Tom Brady Overcomes Team That Has Stopped Him Most This Season

Those 100,000 passing yards Tom Brady has accumulated sound so amazing and speak to how prolific the greatest quarterback of all time has been since 2001.

But when the Buccaneers somehow pulled out this playoff rematch against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, Brady seemed as disinterested in the individual mark as he was excited about celebrating the team's first win since Oct. 9.

"That was awesome," Brady exclaimed. "That was awesome."

The bleep word Brady used, by the way, begins with an "F."

Buccaneers Make Tom Brady Look Bad

Anyway, the milestone passing mark and the ultimate success of winning seemed distant for much of this game. Because the struggles of the past month were recurring for the Buccaneers.

Brady managed to get his team in the end zone exactly zero times the first 59 minutes and 51 seconds of this game.

And the Bucs had Brady looking more like a goat than the GOAT.

The Bucs were dropping passes -- seven of them. They were collapsing up front, which led to only one Aaron Donald sack but countless pressures.

The play-calling was betraying the effort, too, as we were treated to multiple first- and second-down runs followed by low percentage third-and-long situations.

We even saw what could have been the game-winning touchdown hit Tampa receiver Scotty Miller in the facemask and bounce haplessly away for an incompletion.

So, yes. Tom Brady looked like he's lost it because the Buccaneers were doing a marvelous job of stopping him.

Buccaneers Final Drive Showed True Brady

Then came the final 44 seconds when we saw the real Brady.

That's when we saw a guy his own team didn't sabotage.

In the final 44 seconds against the defending Super Bowl champions the Bucs offensive line actually blocked for Brady. There were no drops. Guys ran the hurry-up offense with precision.

And the play-calling couldn't get in anybody's way because every play was necessarily a Brady pass.

"Great execution," coach Todd Bowles said. "All the guys started making plays and we spread the ball around a little bit."

You know what that allowed? It allowed Brady to be Brady.

"We always have a chance with him," Bowles said. "Grateful to have him. He got over 100,000 yards, that's a long playing career for anybody. Still plays at a high level. We love the guy to death."

Bowles obviously loves this:

Brady completed a 28-yard pass to tight end Cade Otton to start the final drive.

Then a 14-yard completion to Miller.

Followed by a 7 more yards to Miller.

And eventually the 1-yard TD pass to Otton for the win.

"Guys made a lot of plays," Brady said. "It was great to see. That's what it takes, man. It doesn't always go perfect and we haven't played perfect by any stretch but hopefully this gives us some confidence and we can win again next week and get to 5-5, which should be good for us at the bye week."

And what happens then?

"The whole season's ahead of us," Brady said.

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