On Thursday night, in what could be their final game against Tom Brady, the Ravens and the legendary quarterback exchanged farewell gifts.

The first time Brady dropped back to pass, his overthrown pass to Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cade Otton landed in the hands of Marlon Humphrey. The cornerback of “Ravens” lost. Later, cornerback Marcus Peters dropped a potential interception in the red zone. Safety Chuck Clark soon followed.

However, the generosity went both ways. The Ravens sacked Brady three times in their 27-22 win, tying a season high for the 45-year-old, and hit him six times. In the second quarter, outside linebacker Justin Houston’s sack — his second consecutive takedown — was the 555th of Brady’s career, breaking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s long-standing NFL record.

“It’s not surprising because I’m pretty sure he’s the oldest quarterback and has played the longest,” Houston said of Brady, who was drafted in 2000 before Ravens rookies Kyle Hamilton and Isaiah Likely was even born. “I think any time you can put that under your belt against Tom Brady, I think that’s a plus, so I’ll take it.”

Even as Brady moves forward in his incredible football life — he recently said on his SiriusXM podcast that “there’s no immediate retirement in my future” — Ravens players acknowledged that Thursday’s game could have been their the last meeting. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has held Brady up as a model of sportsmanship throughout his career, exchanged praise with Brady on the field after the win.

“I appreciate it. KAZOL,” said Jackson Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion who is considered the NFL’s greatest of all time.

Brady, who routinely tormented Ravens defenses during his 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, was out of the Hall of Fame for much of Thursday’s loss. He finished 26-for-44 for 325 yards and a touchdown, but he dropped passes to receivers and missed throws out of the open end zone. According to NFL Next Generation Stats Simulationhis completion percentage (59.1%) was 7 points lower than expected (66.1%).

“I think it was a great coverage on the field,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I thought we were confusing the coverage, making him hold the ball, and I think we had some pressure up front when he was holding the ball. So I think if you can put pressure on him and make him hold the ball, that’s the most important thing. Tom, he’s the coach on the field, so he sees everything before it happens. So anytime you can adjust and make him think a little bit, that’s what you want.”

The Ravens made a messy week for Brady even worse. After the loss, he said the offense struggled “in pretty much everything. We just struggled in the red zone, struggled on third down, struggled on the run, the 2-point plays, the short yardage when we carried, early in the first quarter, early in the third quarter — not very good offensive football.” On Friday, Brady announced that he and wife Gisele Bundchen have finalized their divorce after 13 years of marriage.

By handing Brady his first three-game losing streak in 20 years, the Ravens made a hopeful connection to their last Super Bowl. In 2012, Brady’s Patriots lost twice to the Ravens, who had never beaten him twice in a row — and hadn’t until Thursday. (In 2019, the Ravens beat the Patriots under Brady in Baltimore in their last meeting.)

However, the future wasn’t on Humphrey’s mind when he addressed Brady after Thursday’s game. He called it an “honor” to share the field, possibly for the last time.

“It was special for me,” he said. “A guy who’s done so much for this league, so many championships, so much dedication — you hear all these stories about him, and honestly, it’s pretty cool just to be on the field with someone great. It’s really cool to get a win against him. Maybe we’ll see him down the road. i guess [the] The Super Bowl would be the only time. But if this was the last time, if this is his last year, I’m happy that we got the best out of him.”

week 9

Ravens at Saints

Monday, November 7, 8:15 p.m


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