There's coming back to earth, then there's Tom Brady's shockingly bad Week 9 performance against the Saints.
Brady played one of his worst games ever Sunday night, throwing three interceptions in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 38-3 blowout loss to New Orleans.
The 35-point loss was the worst defeat of Brady's 20-year career, and his 40.4 passer rating was his third-worst in 294 regular-season games.
Here was the former New England Patriots QB's final stat line:
22 for 38, 209 passing yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 40.4 passer rating
The Saints now have swept the season series with their NFC South rival, which is a historic achievement: Brady's Patriots never lost both games to an AFC East opponent in a single season in New England.
If you're a Patriots fan seeking some schadenfreude, here are two of Brady's three interceptions on the night (the second of which was a horrible decision to throw across the field while under pressure):
The Bucs punted on each of their first four possessions and already trailed by 21 points by the time of Brady's first pick.
Tampa Bay was in a 28-0 hole by the time Antonio Brown caught his first Tampa Bay pass. The veteran wide receiver tallied three receptions for 31 yards on five targets, while fellow ex-Patriot Rob Gronkowski caught one pass for two yards on six targets.
Brady couldn't find a rhythm with any of his pass-catchers Sunday night, taking three sacks against an aggressive Saints defense that made him look like a 43-year-old rather than an NFL MVP candidate.
If Bucs fans are looking for a silver lining, though, there's this: Brady's next three worst losses outside of Sunday night all came in years the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay is 6-3 despite its Week 9 debacle, so a Super Bowl run still is very much on the table.