Foxboro, Mass. – Tom Brady certainly deserved to leave Gillette Stadium on Sunday night with a souvenir. It came out of the brown hut that he lay on his shoulder. This was the football Brady used to Set the NFL’s all-time passing record.
“It’s me,” said Brady, thinking of the football.
It’s weird. Brady made history of sorts, surpassing Drew Brees’ provisional record of 80,358 career yards, 19-17 Bucks Win That, admit it, was more dramatic than you thought.
The falling of the record was such a routine act that he didn’t even stop the game to admit it. Brady himself called a timeout, which gave the message enough pause to get on the video board and the loyalists rained down on him all night to deliver TB12 for the Patriots.
It was strange, too, that the mark came during a game in which Brady didn’t even throw for a touchdown. Maybe because Bill Belichick knows her so well. Maybe it was because the Patriots defense is still stocked with so many players — hello, Devin McCourty, hi, Kyle Van Noy — that Brady used to play in practice. And don’t forget the gronk factor. Brady threw 10 touchdowns and four for Gronkowski during the first three weeks of the season, but “Red Zone Robbie” didn’t even travel due to a rib injury, Brady didn’t get the scoring strike, and the Bux offense broke out at striking range. A lot after coming.
Sure enough, it was a night of quirks, with Brady returning to his home turf for two decades and nearly overrun by rookie Mac Jones.
But it was also good that Brady gave up that football. It was fitting for Brady, 44, who set records in front of fans there for his remarkable journey—which includes winning six Super Bowls in Patriots uniform.
Yet on Sunday night, “record” football actually looked like the classic “game ball,” which in this case would be the achievement of a lifetime… and for defeating Belichick?
The discussion, debate, and dissection over the past week has been about the relationship between Brady and Belichick — and to be intensified, Sunday night was all about the optics humility between the two.
Normally, Belichick came across like an ogre (again) at his postgame news conference when someone else asked about Brady, when the matter was raised earlier in the season. That’s his sorry schtick. Yet the coach displayed respect and, well, humility Going for an Extended Time with Brady in the Visitor’s Locker Room. According to multiple reports, Belichick was in the Books locker room for about 20 minutes, after briefly exchanging cheers on the field after the game.
Now that’s polite.
And in 20 years, it’s a good bet they’ve never met there before.
Brady, for his part, seemed eager to move on from that narrative, which remains about the friction in their relationship as the most important factor that saw him bolt from the Patriots as a free agent in 2020. which allowed him to win Super Bowl No. In his first season with the Books.
“A lot has been made of our relationship” Brady said during a postgame news conference that had delayed his visit with Belichick. “You know, as I said earlier this week, from a player’s point of view you just expect the coach to give you everything he’s got, and I’m sure that as a player he That’s what I was expecting. But nothing really accurate that I’ll ever see (of the reports). It’s all kind of – definitely doesn’t come from my personal feelings or beliefs. Me as a coach There’s a lot of respect for him and obviously a lot of respect for this organization and all the different people here who try to make it a success.”
Fair enough, but it’s still a bad look for the Patriots that this has come. The icon is a book.
And Belichick’s team, 1-3, is looking to find a foothold in this rebuild after Brady.
On the return visit, this meant experiencing the grounds of your old stomach as a visitor. Of course, there was a “Brady’s Corner” sign located next to the tunnel where the visiting team enters, so perhaps no visitor has ever been showered with the type of affection Brady received.
Still, seeing The Razor from the other side was a little surreal.
“The environment is very hard to come by,” Brady said. “I thought the fans did a great job. That little one – what do they call that horn, that foghorn or whatever? That thing is as loud as it can be. When you’re on the field you’re about to Don’t think much. I just happened to be on the field when that thing was taking off. It’s a great home field advantage.”
Yet somehow, with the help of an ongoing game that has been questionable throughout the season and some crucial plays from the injury-ridden Bucs defense, he survived to take the place as the winner.
“I didn’t try to anticipate what was going to happen and how I would feel,” he said. “There were some emotional moments this week, just thinking about the people who really mean a lot to me in my life and who are part of this community. So grateful for an amazing time here. Like I said My football journey took me elsewhere, but I’m really enjoying it, and it’s great to win.”
Brady’s reputation among teammates includes his keen ability to divide issues as a pillar of focus. Was to be put to the test this week.
“You know what this game meant to him,” said Bux receiver Antonio Brown, who took seven catches for 63 yards. “As the season started, you knew what it was going to be.”
Brown, who joined Brady before being released due to off-field issues during his last season in New England in 2019, is all too aware of the emotions that wrapped up with this return.
Someone asked Brown if he thought Brady was more nervous than usual in the days before the game. Brown smiled.
“You know… it’s hard to get into his head,” said Brown. “He’s a soldier, man.”
It couldn’t have been picture-perfect and it could have been awkward. But Brady was still in his element again, winning the same ol’ spot.