Tom Brady returned to New England on Oct. 3 for the first time since he left the organization in 2020, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and garnering a seventh Super Bowl championship win.
After defeating his former team, Brady made history — joining the likes of Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to defeat all 32 teams. The 44-year-old who spent 20 seasons with the Patriots also became the NFL’s all-time passing leader after tallying 68 yards early in the game.
Belichick didn’t make it easy for Brady — manipulating the defense and alternating coverages between man and zone all the way until right before the ball was snapped to confuse his former star quarterback. He also tried to get pressure on Brady by frequently sending blitzes. The Patriots even held a 7-6 lead going into halftime & again in the fourth quarter, with the Bucs trailing 17-16.
Following a Brady-led drive to set up a game winning field goal, it took a final stop from the Buccaneers defense as well as a missed 56-yard field goal from Nick Folk for the Bucs to secure the 19-17 victory.
The Bucs entered Gillette Stadium 2-1 following a 34-24 loss to the Rams, making this a huge win for the organization. Injuries hampered Tampa Bay as key contributors like Rob Gronkowski (ribs) — also a former Patriot, Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) missing his second straight game and Sean Bunting (elbow) missing his third straight game, to name a few. Five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman, who was just signed last week, played a majority of defensive snaps at cornerback after Carlton Davis was left the game with an injury.
The Buccaneers (3-1) will face the Miami Dolphins in Tampa Bay on Sunday, Oct. 10, while the Patriots (1-3) will simultaneously take on the Houston Texans in Houston.