Tom Brady’s Latest Comeback Covers Up Clash With Coach Todd Bowles
Brady's 44th fourth-quarter comeback broke a tie with Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history
Trailing by 13 well short of midfield and needing 10 yards on fourth down to pick up a fresh set of downs with about seven minutes left on the clock against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, Tom Brady was getting ready to go for it when Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles overruled him and pulled the Buccaneer offense off the field and sent out the punt team.
Brady, who had already thrown one of his patented sideline temper tantrums earlier in the game prior to another disagreement about punting on fourth down, did not appear happy about the decision and it appeared that the incident would be a major storyline after the game.
That didn’t end up being the case as Tampa’s defense was able to stifle New Orleans for the rest of the game and Brady was finally able to get going and lead the Bucs on two scoring drives in the final three minutes to erase the 13-point deficit and beat the Saints 17-16.
For Brady, who completed 36-of-54 passes for 281 yards and tied the game with a touchdown pass to Rachaad White with three seconds to go before Ryan Succop’s extra-point gave Tampa the win, it was his 44th fourth-quarter comeback, which broke a tie with Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history. Last night was also just the second time Brady has come back from 13 or more points down in the fourth quarter to win. The first time was when he rallied the Patriots from a 28-3 deficit in the fourth against the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.
Had the comeback fallen short and dropped Tampa to 5-7 instead of succeeding and pushing them to 6-6 to remain atop the shaky NFC South, much more focus would be being paid to what was going on with Brady and Bowles and their apparent inability to agree on what to do on fourth down. With the win, all of that becomes a non-issue.
“Ultimately, it was a great decision by Todd to punt it,” Brady said after the game, per The Tampa Bay Times. “[If] we don’t get it, they [could] kick a field goal and [then] we need two touchdowns and two two-point conversions, which is very tough.”
With the win, 45-year-old Brady and the Bucs remain in the driver’s seat in their putrid division ahead of the Falcons (5-8), Panthers (4-8) and Saints (4-9). A first-place finish will put Tampa in the playoffs, where they will be a tough out as long as Brady is able to get his hands on the ball in the fourth quarter with time left on the clock.
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