Monday, November 28, 2022

Rams-Buccaneers: Tom Brady hits 100,000 yards, leads Bucs to 16-13 comeback in last minute

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Tampa, Fla. — Tom Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cade Otton with 9 seconds remaining and gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams in a sloppy matchup of the last two Super Bowl champions on Sunday.

Brady took over by 44 seconds and went 5 of 6 for 60 yards on the game-winning drive, a career 55th record. The seven-time Super Bowl champion avoided his first losing streak in four games in 20 years, beating the Rams in four tries for the first time since joining the Bucs (4-5) in 2020.

Cooper Kupp scored in the second quarter on a 69-yard reception and Matt Gay had field goals of 26 and 35 yards after the half for the Rams (3-5), who looked like they could hold onto the win when they stopped Brady on downs from the Los Angeles 6 with just under two minutes to go.

But Matthew Stafford, who threw for 158 yards and a TD, couldn’t time the Rams’ final possession.

Brady finished 36 of 58 for 280 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 100,000 yards in his career — despite averaging just 4.8 yards per attempt on the Bucs’ largely one-dimensional short-pass offense managed. He surpassed the milestone on a 15-yard completion to Leonard Fournette, who set up the last of Ryan Succop’s three field goals.

The league career leader started the day by needing 164 yards to hit a plateau the 45-year-old quarterback admitted no one thought possible when he was the sixth-round draft pick in 2000 got into the NFL.

Brady, who owns nearly every major league pass record, went over the mark in his 374th career game, including playoffs.

He set a couple more records late in the game, overtaking Peyton Manning for most game-winning drives and matching Manning with his 43rd career comeback in the fourth quarter.

Stafford finished 13 of 27 without an interception. Kupp, who was playing with a sore ankle he injured in the previous week’s loss to San Francisco, had eight catches for 127 yards.

Like the Buccaneers, the Rams stuttered the first half of the season offensively. Both teams rank in the lower part of the league in points and again on Sunday hardly resembled the teams that faced each other in the playoffs last January.

Tampa Bay’s red zone problems persisted, and Brady went for Succop’s 20-yard field goal on the Bucs’ first possession. Meanwhile, Stafford’s long TD pass to Kupp accounted for most of the 104 yards the Rams gained before halftime.

Succop’s third field goal cut the Rams’ lead to 13-9. Brady led a drive to the Rams 6 on his next possession, but the threat faltered with three straight misses. Jalen Ramsey broke up on the fourth pass but couldn’t hold on for an interception.

The Rams return home next Sunday to host Arizona at SoFi Stadium.

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