TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cade Otton with 9 seconds remaining, giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 16-13 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in a sloppy matchup of the past two Super Bowl champions on Sunday.
Brady took over with 44 seconds left and went 5 of 6 for 60 yards on the game-winning drive, the record 55th of his career. The seven-time Super Bowl champion avoided his first four-game losing streak in 20 years and beat the Rams for the first time in four tries since joining the Bucs (4-5) in 2020.
Cooper Kupp scored on a 69-yard reception in the second quarter and Matt Gay kicked field goals of the 26 and 35 yards after halftime for the Rams (3-5), who looked like they may be able hold on to win when they stopped Brady on downs from the Los Angeles 6 with just under two minutes to go.
But Matthew Stafford, who threw for 158 yards and one TD, was unable to run out the clock on the Rams’ final possession.
Brady finished 36 of 58 for 280 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 100,000 yards in a career — even though he averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt in the Bucs’ largely one-dimensional, short-passing offense. He surpassed the milestone on a 15-yard completion to Leonard Fournette that set up the last of Ryan Succop’s three field goals.
The league’s career passing leader began the day needing 164 yards to reach a plateau the 45-year-old quarterback concedes no one would have imagined possible when he entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick in 2000.
Brady, who owns nearly every meaningful league passing record, went over the mark in his 374th career game, including playoffs.
He set a couple more records late: He passed Peyton Manning for the most game-winning drives and matched Manning with his 43rd career fourth-quarter comeback.
Stafford finished 13 of 27 without an interception. Kupp, playing on a sore ankle he injured in the previous week’s loss against San Francisco, had eight catches for 127 yards.
Like the Buccaneers, the Rams have sputtered offensively the first half of the season. Both teams rank near the bottom of the league in scoring and on Sunday once again barely resembled the teams that faced each other in the playoffs last January.
Tampa Bay’s red-zone problems persisted, with Brady settling for Succop’s 20-yard field goal on the Bucs’ opening possession. Meanwhile, Stafford’s long TD pass to Kupp accounted for most of the 104 yards the Rams gained before halftime.
Succop’s third field goal trimmed the Rams’ lead to 13-9. Brady led a drive to the Rams 6 on his next possession, but the threat stalled with three straight incompletions into the end zone. Jalen Ramsey broke up the fourth pass, but but couldn’t hold on for an interception.
Rams: T Alaric Jackson (knee) left in the first quarter.
Buccaneers: CBs Carlton Davis (hip) and Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad) returned after sitting out the previous week’s loss to Baltimore. WR Russell Gage (hamstring), S Antoine Winfield Jr (concussion), G Luke Geodeke (foot) and TE Cameron Brate (neck) were inactive.
Rams: Return home to host Arizona next Sunday.
Buccaneers: Travel to Munich, Germany to face Seattle next Sunday.