The unthinkable happened. Not only did the Super Bowl champs lose at Gillette Stadium to the Miami Dolphins, but they also lost to the Tennessee Titans at home in a Wild-Card Playoff game last night.
The Patriots and Titans battled it out until the last couple of minutes, when it became more apparent that Tennessee was going to win. Tom Brady got the ball back with fifteen seconds left at New England’s own 1-yard line, but even he couldn’t pull this comeback off. Instead of throwing a quick pass to try and gain some yardage for a possible game-winning field goal attempt, he threw a pick six!
The final score was Titans 20, Pats 13. They sure don’t call it a “Wild Card” game for nothing!
New England’s loss raises a lot of questions:
1. Will Josh McDaniels be picked up for a head coaching job for another NFL team like the Dallas Cowboys?
2. Will the New England Patriots renew Tom Brady’s contract or will they let him go in free agency?
3. If Tom Brady moves teams, will the Patriots lose Belichick as well?
Tom Brady has always said that he would love to play through age 45, but I believe that is unrealistic. We live in an a football world that is constantly evolving. Because Tom Brady is still playing, he will most-likely join a new team, or at least have to adjust to a new offensive coordinator in New England. It wouldn’t be impossible for a veteran quarterback to learn to play the game differently and go through different offensive strategies, but it sure as heck would be hard.
At the beginning of the season, I thought for sure that this would be Brady’s last season. But after losing on this sad note, I don’t see any incoming retirement decision that is imminent. As Nate Burleson said on The NFL Today last night, Tom Brady throwing a pick-six as his last play of the season, and quite possibly his last one in New England, must’ve felt “like leaving the gym on an airball.”
It isn’t a question of if Tom Brady will play next year. It’s where.
Par Brad Muckenthaler — https://www.flickr.com/photos/maizenbluenation/29670423041/, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52053992