In perhaps their final meeting with Tom Brady, Ravens leave ‘happy we got the best of him’ – The Denver Post


On Thursday night, in what might have been their final game against Tom Brady, the Ravens and the legendary quarterback exchanged parting gifts.

The first time Brady dropped back to pass, his overthrown pass to Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cade Otton hit Marlon Humphrey in the hands. The Ravens cornerback flubbed it. Later, cornerback Marcus Peters dropped a would-be red-zone interception. Safety Chuck Clark soon followed.

The generosity went both ways, though. 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. Outside linebacker Justin Houston’s second-quarter sack — his second straight takedown — was the 555th of Brady’s career, breaking longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s NFL record.

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

Even as Brady pushes ahead in his unlikely football life — he said recently on his SiriusXM podcast that there’s “no immediate retirement in my future” — Ravens players acknowledged that Thursday’s game could’ve been their final meeting. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who’s held up Brady as a paragon of athletic excellence throughout his career, exchanged praise with Brady on the field after the win.

“Appreciate it. The GOAT,” Jackson told Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion widely regarded as the NFL’s greatest of all time.

Brady, a habitual tormentor of Ravens defenses over his 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, was not his Hall of Fame self for much of Thursday’s loss. He finished 26-for-44 for 325 yards and a touchdown, but he skipped passes to receivers and missed open end-zone throws. According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats modeling, his completion percentage (59.1%) was 7 points lower than expected (66.1%).

“I think it was great coverage down the field,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I thought we were mixing up coverage, making him hold the ball, and I think we had some pressure up front the times he did hold the ball. So I think anytime you can pressure him and make him hold the ball, that’s the biggest thing. Tom, he’s a coach on the field, so he sees everything before it even happens. So anytime you can adjust and make him think just a little bit, that’s what you want.”

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

In handing Brady his first three-game losing streak in 20 years, the Ravens made a promising connection to their last Super Bowl run. In 2012, Brady’s Patriots twice lost to the Ravens, who’d never beaten him two times in a row — and wouldn’t again until Thursday. (In 2019, their last meeting, the Ravens beat the Brady-led Patriots in Baltimore.)

The future wasn’t on Humphrey’s mind when he approached Brady after Thursday’s game, though. He called it an “honor” to share the field, maybe one last time.

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

Week 9

Ravens at Saints

Monday, Nov. 7, 8:15 p.m.


Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM



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