Tom Brady's heralded return to New England wasn't exactly a fireworks display of offensive brilliance, thanks in large part to sloppy weather conditions, but the game lived up to the drama aspect of the event. Brady and the Bucs eked out a narrow fourth-quarter win against the Patriots, just another notch in the Brady legacy that is without a doubt the greatest in NFL history.
But even on a monumental night for his career, and likely also for him personally, there was one thing gnawing at Brady in his postgame on-field interview with NBC's Michelle Tafoya.
That's right: Brady is still hung up on Super Bowl LII.
Brady was discussing the litany of pass-catchers he's played with over the last two-plus decades, a list that ranges from maybe the best pure wide receiver ever in Randy Moss to dudes like Jabar Gaffney, when out of nowhere he brought up his embarrassing drop in the Super Bowl in February 2018:
"Guys did a great job catching for me the last 22 years, all of 'em which I hope were - felt a little piece of happiness tonight, watching that, because everybody contributed. I sure as hell can't catch anything, everyone's seen that drop against the Eagles in the Super Bowl. But I can throw it a little bit. I'm glad I've got so many great guys that can catch it."
Oh, Tom. Even at your peak, after besting your ex-coach in his house, you're still thinking about the Eagles. Bless your heart.
Brady, of course, is remembering his fateful drop on an otherwise brilliant trick play early in the second quarter of Super Bowl LII. On a pretty big third down, in long field goal range, Brady had a chance to pick up a first down and maybe some more yards, but instead the ball bounced off his hands.
The Patriots went for it on 4th & 5 from the Eagles' 35 yard line, but Brady threw an incomplete pass. On the ensuing Eagles drive, LeGarrete Blount punched in a touchdown from 21 yards out to give the Eagles a 15-3 lead midway through the second. When you think about it now, that was a pretty sizable momentum swing. Who knows what happens if Brady catches it.
(You will also remember who did catch it: Nick Foles.)
Bill Belichick ran an interesting trick play (that didn't go to Mac Jones, but still) on Sunday night, so maybe that jogged Brady's memory.
Or maybe the greatest quarterback of all-time can't get over letting his team down because the Eagles had the pressure turned up to 11, and he knew his mighty Patriots were overmatched that night.
Let's go with that one.
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