Tom Brady had a chance for a statement win in primetime with his new team on Thursday night, but it was not to be. Even more noteworthy, he appeared to forget what down it was during what would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ final play in the 20-19 loss they suffered to the Chicago Bears. Brady’s final incomplete pass fell short and it appeared that he believed he would have one more down.
Brady and the Bucs got possession at their own 25-yard line with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter following what would be the Bears’ game-winning 38-yard field goal. After a 12-yard completion to Mike Evans picked up a first down on the very first play of the drive, Brady threw an incompletion to Evans, a four-yard pass to Ke’Shawn Vaughn and an incomplete pass to Rob Gronkowski before facing fourth down. On the Buccaneers’ final play of the game — a fourth & 6 — Brady failed to connect with tight end Cameron Brate and the Bears took over on downs.
Unfortunately for Brady, he apparently thought he still had one play left and was instead facing a third-down situation when he failed to connect with Brate. The future Hall of Famer stood on the field for several moments before being told that the Buccaneers did indeed turn the ball over on downs.
Following the game, Brady was asked if he knew he was facing a fourth down in that situation.
“I knew we needed a chunk and I was thinking about more yardage,” Brady said. “It was bad execution. I had a great opportunity there. Just didn’t execute when we needed to.”
Brady was again asked if he knew he was facing a fourth down, and he gave a more direct answer.
“You’re up against the clock,” Brady said. “I knew we had to gain a chunk, so I should have been thinking more first down instead of chunk on that down.”
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was also asked if Brady knew Tampa Bay was facing a fourth down on that last play. Arians responded saying, “Yeah he knew. He knew.”
Still, it certainly appears the future Pro Football Hall of Famer was arguing for another down.
Brady completed 25 of 41 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown on Thursday night. His lone score came via a two-yard pass to Mike Evans in the first quarter, and the Buccaneers were only able to muster three field goals from there on out. The Bears pulled off a 20-6 run to move to 4-1 while the Buccaneers fell to 3-2.
Brady has recorded 46 game-winning drives during the course of his illustrious career, but a simple mistake may have cost him No. 47 on Thursday night. You never expect Brady to have any mental errors, but this certainly qualifies.