- Covered the Buccaneers since 2009
- Joined ESPN in 2016
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-27 win over the Falcons on Sunday in Atlanta not only improved their record to 9-5, ensuring they’re first winning season since 2010, but inched them one step closer to their first playoff berth since 2007.
And the play that ultimately got them there came from the one player many in league circles questioned truly deserved to be on the team.
With 6:25 to go in the fourth quarter, quarterback Tom Brady heaved a 46-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown — his first TD catch as a Buccaneer — to make it 31-27 and seal a comeback for the Bucs, who were once down 17-0.
Brady now has seven career comebacks when trailing by 17 or more points, tying him with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers for most in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
The Bucs had been on the wrong side of history when it came to halftime deficits in recent seasons. From 2015 to ’19, they were 7-36 when trailing at the break. But this season, Brady has led them to three second-half comebacks.
After mustering just 60 yards of offense in the first half, Brady calmly led four touchdown-scoring drives and a field goal in the second half. The first was a 1-yard touchdown run from Leonard Fournette that was set up by a 32-yard pass over the middle to Mike Evans, followed by a 4-yard touchdown catch by Chris Godwin.
Then late in the third quarter, following a defensive pass interference penalty on Edmond Robinson, Fournette pushed his way over the pile for a second score, before Brady connected with Brown.
Brady is now 7-0 in his career against the Falcons, including Super Bowl LI, where he led the Patriots from a 28-3 deficit to win 34-28 in overtime.
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