At 45 years old, Tom Brady can still get it done.
The Buccaneers were listless on offense for 59 minutes, failing to score a touchdown on each of their first 12 drives.
But Brady and the Bucs offense needed only 35 seconds to get the ball into the end zone for a go-ahead score with nine seconds left on the clock and they defeated the Rams 16-13.
It looked like Los Angeles had a victory in hand after Tampa Bay failed to convert on fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line with 1:52 remaining. But the Buccaneers still had a pair of timeouts. And the Rams’ offense failed to net a first down with its four-minute offense, so L.A. had to punt from its own 13 with 54 seconds left.
After the punt, the Buccaneers offense set up from its own 40 with 44 seconds on the clock. Brady began the drive by hitting tight end Cade Otten deep down the middle of the field for a 28-yard pass that moved the club to the L.A. 32.
Brady continued to find receivers close to the sideline, moving the club up to the 7-yard line. And when cornerback Derion Kendrick was flagged for defensive pass interference on receiver Mike Evans in the end zone, Los Angeles’ fate seemed sealed.
On first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Brady again hit Otten, this time with a short pass on the right side and the tight end easily got in the end zone for the go-ahead score with just nine seconds left.
The Rams had a last-ditch effort to pull off a miracle, but it was no use.
Brady once again engineered a stunning comeback. The Rams had a soul-crushing loss.
Los Angeles’ offense barely managed anything throughout the game, gaining just 206 total yards and nine first downs. Receiver Cooper Kupp had a 69-yard touchdown and a 34-yard pass later in the game. But other than that, the Rams barely got anything going. The club punted nine times, going three-and-out eight times — including on three possessions in the fourth quarter.
The Bucs’ offense wasn’t much better for much of the game, but clearly got it done when it mattered most. Brady, who went over 100,000 passing yards in his career during the contest, finished 36-of-58 for 280 yards with a touchdown. Otten led the club with 68 receiving yards on five receptions.
At 4-5, the Buccaneers are once still in the thick of the NFC South playoff chase, as the Falcons lost on Sunday to also fall to 4-5. The Bucs will take their show international next week, playing the Seahawks for the first ever NFL regular-season game in Germany.
The 3-5 Rams will have to try to rebound against the 3-6 Cardinals at home in Week 10.