Tom Brady sets record with 44th career 4th-quarter comeback

TAMPA, Fla. — Even Vivian, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s own daughter, who turned 10 on Monday, expressed skepticism that her father would be able to defeat the New Orleans Saints on her birthday at home.

“She was a little worried when I said, ‘We’re going to play the Saints,'” Brady told ESPN. “She said, ‘I don’t know, Daddy.'”

He had failed at home in two previous attempts and had not even scored a touchdown in those games. And with the Bucs trailing 16-3 with 5-21 to go, it didn’t look like it was going to happen in 2022 either.

But Brady, 45, who defeated another offensive lineman in All Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs, threw two touchdowns to defeat the Saints 17-16 and surpassed Peyton Manning with 44 for most fourth-quarter comebacks of his career in NFL history.

The first to run without a huddle came on a 91-yard drive that saw Brady complete passes to six different receiving targets and was interrupted by a 1-yard pass to rookie tight end Cade Otton in the corner of the end zone – in the same corner, he secured the Bucs’ win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9.

Then, after the defense forced a three-and-off with a sack for a 10-yard loss from fullback Carl Nassib, Brady got the ball back with 2:29 left. From there, he completed 8 of 10 passes, with a 6-yard touchdown to rookie running back Rachaad White, who dove over the goal line with 8 seconds left to give the Bucs their first sweep against the Saints since 2007.

Brady joked after the game: “The way we designed it. Exactly how we designed it.”

Wide receiver Mike Evans shook his head in disbelief.

“He’s getting better like those moments. Like it’s crazy,” Evans said. “I think it’s experience and his mindset. He knows that at the end of the game he wants the ball in the offensive hands and he’s asking us to go out there and make plays.”

Said Otton: “It’s so obvious he’s been there before. He gives us the confidence to know we can do it. The biggest thing is the belief and the trust at the end of the game that we’re going to win that thing.”

But only one other time had Brady actually been here before – when the New England Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit and fell 19 points behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl LI. Monday night marked Brady’s first win of the regular season after trailing 13 points or more in the fourth quarter.

“It’s just incredible. I was just grateful,” White said. “I think I was just born when TB first came into the league. I was born in 1999. Just to be able to be apart of it years later, you just have to be thankful. And you have to cherish those moments.”

How unlikely was victory? According to ESPN Stats & Information research, teams rank 3-530 over the past five seasons if they’ve lost more than 13 points in the last four minutes of regulation, with the three wins putting the Los Angeles Chargers at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 in 2018 were the New York Jets at the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 of this season and now the Bucs over the Saints. The Bucs were 25-1 on Caesars Sportsbook when they were 16-3 behind.

Even less likely, this is the second time this season Brady has thrown a game-winning touchdown in the last 15 seconds of regular time. Brady’s touchdown on Otton against the Rams came with 13 seconds remaining. According to Elias, Brady is only the third quarterback since the merger to score multiple go-ahead touchdowns in the final 15 seconds of regulation in a season and he is the first since Brett Favre in 1999.

“I was a part of a lot of them,” said right guard Shaq Mason, who was part of the Super Bowl LI comeback while he was with the Patriots. “I had a feeling of how it was going to end, but it was great to pull it off. … I mean, he’s the GOAT for a reason. He is the greatest. I’m lucky to get a second chance to be with him. I love it. … Everyone in that dressing room has faith in him when that time comes. He delivered for us.

Evans added: “One thing about us – especially in the last couple of years with Tom – we just play to the end because anything can happen. We have seen that again and again.” Tom Brady sets record with 44th career 4th-quarter comeback

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