Tom Brady's final pass with the Patriots was a sad interception in an upset loss

  • Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years; his next team remains to be seen.
  • Brady's final pass with the Patriots was a disappointing one: a tipped-pass interception with 10 seconds to play, sealing an upset loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card.
  • Brady's final season with the Patriots was lackluster, and though his final pass is a minor footnote in his legacy in New England, it's the latest example of how great careers in sports rarely end in fairytale fashion.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tom Brady announced on Tuesday that he is going to leave the New England Patriots after 20 years.

The announcement came as Brady hit free agency for the first time in his career, a decision he made in contract negotiations with the Patriots last summer. Brady does not yet have a landing spot in free agency, but said his "football journey will take place elsewhere."

Like many great quarterbacks in NFL history, Brady's Patriots career isn't ending in storybook fashion. After an underwhelming 2019 season, Brady's final play with the Patriots was a letdown, the moment the air was let out of the balloon: a tipped-pass interception to seal the loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card.

As we wrote at the time, it looked like it could have been the abrupt ending of Brady's time in New England, thanks to the rumors and signs all season that suggested he could leave in free agency.

The moment was striking, nonetheless. In recent years, the Patriots had almost always rallied from behind, finding a way to squeak out wins in the most improbable fashion. The most famous example, of course, was coming back from a 28-3 deficit in the 2016 Super Bowl to beat the Atlanta Falcons. The next year, they trailed the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10 in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship and went on to win.

But Brady and the Patriots lacked a spark all season. They got the ball back against the Titans with 4:44 to play in the fourth quarter, trailing 14-13. The entire NFL world expected one of the famous Brady-led drives to win the game. Instead, on 2nd-and-4 from their own 37-yard line, Julian Edelman dropped an easy catch for what would have been a first down. Brady then missed on 3rd-and-4, and the Patriots punted.

When they got the ball back with 15 seconds to play, Brady then threw the interception to end the Patriots season. Brady finished the game with 209 yards on 20-of-37 passing, with no touchdowns, an interception, and a 59.4 passer rating. He was hardly to blame for the loss, but it was the type of uninspiring game that became routine in the second half of the Patriots season.

It's a minor footnote to everything Brady and the Patriots accomplished in 20 years, but perhaps a fitting end to a lackluster final season in New England.

Source: Read Full Article