TAMPA — What’s next for Tom Brady?
“I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep, sleep as well as I can,” Brady said after wrapping up his efforts to collect Super Bowl rings with a 31-14 win over Dallas on Monday night. cowboy.
Brady, 45, has given no clue as to whether he will retire after 23 NFL seasons. He retired in early February after last season — and then 40 days later.
Asked when he started the process of deciding on his NFL future, he said, “(There) has been a lot of focus on the game, so yeah…it’s just one day at a time — really.”
One thing’s for sure: The setback in the NFC wild-card race — Brady’s first playoff appearance with a team below .500 and his first postseason underdog at home — Not the way he wants to get out.
“That’s not how we want it to end,” Brady declared before open questions in his postgame news conference. “But we’re not worth it.”
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Brady threw 66 passes — the second-most in NFL playoff history — on a night with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the NFL’s worst-ranked run game) and only 12 rushing attempts that night. ball try. His first interception in the red zone as Booker blew away a chance to make the game tighter in the first half.
Brady, who completed 35 passes for 351 yards and had two late TDs, was far from old-fashioned. Several of his passes were off target — too short, too wide or too high.
He’s not the productive Brady we’ve seen over the years. Of course, the Cowboys’ defense has something to do with it. But the Bucs (8-10) didn’t exactly force the issue, as Brady suffered the first loss of his career to the Cowboys (7-1).
“They played (well) defensively and put a lot of pressure on us, we just didn’t play enough,” Brady said. “It’s kind of typical of how we’ve played all year — the pass is inefficient, the running isn’t very good. It’s hard to beat a good team like that.”
As Brady left the field, he congratulated several Cowboys players, including quarterback Dak Prescott, before trotting toward the tunnel. He took off his baseball cap, leaned toward the fans, and high-fived several near the tunnel.
It’s easy to find clues while he’s gone that could lead to the conclusion that he’s played his last game. When asked if his mood was any different now than it was at the end of previous seasons, Brady gave a quick, noncommittal answer.
“Yeah, it feels like the season is over,” he said.
Bucs coach Todd Bowles was similarly in no mood to think about Brady’s future immediately after the loss. Bowles said he hopes to sit down with Brady for a conversation in the next few weeks.
“There’s nothing to say publicly right now,” Bowers added.
“You always want every year to end well,” Brady said. “Unfortunately, in sports, that’s not the case. There are 32 teams in the league, and they’re all very competitive. Only one of them will feel really good at the end of the year.”
Take it from a man with seven Super Bowl rings…and another far from ideal ending.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady offers no clues about NFL future or with Tampa Bay Buccaneers