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Tom Brady has vintage moment, driving Buccaneers for game-winning TD to beat the Rams

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't great on Sunday. They didn't score a touchdown until the final few seconds.

Nobody will remember that. What we'll recall is Brady, at 45 and having a rough season, putting together a vintage drive in the final minute to lead the Buccaneers to a thrilling win.

Brady made a memory in what was an otherwise dull game, taking his team on a game-winning drive that started on his own 40-yard line with 44 seconds left and no timeouts. Brady hit rookie tight end Cade Otton for a 1-yard touchdown with nine seconds left to give the Buccaneers a 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

"That was awesome," Brady said postgame. "That was f****** awesome."

There have been times this season when it was a question if Brady had any of those great moments remaining in his career. There were times Sunday in which he and the Buccaneers looked like they'd rather be anywhere else but playing football.

But Brady still has at least a little magic left.

Tom Brady led a game-winning drive and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady led a game-winning drive and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) (Mike Ehrmann via Getty Images)

Tom Brady comes up big

There wasn't much reason to believe the Buccaneers would get a touchdown on their final drive. They hadn't reached the end zone in the 59 minutes before that.

Once Brady started completing passes, it seemed inevitable. Like prime Brady was back, for at least a minute in time.

Brady hit a pass over the middle to Otton to get things going. He hit some sideline passes to conserve the clock. A penalty in the end zone put the Buccaneers on the 1-yard line. Then he hit Otton on a short pass and the rookie strolled into the end zone to give the Buccaneers 16-13 lead. The drive had to be about perfect, and Brady and the Bucs finally came through.

It was an ugly game for the Buccaneers and Brady. They couldn't score a touchdown and were stuck on single digits in points most of the day. It looked like they'd lose their fourth straight game. But the Rams couldn't put them away, and Brady is still pretty good in the clutch.

Rams can't score

Cooper Kupp had a 69-yard touchdown on a pretty play in the first half, as he ran up the seam and Matthew Stafford found him for the score.

If you watched that play, it was practically the entire highlight reel for the Rams. It was their only touchdown.

Other than Kupp's touchdown, the offenses were awful. The Buccaneers had 64 yards on their first drive and 99 on their five first-half drives after that. The Rams had 104 yards at halftime: 69 on Kupp's touchdown and 35 on their other 26 plays. Removing Kupp's TD, the Rams didn't have a drive longer than 7 yards in the first half. Their offense that won a Super Bowl a year ago is broken.

Still, when Tampa Bay receiver Scotty Miller had one of the worst drops of the season in the end zone late in the fourth quarter, on a perfect pass from Brady, it looked like the Rams would hold on. The Rams forced a turnover on downs after that.

The Bucs got one more shot because — surprise, surprise — the Rams couldn't get a first down to clinch the win. Brady and the Buccaneers took advantage in that final minute.

A bad season got worse for the Rams. The Buccaneers can celebrate at least one more great moment from the Brady era. Maybe it even sparks something bigger in the second half of the season.