Sunday marked a first for Tom Brady, as the quarterback had never played on Christmas Day in his storied NFL career until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16.
It also marked another record for arguably the greatest player in league history, as Brady and the Buccaneers rallied to defeat the Cardinals 19-16 in overtime at State Farm Stadium.
The victory was Brady’s 14th career win in an overtime game (including playoffs), tying Drew Brees for the most by any starting quarterback all time, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Obviously, this feat pales in comparison to most of Brady’s accomplishments, with longevity and chance — not necessarily skill — being the predominant factors. But it’s fitting Tampa Bay’s OT triumph came on a day when the Bucs rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit after Arizona QB Trace McSorley (making his first career start) coughed up a costly fumble. Give Brady an inch, and he’ll take a mile.
The win improved Tampa Bay’s record to 7-8, good for first place in the underwhelming NFC South — ahead of the Carolina Panthers (6-9), New Orleans Saints (6-9) and Atlanta Falcons (5-10). Arizona, meanwhile, fell to 4-11, the worst record in the NFC West and the second-worst record in the conference — ahead of only the Chicago Bears (3-12).
It’s been a choppy season for the Bucs, whose offense has struggled mightily amid injuries and significant turnover along the O-line, but Brady reminded everyone Sunday that Tampa Bay still has a fighting chance with him under center. A Christmas miracle, indeed.
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