State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, is the location of one among Tom Brady’s biggest comebacks. Tremendous Bowl XLIX in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks, maybe most well-known because the “Malcolm Butler sport.”
Whereas Sunday evening’s tilt in opposition to the Arizona Cardinals was not a Tremendous Bowl, and it didn’t come in opposition to the Legion of Increase, it’s one other merchandise on the lengthy record of the quarterback’s comeback efforts.
And it might need gone a great distance in the direction of protecting any Tremendous Bowl aspirations alive.
After Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell behind Hint McSorley and the Cardinals by a rating of 16-6 within the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay discovered a strategy to get the sport tied, and after their protection compelled a punt from Arizona initially of extra time, Brady and the offense have been capable of pull out the win in OT by a closing rating of 19-16.
For the primary three quarters of the sport, Brady seemed misplaced, and the jokes have been flying on social media. The veteran QB threw a pair of interceptions, with Marco Wilson selecting his pocket on each performs, and the Buccaneers offense was struggling to get something going. In case you have been questioning, the working title for this piece was “Tom Brady got here again to lose to Hint McSorley? Actually?”
However earlier than we may refine that headline within the SB Nation slack, all the pieces modified.
Dealing with the ten-point deficit, the Buccaneers went into hurry-up mode, and all of the sudden their offense confirmed indicators of life. Tampa Bay put collectively a seven-play drive that culminated of their first landing of the evening, a brief throw from Brady to rookie working again Rachaad White:
The massive play on the drive, nonetheless, was the primary play. On this designed swing display screen to Leonard Fournette, the working again picks up a three-man convoy and rips off a 44-yard acquire, getting Tampa Bay deep into Cardinals’ territory:
Hold this design behind your thoughts…
The White landing solely lower Arizona’s result in 16-13, and that gave McSorley and the Cardinals likelihood to maybe ice the sport with a textbook four-minute drive on offense. However with Arizona dealing with a third and 1, the Tampa Bay protection took benefit of an offensive miscue, getting Brady the soccer again:
McSorley pitches the ball to Keaontay Ingram, however the ball hits the turf at State Farm Stadium. William Gholston pounces on the unfastened ball, giving Brady and the offense nice beginning place for his or her ensuing possession. Sadly for Tampa Bay, their subsequent drive sputtered simply outdoors the pink zone. Ryan Succop managed to transform from 42 yards out to knot the sport at 16, however there was time left for Arizona to maybe pull out the win within the closing minutes.
Tampa Bay’s protection stood tall once more, forcing a three-and-out on the subsequent Cardinals possession. The stage was set for an additional Brady game-winning comeback.
Tampa Bay took over on the 34-yard line after the Arizona punt, and after an incompletion, Brady related with rookie tight finish Cade Otton on an out route for a even-yard acquire. That arrange a vital third and three. With maybe the best quarterback in NFL historical past on the helm, the Buccaneers…handed the ball to Fournette.
Who was stopped wanting the first-down marker.
Arizona took their closing timeout with 55 seconds left, giving themselves one more likelihood to steal the win ultimately. A completion to James Conner — that includes a formidable run after the catch from the RB — bought the Cardinals in place for a a Hail Mary, however McSorley’s desperation heave was intercepted, and the groups headed to extra time.
Arizona received the toss, and elected to obtain. McSorley opened the additional body trying to throw off of a boot-action design, however his try was practically intercepted. A loss on second down pushed the Cardinals into a third and lengthy.
Brady might need began to get able to take the sphere, however he can be pressure to take a seat again down for a minute. McSorley related with Marquise Brown to maneuver the chains. McSorley’s throw was low, however Brown was capable of put it in whereas diving to the turf, and the Cardinals had a contemporary set of downs.
Forcing Brady again into spectator mode.
Nevertheless, that solitary first down is all of the Cardinals may handle on offense. Arizona finally punted, and the Buccaneers took over on their very own 12-yard line, needing only a Succop area objective to tug out the win. The Buccaneers picked up a primary down, and that’s when Byron Leftwich dialed up the large shot play.
Do not forget that swing display screen to Fournette from the fourth quarter?
Brady pumps on the faux swing display screen to Fournette — exhibiting Arizona the large play from earlier within the sport — earlier than trying deep. The receivers launch slowly off the road, as if they will block as they did earlier within the sport, however then break vertically. The QB appears to Russell Gage and places the throw on the cash, and Gage hangs on by way of contact for the massive acquire.
That was not the one large play from Brady and the offense. A couple of performs later the veteran quarterback put one other throw on the cash, this time to Mike Evans on a deep out route alongside the suitable sideline:
Brady and Gage would join once more, on a fast display screen, to get the ball down into the pink zone. A penalty and two runs put the soccer in the midst of the sphere, and Todd Bowles despatched Succop onto the sphere for a 40-yard area objective.
Succop break up the uprights.
The win put the Buccaneers in place to win the NFC South by defeating the Carolina Panthers subsequent week, clinching a playoff spot. It was certainly not fairly, and the Buccaneers have some flaws, however they discovered a strategy to win.
The victory mirrors two earlier wins from the Buccaneers this season, victories over the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints. On each events, as with tonight, the Buccaneers seemed mortal — at finest — for an enormous portion of the sport. However when trailing, the offense shifted into hurry-up mode, and all of the sudden began clicking.
Now, the reply to all their woes on offense can’t merely be “simply run and not using a huddle,” however there are actually three video games of proof pointing to that philosophy as one thing that may work in spurts for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has struggled all through this season to search out any consistency on offense, and appear to maneuver the ball extra effectively when working and not using a huddle.
Doing it on Christmas evening put them in place to not simply win a sport, however clinch the division subsequent week with a win over the Panthers.
And it added one other merchandise on Brady’s record of comeback victories.