Tom Brady’s 6 Most Memorable Moments as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer
Tom Brady retired from the NFL in February, ostensibly ending a historic 22-year career. Considered by some to be the greatest quarterback ever, Brady shocked NFL fans everywhere when, in March, he reversed course and announced he planned to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his third season with the franchise.
Over his two previous years in Tampa Bay, Brady has won a Super Bowl and earned a Pro Bowl selection — his seventh and 15th overall, respectively. As the 44-year-old prepares to add to his legacy this coming season, let’s take a chronological look at six of his greatest moments with the Buccaneers so far.
1. Reminds Bucs Fans Who He Is (October 4, 2020)
A top contender for the quarterback’s first great moment as a Buc came four weeks into the 2020 season. Playing at home against the Chargers, Brady and the Bucs fell behind 24–7 in the first half.
Brady proceeded to lead his team back by tossing three touchdowns in the second half alone and helping to set up what proved to be a successful Ryan Succop field goal. The improbable 38–31 victory, which saw Brady throw for 369 yards and toss five total touchdowns, was a sign that Tampa Bay’s fortunes had reversed with the arrival of their new quarterback.
2. Leads Comeback against the Falcons . . . Again (December 20, 2020)
Brady again showed his aptitude for overcoming big deficits when he helmed another 17-point comeback in week 15. His victim this time: the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL watchers will long remember the historic 25-point comeback mounted by Brady and Patriots against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Now under center for the Bucs, TB12 left Atlanta with another unpleasant memory by overcoming a 17-point halftime deficit to guide Tampa Bay to 31–17 victory.
The win, which Brady helped to secure by throwing two second-half touchdowns, brought the Bucs to 9–5 for the regular season and put them in position to reach the playoffs for what proved be a successful Super Bowl run.
3. Bests an Old Rival (January 17, 2021)
The Bucs finished the 2020 regular season with an 11–5 record, only one game back of the division-winning Saints. A consistent foil for Tampa Bay both before and during Brady’s tenure, New Orleans came into the Divisional Round having won both of the regular-season matchups between the two teams.
This success didn’t extend into the playoffs, as the Bucs came through when it counted, beating the Saints on their home field. For his part, Brady contributed three touchdowns — two passes and one run — in the 30–20 win. With the victory, Brady not only secured his team a spot in the NFC Championship Game, but he also sent his longtime (friendly) rival Drew Brees into retirement.
4. Collects His Seventh Super Bowl Ring (February 7, 2021)
Brady’s first season with Tampa Bay ended in the best possible fashion: a Super Bowl. Even sweeter, the game happened to be played at Raymond James Stadium, making Tampa Bay the first team to claim the Lombardi Trophy playing in front of its home crowd.
Winning the game involved felling an opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs who entered the matchup as the reigning Super Bowl champion. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it was predicted by some to be a budding dynasty.
Brady and the Bucs put a stop to their ascension, with the Tampa Bay defense holding one of the NFL’s best offenses to only nine points. Brady did his part by turning in an MVP performance highlighted by 209 passing yards and three touchdowns. The MVP award was a record fifth for Brady, and with the 31–9 win, he became the first starting quarterback in NFL history to lead a team in both conferences to a Super Bowl victory.
5. Nearly Sinks the Lombardi Trophy (February 10, 2021)
The only off-field moment on this list came during the Tampa Bay boat parade following Super Bowl LV. Evidently feeling the effects of a day of celebrating, the quarterback whimsically tossed the Lombardi Trophy from his boat to the one behind him.
Showing impressive hands, tight end Cam Brate pulled in the sharp-edged trophy, thus preventing it from sinking in the river below. Brady later admitted his antics were alcohol-fueled, but with no harm ultimately done, his Lombardi toss goes down as a fond memory for Bucs fans.
6. Gets Payback on Former Team (October 3, 2021)
Whatever his accomplishments in Tampa Bay, Brady will forever be associated with the New England Patriots. The quarterback spent 20 years in New England, where, along with coach Bill Belichick, he collected six Super Bowl rings.
All of which made Brady’s first matchup against the Patriots a must-see for football fans. Played at New England’s Gillette Stadium, the game garnered record viewing numbers, with more people tuning in than for any Sunday Night Football matchup in nearly a decade.
Brady ultimately prevailed over his former team, throwing for a respectable 269 yards on the way to a 19–17 Tampa Bay victory. In beating his former squad, TB12 set yet another record as the first NFL player to win a game against all 32 of the league’s franchises.