host the 49ers in the NFC Championship game next Sunday.
“Yeah, we were down a bunch, and a lot of guys made a bunch of different plays to get us back into it,” Brady said postgame. “And they just made one more than us. So, kind of back and forth, we got off to a slow start which we certainly didn’t want to do against a good football team like that, who plays well from ahead. It made us pretty one-dimensional. But, you know, it is always tough losing at the end of the year. Obviously, we showed a lot of fight, but at the end of the day, you lose a game, you lose a game.”
Brady completed 30-of-54 passes in the game for 329 yards and one touchdown, but at age 44, the logical question is, have we’ve seen the last of him in the NFL. Well, we didn’t get that answer postgame.
“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, so you know, we will just take it day by day and kind of see where we are at,” the 22-year veteran said. “Truthfully, guys, I’m thinking about this game. I’m not thinking about anything past five minutes from now.”
If Brady retires, which could happen, clearly he goes down as the G.O.A.T. He won seven Super Bowls, which is just ridiculous; however, based on what we saw out of him in 2021, he still is playing at a high level as he led the league in passing yards and touchdown passes. Of course, if he wants to come back, Tampa would like him back. Brady’s magic number for retirement was 45, so maybe that means one more year, or maybe not.
We’ll see what happens going forward.