Tom Brady and the Buccaneers survive a thriller with a 19-17 Win
It is fitting that in the night of Tom Brady’s triumphant return to Foxboro the game ended with a Nick Folk missed 56 yard field goal in the pouring rain. It was not to be a glorious thrashing by the Buccaneers no no noo, the football Gods had other plans. Rob Gronkowski was already a game scratch heading in and one could argue this was the most emotional game of Tom Brady’s career. All week Brady was embraced by the Patriot community even heading back to his TB12 location at Patriot Place which is where it all started. He began to remember why New England holds such a special place in his heart as it does theirs.
The stadium was electric hours before kickoff as this was the largest crowd ever at Gillette. With Tom’s family in attendance, the Patriots presented him with a special tribute pregame. Once the game began it turned into all business. The majority of the fans were very happy and excited to see Tom as this was his first time back since leaving New England. With 5:20 left in the 1st Quarter Tom Brady breaks Drew Brees’s All Time NFL Passing Record of 80,358 yards.
Belichick and the Patriots were giving the Buccaneers all they could handle defensively through the first Quarter with the Buccaneers only points on the board being a Ryan Succop field goal. New England responded taking the lead with an impressive 11 play, 74 yard touchdown drive by Mac Jones for their only points of the half. Brady and the Bucs were only able to muster up another Ryan Succop field goal to total only 6 points of offense heading into halftime.
As the 3rd Quarter commenced, the sky darkened and rain began to fall from the sky. The stage was set for an epic finish. Tampa started to establish their run game effectively capping off a drive with Ronald Jones punching it in from 8 yards out to take their first lead of the game. The Patriots were having trouble adjusting to the rainy conditions and the disruptive defensive line of the Buccaneers.
In the fourth quarter Mac Jones was able to connect with Jonnu Smith on a touchdown pass giving the Patriots a 14-13 lead. Brady then marched the Buccaneers right down the field for another Ryan Succop field goal taking the lead right back at 16-14. Nick Folk then delivered his only made field goal of the night drilling a kick with 4:34 left to allow the Patriots to take the lead, 17-16.
With over four minutes left on the clock this was more than enough time for the Buccaneers to put themselves in a position to respond with some points. Ryan Succop was 3/3 on field goals for the evening heading into the final minutes of the game. With 2:02 left, Succop drills his fourth field goal of the evening as rain is pouring down to give Tampa the 19-17 advantage.
2 Minutes left on the clock, a field goal wins it, a Sunday night at Gillette stadium, this was the classic Hollywood ending. The game was now in the hands of Mac Jones and kicker Nick Folk. The Buccaneers halted the Patriots to a fourth down, which brought out Nick Folk for the 56 yard game winner that was no good hitting the left upright securing the win for Brady and the Buccaneers. After the game you could see all of the emotions come over Tom Brady as he personally hugged coaches and players spending one on one time with them on the field. Once Brady returned to his locker postgame Bill Belichick texted Tom asking if the two of them could meet privately.
A private area was set aside in the locker room for the two of them and they spoke for about 23 minutes.
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, this is their conversation, Brady said:
“It was a very personal, private thing. We’ve always had that type of relationship where we can say things to each other. You know, whoever characterizes our relationship is completely wrong. People want to focus on so much stuff that’s so unimportant. You know? We were together for 20-plus years, and we were so productive and successful and I learned so much from him. Loved my experience here, loved my relationship with him.”We’d known each other for 20-plus years, and when I left here, we just didn’t have a chance—he was out of town—to meet. When I went down to Tampa, it was COVID. I was thinking about my season and so was he. It was just, we’ve known each other for a long time, and we didn’t have a chance to talk, and tonight we did, and it was great.”
The relationship between Belichick and Brady will always be more than the public or the media will ever fully understand. The respect and bond they share runs too deep and will last a lifetime. We thank them for the 20 years of memories and the amazing performance they put on last night.
Showdown in Foxboro
The most anticipated game on the 2021 NFL regular season schedule is finally here. Tonight Tom Brady leads the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers into Foxboro to face Mac Jones and the new look New England Patriots. Not many people could of envisioned this as it was just three seasons ago we saw Tom Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy for the Patriots in a win against the Los Angeles Rams. As goes with everything in life there is an expiration date and the 20 year relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady ran its course, making it one of the most successful working relationships on planet earth. Some of the greatest leaders our of lifetime understand situations and how to maneuver with such tactical fluidity through the choppy waters. Bill and Tom both took firm control of their separate but inter-winded lives and just like that it was over.
Patriot scouts were following the top college prospects very closely behind the scenes for the last few years from what our sources have told us. The Patriots were very confident with the plethora of talent coming through the college ranks that there would be a franchise changing QB available for them to select. Mac Jones is a carbon copy of Tom Brady. He is the perfect fit to take on the flaming torch and lead the organization for the next 10 plus years.
Despite the Patriots being 1-2, Mac Jones has still looked good. We spoke to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels earlier in the week and he said that “ Mac is understanding the playbook and commanding the huddle. There isn’t anything that we are throwing his way that he isn’t able to grasp. He is a smart kid and will continue to grow as the year goes on” .
Having a stable coaching staff along with the Patriots schedule for the remainder of the year sets up well for Mac. Look for him to have the best year out of all of the Quarterbacks drafted in 2021 class. On Saturday Patriots activated receiver N’Keal Harry from Injured Reserve. Look for him to be an effective target for Mac Jones in the Red Zone for tonights game.
Tamps Bay Buccaneers Tight End Rob Gronkowski did not travel with the team to Foxboro. He is listed as out for tonights game as he is still undergoing further evaluation on his ribs following a nasty hit he suffered against the Los Angeles Rams. Look for Cam Brate to fill the void for Gronk in the Buccaneers offense and for key guys like Antonio Brown and Mike Evans to step up.
Tom Brady is already off to an explosive start to the season leading the early conversations for NFL MVP with throwing 11 touchdowns to only 1 interception. Tonight he also will pass Drew Brees as the NFL All Time Passing Leader, surpassing Drew’s mark of 80,358 yards. The Patriots have announced they will honor that achievement by Brady along with a special tribute to him pregame. Look for his entire family to be present at Gillette as they were personally invited by Robert Kraft to one of his luxury suites to watch the game.
This surely looks to be a memorable evening in New England.