By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
FOXBORO (CBS) — For the bulk of his Hall of Fame career, Tom Brady benefited from the home-field advantage of Gillette Stadium, but he didn’t fully understand exactly why. On Sunday night, he gained some firsthand knowledge.READ MORE: Nearly 30 Million People Tuned In To See Thrilling End Of Patriots-Cowboys On CBS
Brady was far from perfect in his return to Foxboro, completing just 22 of his 43 passes, but he did enough to lead a fourth-quarter comeback as his Bucs escaped with a 19-17 win. The 44-year-old set the NFL’s all-time passing yards record in the first quarter, en route to earning the 233rd regular-season victory of his career.
This one, though, was like no other, as he had to deal with the challenges of playing in his former home as a visitor.
“It was a tough, hard-fought game. It was a very typical Patriot-type weather. Very tough to come into the environment. I thought the fans did a great job. That little, what do they call that horn? That foghorn or whatever? That thing’s loud,” Brady said of the noise that plays before opponents’ third down plays. “You don’t think about it much when your defense is on the field. I just had to be on the field when that thing was going off.”READ MORE: NFL Films Microphones Catch CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys Celebrating Win Over Patriots
The fans — who cheered Brady pregame but treated him like an opposing quarterback for the rest of the night — made an impact on the game. Yet once again, the bigger factor was Brady himself.
Brady and the Bucs got the ball with 1:49 left in the second quarter, trailing 7-3. He completed four straight passes for 69 yards to set up a field goal. They got the ball with 4:34 left in the game, trailing by a single point. He navigated the Bucs out of a second-and-17 — first with an 11-yard strike to Mike Evans, then with an 8-yard pass to Antonio Brown — before dropping a picture-perfect ball into the end zone for Brown. The receiver couldn’t hang on, but Ryan Succop came on for what proved to be the game-winning field goal.
It certainly wasn’t easy for Brady, but as he’s done so many times before, he walked off the field with a win.
And while this game was most likely the final time he’ll ever play in this stadium, Brady would not commit to that being the case.MORE NEWS: Stephon Gilmore Set To Begin Practicing With Panthers This Week
“It’s been a great stadium for me for a long time,” Brady said. “I don’t know what the future holds, obviously. So there could be an opportunity to come back here. So we’ll see.”