Tom Brady had just one drive left to keep his Patriots’ playoff hopes alive down, trailing the Titans at home 14-13 with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter of their wild card game. Starting a drive from his own 1-yard line, Brady dropped back to pass on first down. The ball was tipped and then intercepted by Logan Ryan, who returned it to the end zone:
PICK-6!— NFL (@NFL) January 5, 2020
The @Titans extend their lead with nine seconds left. #Titans #NFLPlayoffs
: #TENvsNE on CBS
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Heading into this final drive, Brady held the NFL record for the most ever game-winning drives and most ever fourth-quarter comebacks, postseason and regular season combined. Saturday against the Titans, he had no touchdowns in the game. With the pick-six, Ryan becomes just the second player ever to have a pick-six against Brady in the playoffs:
Logan Ryan didn't drop that one, making him the second person to get a pick-six against Tom Brady in the playoffs https://t.co/DTlvaObd7W— ProFootballReference (@pfref) January 5, 2020
Ryan is actually a former Patriot, who played for New England from 2013-16. He nearly had another pick-six off of Brady in the first half, but he dropped it.
This last pick-six could quite possibly be Brady’s last play in a New England uniform. For the first time in his career, Brady will become a free agent in 2020. While it seems inconceivable that Brady will play anywhere other than New England during his NFL career, 2019’s season proved that New England no longer had given him the proper weapons around him. For the first time in 2011, the AFC Championship won’t feature the Patriots.
The lack of consistency along the offensive line, virtually no wide receivers aside from Julian Edelman, and no running game continued to build up throughout the year, even despite Brady’s best efforts. Brady playing elsewhere might not happen, but there are some reasons a deal with New England might not get done.
The other option Brady has left to consider is retirement. Although the QB has said in the past he would like to play until he’s 45. But at 43 next season, it wouldn’t be far fetched to imagine that Brady will at least think about the possibility of hanging it up. Brady was asked about the fate of his Patriots career after the game:
“I don’t know what the future looks like, and I’m not going to predict it.” - Tom Brady on whether he'll be back with the Patriots in 2020 pic.twitter.com/ON0jpTWONd— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 5, 2020
He added that it’s “pretty unlikely” that he retires.
Brady probably wouldn’t let end his NFL career on a sour note like this, but with his free agency looming, it’s certainly a possibility.