TAMPA, Fla. – The boo birds were out from the first quarter on. The Bucs, just like the entire season, couldn’t put it in the end zone. But the game is never over until the final whistle and Bucs QB Tom Brady is certainly familiar with engineering comebacks.
Brady found the rookie tight end, Cade Otten, for a 1-yard touchdown with 9 seconds left to beat the LA Rams 16-13.
“We needed it, we got it, we fought to the end,” Brady said. “The defense played great. We made some plays offensively. I know we left a few out there but it’s a tough team.”
It was a terrible display of football on both sides for much of this contest.
The Rams weren’t much better than the Bucs, especially in the first half, but did convert on a Matt Stafford 69-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp to take a 7-3 lead in the second quarter.
“I thought they (Bucs defense) fought hard, ” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said. “So other than that one play or probably two plays there, those guys played tough, they communicated all night, and hats off to them.” It was looking like the Bucs were going to lose their 4th consecutive game until Brady finished off his 55th game-winning drive.
“It didn’t go perfect,” Brady said. “We certainly haven’t played perfect by any stretch but hopefully it gives us some confidence and we can win again next week.”
The Rams’ defense held the Bucs to just three field goals before that final game-winning drive. Tampa Bay’s defense was equally as strong with Rams QB Matthew Stafford throwing for only 165 yards. Brady meanwhile set an NFL record for throwing over 100,00 career passing yards.
“It’s all about the win, man, ” Brady said.
“I can’t say more about him, “Bowles said. “I can’t say anything different than 50 million people that’s already commented on him. He’s one of the best if not the best to ever play the game and he continues to do that.”
This was a rematch of the NFC divisional round playoff game from last season but both teams came into this one struggling. The Rams had to travel cross country after having a good week of practice and linebacker Bobby Wagner admits this loss really stings.
It’s unfortunate,” Wagner said. We’re definitely going to feel this one. We have to go back to the drawing board and there’s still a lot of season left.”
Brady feels this last second win may be a springboard for the Bucs now.
“We have just not played the way we’re capable of. Just some things have kind of not really fallen our way at all. Hopefully, we can get a win, get to 5-5, and then the whole season is ahead of us.” Brady said.
Tampa Bay travels to Munich on Thursday to play the Seattle Seahawks Sunday 9:30 am. EST. It’ll be the first-ever NFL regular season game in Germany.