Tom Brady and the NFL playoffs have change into synonymous over his lengthy and storied profession.
And the 45-year-old as soon as once more booked his place within the postseason on Sunday because of a comeback 30-24 victory by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in opposition to the Carolina Panthers.
The Bucs twice fell to massive deficits – 14-0 and 21-10 – at Raymond James Stadium however have been twice in a position to produce scoring drives to assert their second successive NFC South division title.
Brady produced his greatest efficiency of what has been a disappointing season to this point, finishing 34 of 45 passes for 432 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Afterwards, the Bucs quarterback – having sealed his place within the NFL playoffs for the 14th consecutive season – praised his group’s resolve as an up and down common season approaches its finale.
“It felt nice,” Brady mentioned, per the Buccaneers web site. “I’m actually pleased with our guys and everybody on the group, coaches.
“We powered via a variety of powerful issues this yr. Comfortable to win the division; it’s at all times powerful to do it. NFL video games are powerful to win and we at all times determine a technique to hold them by some means thrilling. I want they wouldn’t be as thrilling as we made it, however I’m glad we received the win and glad so many guys contributed.”
All three of Brady’s touchdowns have been thrown to vast receiver Mike Evans, who loved a profession afternoon within the Week 17 conflict.
Evans caught 10 passes for 207 yards and the trio of landing passes. Not solely did the monster afternoon prolong his streak of consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards to 9, changing into the primary NFL participant to open his profession with such a streak, Evans additionally turned the primary Bucs participant to report 200 or extra receiving yards and three scores in a single sport.
The pair had related for 26 touchdowns of their earlier two seasons, however just for three within the earlier 16 weeks of the 2022 season.
However after weeks of struggles and looking out off-kilter, Brady and Evans dissected a Panthers protection simply when it mattered.
“It feels nice,” mentioned Evans. “It’s been an up-and-down yr. We simply stored combating and we performed our greatest ball in the present day and it was a lot wanted.”
Elsewhere on Sunday, the New York Giants sealed their place within the playoffs with a dominant 38-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for 2 extra as New York returned to the postseason for the primary time since 2016.
It caps off a dramatic enchancment below first-year head coach Brian Daboll after 5 straight dropping seasons and underperformance.
However the resurgence of working again Saquon Barkley and a burgeoning protection has led the Giants to a 9-6-1 report and place within the playoffs.
As is custom when a group reaches the playoffs, Daboll was doused in Gatorade in celebration when the win was assured.
A smiling Daboll described the victorious celebrations as “sticky and moist.”
“It was good pleasure, clearly,” Daboll mentioned, per the Giants web site.
“You’re employed laborious on this enterprise to attempt to give your self an opportunity to play further innings or extra video games. So, we’ve achieved that. We put ourselves able to compete greater than only one different sport. So, pleasure, positive. Undoubtedly.”