Tom Brady is a GOAT, but Father Time is undefeated
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — This was their Ted Williams, their Bill Russell, their football icon and no one here wants it to end.
No one here wants the clock to strike 12 on Tom Brady.
No one here wants it to be Tom to say goodbye to the end of the greatest dynasty in NFL history.
The suspense will be killing all of them if and when Brady decides to test the free-agent waters, and no one is certain whether Bob Kraft will save their Tom Terrific one more time.
But it sure looked and felt like the dying embers of a dynasty on a foggy Saturday night.
Tom Brady’s last stand. And the old gunslinger was out of bullets.
The Titans, 20-13 wild-card winners, go to Baltimore. Brady goes home, maybe as the former quarterback of the New England Patriots.
“Who knows what the future holds?” Brady said.
Here it was: Brady at his 11-yard line, down 14-13, 4:44 and three timeouts left.
Almost always his time. Winning time.
His chance to erase all the damage that raging bull Derrick Henry (34 carries, 182 yards, one touchdown) had done.
His chance to remember how to be Tom Brady one more time, maybe one last time in front of Patriots Nation.
“Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy,” they chanted.
He hit James White for 20 yards. On third-and-4 following a Julian Edelman drop, he threw behind Phillip Dorsett.
One last, desperate, impossible chance: Brady at his 1, 15 seconds and no timeouts left.
“Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy,” one last time.
And Brady had his pass for Mohamed Sanu deflected for a 9-yard Logan Ryan pick-six.
“We just didn’t do enough things right,” Brady said. “Wish it would have been a 99-yard touchdown.”
He was shut out in the second half. Was never able to threaten the Titans with the deep ball. Tom Brady is feared no more.
“Thirteen wasn’t enough,” Bill Belichick said.
Neither was 12.
You knew that Brady wouldn’t go gently into the night. A champion like Brady, you better stick a knife in his lion heart to defeat him. Even at 42. But his iron will alone could not save the Patriots.
The GOAT had whipped Patriots Nation into a frenzy with a lion-themed pregame hype video that concluded with this message to one and all: “It’s too late to be scared. It’s time to kill.”
One big problem: Brady can no longer carry this team to a Super Bowl by himself.
He’s Tom Brady only some of the time. Which means he isn’t Tom Brady anymore.
Retire? “Pretty unlikely,” Brady said. And if he returns, Belichick owes it to Brady to get him better weapons.
We have been here before with the end of the NFL’s Evil Empire predictions, over and over again, dating back to the year Matt Cassel replaced Brady and Bill Belichick missed the 2008 playoffs, and they kept laughing all the way to the Lombardi Trophy.
But this time it felt different. There was no first-round bye this time. There was no Rob Gronkowski this time. Josh McDaniels, Brady’s trusted offensive coordinator, appears ready to fly the coop and lead his own team again.
“I love the Patriots,” Brady said.
In the Tom versus Time showdown, Time was finally intercepting Tom. Antonio Brown lasted one game. Brady trusted Edelman and running back James White. And no one else. Brady’s tight ends — Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson and Ryan Izzo — had reeled in 36 catches for 418 yards and two TDs, historically low production on Brady’s watch.
It was late in the first half when Brady, first-and-goal at the 1, up 10-7, could not get his team in the end zone even after using a pair of timeouts, and Henry quickly carried the Titans to a 14-13 halftime lead.
“Wish we could have scored there,” Brady said.
They were chanting “Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy” on his first possession following a 21-yard completion to Watson on third-and-10.
They were chanting “Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy” early in the fourth quarter before he threw incomplete on third-and-3 at the Tennessee 47 to Dorsett. Because they fear they may never get to chant “Bra-dy” again.
Source: Read Full Article