However, his efforts proved to be in vain as Matthew Stafford drove LA down the field and into field goal range, setting up Matt Gay for a 30-yard, game-winning kick as time expired.
In the game of the 2021 season (so far), the Rams knocked off the Bucs, 30-27, in a back-and-forth contest to advance to the NFC Championship Game. Tampa Bay's shot at a repeat title came to an end in front of a home crowd at Raymond James Stadium, despite a heroic effort to crawl back from a 24-point, second-half deficit.
Part of the backdrop of Sunday's playoff matchup were questions about whether or not this might be Brady's final game in the NFL. Coming into the contest, the 44-year-old quarterback hadn't confirmed that he's planning to come back for another season.
Following the Bucs' loss and subsequent elimination, Brady briefly went to midfield to congratulate the Rams on a gritty victory. He then took the long walk to the locker room for what may have been the final time.
Brady sauntered off the field to the sound of applause from the Bucs faithful in the stands at Raymond James Stadium. His face revealed very little about how he was feeling as he went into the tunnel, surrounded by photographers.
Brady ended the game against the Rams, completing 30 of his 54 passes for 329 yards, one touchdown and one interception. It wasn't the flawless playoff performance that many have come to expect from the seven-time champion, but he led the Bucs back from the brink in a manner that was reminiscent of his 28-7 comeback with the New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. It's difficult to believe that Sunday was Brady's final time on a football field, considering he led the league in passing yards (5,316) and touchdowns (43) this season. However, he's certainly earned the right to walk off into the sunset after a historic and record-breaking career. Let the speculation about Tom Brady's future in football begin. [
For the last time? pic.twitter.com/b7gJJBfC7y
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 23, 2022