After two decades, Tom Brady’s run with the Patriots has come to an end. But even though he’s now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it doesn’t take away from the heaps of memories he created with New England.
Each day over the next few weeks, we’ll look back on one of Brady’s best moments, counting down from No. 20 to No. 1. Now, let’s relive his No. 18 moment: Leading the Patriots to a comeback win over the Buffalo Bills in his first game back after tearing his ACL (2009).
Tom Brady suffered the only major injury of his career in 2008, a year after his first MVP campaign. But in 2009, he didn’t spend too much time waiting to deliver a vintage Brady performance in his first game back.
In Week 1 of the 2008 season, Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard came in on a rush and hit Brady low, resulting in a torn ACL for the quarterback. One year later, New England Patriots fans got to see their franchise signal-caller on the field for the first time since the injury in a Week 1 matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
In that game, Brady delivered in the clutch after shaking off the rust.
With 5:32 left in the fourth quarter on “Monday Night Football,” running back Fred Jackson caught a touchdown pass to put Buffalo up 24-13, and it looked like the Bills were going to spoil Brady’s return to the field. But in Brady-like fashion, the Patriots kept pushing forward.
Brady executed an 11-play drive, hitting Wes Welker, Randy Moss and Kevin Faulk for multiple gains before finding tight end Benjamin Watson on an 18-yard touchdown to knock the Bills’ lead down to five. A failed 2-point conversion made the ensuing kickoff a gigantic moment in the game.
Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin brought it back but would lose the ball, allowing the Patriots to pick it up at their own 31-yard line. The fumble opened the door for Brady to pull off the comeback.
And that he did, as Brady again found Watson, this time for a 16-yard touchdown that gave New England a 25-24 lead and ultimately the win.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images