By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- The outlook for the Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon looked so dire that Antonio Brown decided to up and quit the team in the middle of the game. But that didn't stop Tom Brady from leading the Bucs to yet another incredible comeback, earning his 28th career victory over the New York Jets.
The Jets stunned the Bucs for the majority of Sunday's game, taking a 17-10 lead into halftime and stretching it to 24-10 midway through the third quarter. Jets head coach Robert Saleh decided to go for the kill when New York faced a fourth-and-2 at the Tampa Bay 7-yard line with 2:17 left in the game. That bold call didn't work, though, as the Bucs' defense made the stop to maintain a four-point deficit.
And that's when Brady got to work.
Needing 73 yards and not having any timeouts, Brady kept his cool and engineered the 53rd game-winning drive and 42nd fourth-quarter comeback of his illustrious regular-season career.
On that game-winning drive, Brady went 7-for-9 for 93 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 33-yard strike to Cyril Grayson.
In a game where Brady went up against a quarterback born exactly 22 years after his own birthday, Brady did what he had to do to come away with a victory.
The Bucs went for two, with Brady handing off to former Jet Le'Veon Bell, who plunged into the end zone to give Tampa a 28-24 lead with 21 seconds left in the game. Brady raised his arms in celebration after capping off the dramatic win.
Brady was 34-for-50 on the day for 410 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. That output brought his season total to 4,990 yards and 40 touchdowns. It's just the third time in his career that he's thrown 40 touchdowns in a season (2007, 2020), and it's his second-highest single-season total for passing yards. Granted, it will come in the 17th game of the season, but he can pass his all-time personal record for passing yards with 246 passing yards next week.
While Brady leaned heavily on Rob Gronkowski in this game (seven receptions for 115 yards on 10 targets), it was Grayson and Tyler Johnson who did all the receiving work on the game-winning drive.
"We've talked about those situations a lot," Brady said. "A lot of those guys came through and made some huge plays, lot of great plays on that drive -- catches, run after catches, and then obviously Cyril made a great catch up the sideline to get us to win."
While such a victory was new ground for some of those Bucs, it was old hat for Brady -- especially against the Jets. A former division rival when Brady was with New England, the quarterback improved to 7-0 vs. the Jets since 2016, and he's now 24-5 vs. the Jets since 2003.
The Bucs, now 12-4 and already owners of the NFC South crown, host the Carolina Panthers next weekend to close out their regular season.
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