If Tom Brady retires during the offseason, he will walk away after one of the worst playoff games of his career.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion had a rough night against Micah Parsons and the Dallas Cowboys as he threw his first red-zone interception against the Buccaneers in a 31-14 loss Monday night that ended the up-and-down season in Tampa Bay ended.
Brady will not return home to the Bay Area for a rematch against Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional round. However, he can go home forever.
The 45-year-old five-time Super Bowl MVP retired once last season, only to return 40 days later. He said he will take more time to make his decision this time.
“It’s really going to be one day at a time,” Brady said.
Brady waved his cap at the crowd as he jogged off the field for what was perhaps the last time, stopping to kiss his parents before heading into the tunnel.
Before leaving the podium, Brady thanked reporters and said, “Hopefully I love this organization. It’s a great place and thank you all for welcoming me. …Very grateful for the respect and hopefully I’ve given you the same back.”
Brady was 7-0 against Dallas going into this game, including a 19-3 away win in Week 1.
Though he was only sacked twice, the Cowboys pushed him into several throwaways and forced a series of unwise passes.
He threw the most 66 passes of his career, including 35 for 351 yards, two TDs and one interception. Brady had 65 tries for New England against San Francisco on December 16, 2012.
After the Buccaneers went three and out on their first two possessions, Brady led a long drive before things fell apart.
On the Cowboys 22 first down, Brady rolled right and had open field in front of him, but incompletely threw himself across his body into quadruple cover in the left corner of the end zone. A few plays later from the Cowboys 5, Brady threw the ball to the back of the end zone where the next player to make the pick was Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse.
“Not how we wanted to end it, but we didn’t deserve it,” Brady said. “Believe them appreciation. They played a good game, made a lot more games than we did.”
Brady had not been shut out in the first half of the playoff game since his first in 2001, the Tuck Rule game on January 19, 2002. The Patriots rallied to beat the Raiders in that game.
Brady and the Bucs (8-10) didn’t stand a chance of a comeback against Dallas (13-5). Parsons and company dominated Brady from start to finish.
“It’s been typical of the way we’ve played all year, inefficient in passing, not very good in running, so it’s hard to beat teams like that,” Brady said.
The Bucs finally found the end zone when Brady connected with Julio Jones with a 30-yard TD pass just before the end of the third quarter. But Tampa’s defense returned a TD and the Bucs couldn’t score after getting the Cowboys 2 on their next drive.
Brady’s worst playoff loss was 33-14 to the Baltimore Ravens on January 10, 2010. It was a close one.
It’s been a tumultuous season for Brady personally. His marriage to Gisele Bundchen ended when they announced their divorce was finalized in October. He had the first losing season of his 23-year career, though the Buccaneers won the woeful NFC South to secure fourth place.
Brady is set to become a free agent, so he might choose to continue his unprecedented career with another team. There will be a lot of interest in a player who turns 46 in training camp next season.
The Buccaneers want him back if he keeps playing. Linebacker Lavonte David said he will wait a few weeks before recruiting him.
Brady has shown he has plenty left in the regular season despite playing behind an injury-weakened offensive line and without star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired in the offseason. He broke his own NFL record for completions in a single season with 490, led the NFC with 4,694 yards and had 25 touchdowns with nine interceptions.
Brady owns nearly every NFL passing record, has won more championships than any other player in the sport and is destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not bad for a sixth-round draft pick.
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https://kpel965.com/ixp/34/p/tom-brady-post-game-press-conference-goodbye-tampa-bay-buccaneers/ Did Tom Brady just say goodbye to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?