There was no way this could happen again.
Impossible, ridiculous, preposterous. Raymond James Stadium was not the site of Super Bowl LI, so Tom Brady engineering another improbable postseason 20-plus points comeback in the second half after his team only had managed a field goal up to that point in the game isn’t exactly lightning striking the same spot twice, but there was no way that this could happen again. I mean, the apocalypse coming wouldn’t be that obvious — right?
There the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter, down not 28-3, instead 27-3. They then go on a drive that takes four minutes off of the clock and results in a field goal. With 19 minutes remaining in the game the Buccaneers are down 21 points.
This is the point where the Rams refused to allow hungry football fans to grab a meal before the main event of the evening began, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs. They lost a fumble on the first play of the next drive, and the Buccaneers ended the quarter with a touchdown.
Oh no! Brady’s doing it again! But, then he didn’t. Once the Buccaneers were down 14 points and Brady quickly went back to what he had been doing for most of the game, trying to get rid of the football before Von Miller, Leonard Floyd, and Aaron Donald Gronk spiked him in the backfield. Even when the Buccaneers and Rams committed fumbles on consecutive plays it didn’t result in points for Tampa.
Against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots scored on four consecutive second half drives to come back against the Atlanta Falcons. Today, the score was stuck at 27-13 for most of the fourth quarter and when the Buccaneers turned the ball over on downs with 4:31 remaining it felt safe. Maybe chaos isn’t the only constant in the world and I can use the bathroom or get food in peace as I wait for Bills, Chiefs to begin.
Then the Twilight Zone music began to play, and a situation so improbable happened that the NFL posted the final 3:25 of the game in its entirety on YouTube. Jalen Ramsey got smoked by Mike Evans for a 55-yard touchdown, and when the Rams were trying to run the clock out on their next series they fumbled again! The Rams, who had put Buccaneers in a juicer for much of the afternoon, lost their fourth fumble of the game.
No. No.No. Somebody get me a wooden stake. This can’t happen again, I don’t care what faustian bargain Brady might have made while trying to beat out Drew Henson for a starting job at Michigan back when John Elway, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman were all still playing in the NFL. This cannot stand. I cannot watch another improbable Tom Brady comeback. He’s side-stepped defeat like an opposing pass rusher too many times, justice must be served. We don’t need anymore NFL Films videos of Brady guiding his team out of the jaws of defeat. If I see another post on Brady’s social media with a Bad Boy Records song playing from when he was still a young person, either my laptop or phone is going into the wall. Then when I get a new one, I’m putting “Brady,” and “Bad Boy for Life” in the parental controls.
Of course the Buccaneers tied the game with 42 seconds remaining. Overtime was imminent and the bloody lipped Brady and the Buccaneers were going to march right down the field and on to the NFC Championship.
But it didn’t happen, Matthew Stafford restored order and kept the four horsemen away from us for a little while longer. It took him and Cooper Kupp two plays, 64 yards, and 29 seconds to get the Rams into field goal range, and Matt Gay eliminated the Buccaneers with a 30-yard field goal as time expired.
I don’t know if it was more surprising to see Cam Akers fumble that football in the fourth quarter, or that Matthew Stafford was actually able to drive the stake into that 44-year-old Hertz rental car and Subway sandwich selling, avocado eating vampire. Sometimes you get the hero you need instead of the hero you want. Thanks for bringing some order to the world Stafford, and restoring our faith in 20-plus point leads with less than half of the third quarter remaining.