Tom Brady loves to devastate the Atlanta Falcons with big, meaningful rallies in the Super Bowl. And he loves torturing them with similar heroics in the regular season.
On Sunday, Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell behind Atlanta, 24-7, in the second quarter. Brady and the Bucs then sizzled the rest of the way, outscoring the Falcons 24-3 for the improbable, 31-27 road win.
Brady didn’t get to celebrate the victory with the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy Sunday afternoon. Maybe that’ll happen in February.
But he probably thought about the time he rallied his team past Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. No doubt, Atlanta fans had angry, anxious flashbacks to the time the Falcons blew a similar lead against Brady.
Back in February, 2017, the Falcons built a 28-3 lead against Brady and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium in Houston. The cushion wasn’t big enough. The Patriots pulled off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to win the game in overtime.
That’s why Twitter was chock full of posts like these. Brady and Falcons are inevitable.
Brady and the Bucs are trying to make it to the Super Bowl. The team still hasn’t clinched a playoff spot. But the Bucs are close. They’ll end the regular season with games against Detroit and a home contest against Atlanta.
There was some whooping in the locker room. The victory, Tampa’s ninth, ensured the Bucs of their first winning season in a decade. Odds are good Tampa will clinch the team’s first playoff spot since 2007.
Let’s Count The Tom Brady Records
Brady’s comebacks are even more historical after Sunday. It was the seventh time Brady erased a deficit of at least 17 points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that ties Brady for the most in NFL history with Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers.
Brady’s performance Sunday definitely was uneven. Brady threw for only 70 yards in the first half as his team struggled to score. But he flipped the script in the second half. His 46-yarder to Antonio Brown with 6:19 left in the game proved to be the game-winner. It was Brown’s first touchdown as a Buc. By the game’s end, Brady threw for 390.
Brady also moved up on an NFL list no quarterback likes. He’s now No. 2 on the list of quarterbacks with most career sacks. Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones sacked Brady early in the second quarter. That was the 517th sack of Brady’s 21-year career. He passed former Denver Bronco great John Elway to move into second place. Brett Favre owns the record of 525 established during his 20-year career.