Drew Brees likely played his final NFL game Sunday. Unfortunately for him, it ended in a losing effort.
Brees and the New Orleans Saints lost to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-20, in the Superdome. The Saints led 20-13 late in the third quarter, but the Buccaneers closed the game on a 17-0 run. The Saints committed four turnovers, which led to 21 Buccaneers points.
Brees finished 19-of-34 for 134 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
It was ugly.
“That hurt, man. That hurt. I felt that one pretty deep – on a couple of different levels,” former NFL player and current analyst and podcast host Ross Tucker said on The DA Show. “No. 1, Drew and I are the same age, and we came in the same year: 2001. I played seven years. I’m darn proud of that. [But] 2007 was my last year. That’s 14 years ago, bro – and he’s still playing. Like, what the heck?”
Ironically, if not for Brady, Brees’ longevity would be revered. Instead, it’s almost an afterthought.
“Brady is ruining everything for everybody,” Tucker said. “Every stat, every longevity [milestone] – I was thinking about [how people] are talking about if Aaron Rodgers can get to a second Super Bowl; Brady has been to nine Super Bowls. Everything about it is bananas.”
Brees, who turned 42 last Friday, connected with Tre’Quan Smith for a 16-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter Sunday to give New Orleans a 20-13 lead. The Saints, however, wouldn’t score again, as Brady finished 18-of-33 for 199 yards and three touchdowns (two pass, one rush).
“I was disappointed that that’s how it ended for Drew,” Tucker said. “Watching him sit on the sideline and then you see the pictures of him with his kids on the field after the game, I’m so appreciative of the great career he had. But I think everybody that ever played a snap of football in their life can relate to that feeling of knowing you’re never going to put the helmet and shoulder pads on again.
“Even just telling you this now – 9:15 on a Monday morning – my eyes fill up,” Tucker continued. “It’s not tennis, it’s not golf, it’s not even basketball. You can never do it again, man. It’s over. I miss it every day. I miss it every day of my life. It’s the most fun I ever had. Last night, things got real for me when I was watching Brees on the bench when I knew the game was over and he was done.”
While it would have been nice for Brees to win his last game in the Superdome, Tucker does not believe this loss is how Brees will be remembered.
“Unless he was going to win the Super Bowl, I just don’t think it ultimately matters that much,” Tucker said. “If he wins two Super Bowls and he rides off into the sunset, that’s a totally different deal. But other than that, as bad as it was, I don’t know that that’s going to be the lasting memory. They got to the divisional round, they lost to Brady – it would have been no difference to me if they lost next week to Green Bay, 27-20, and Aaron Rodgers had a big game.”