Tom Brady shouldered the blame after throwing a pick-six in Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 36-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The NFL Super Bowl champions incurred the wrath of coach Bruce Arians, who described the display as "embarrassing".

And Brady did not hide from his part in what was the Bucs' first loss in five as he lamented his uncharacteristic lapse.

"I think I just threw it to the wrong guy," Brady said, having thrown an interception before watching on as it was returned for a 40-yard touchdown by P.J. Williams.

"I had Mike [Evans] open. It cost us the game.

"It's tough to win when you turn the ball over like we did. So, I have to not throw interceptions. That's the key."

Coach Arians was angered by the performance at the Superdome against a Saints side who lost Jameis Winston to a serious-looking injury.

"I thought that it was an embarrassing display of football," Arians said.

"Of all the things that we talked about coming down here about what it takes to win, and to play like that, it starts with me.

"Obviously, we weren't ready to play, penalties, turnovers, you're not beating anybody that way.

"Sean [Payton] did a hell of a job bringing in [Trevor] Siemian; and, did a hell of a job winning the game. And, we didn't make the plays."

On Brady, Arians added: "He forced the one at the end. That was not characteristic of him."

Tom Brady threw a costly pick-six to ice a 36-27 win for the New Orleans Saints over NFL Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All eyes were on Saints quarterback Jameis Winston in his reunion with the Buccaneers, having moved to New Orleans in April last year following five mixed seasons with Tampa Bay.

But Winston was carted off the field in the second quarter against his former team, suffering a knee injury during a horse-collar tackle by Buccaneers linebacker Devin White.

Winston had completed six of 10 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown while scrambling for 40 yards before exiting the game with the score tied 7-7.

Led by veteran backup Trevor Siemian, the Saints (5-2) still held on to sink Brady's Buccaneers (6-2) on home turf, despite the latter becoming the all-time leader for most three-plus passing TD games in NFL history (98).

Four touchdown passes from seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady helped the Buccaneers overturn a 23-7 deficit – Tampa Bay moving ahead 27-26 following a 50-yard throw to Cyril Grayson just over five minutes from the end.

But Brian Johnson's field goal with less than two minutes remaining restored New Orleans' lead, albeit by two points, before P.J. Williams picked off Brady – his second interception of the contest – for a 40-yard interception return to seal the win.

 

Broncos block two field goals

The Denver Broncos and their defence held firm to see off the lowly Washington Football Team 17-10.

Denver blocked two field goals en route to their fourth win of the season, snapping a four-game skid.

Dre'Mont Jones (in the fourth quarter) and Shelby Harris (in the second period) each blocked field-goal attempts from Chris Blewitt as the Broncos avoided going winless in October for the first time since 1967.

Tom Brady expressed his gratitude after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar celebrated another milestone in the Super Bowl champions' crushing win over the Chicago Bears.

Brady became the first player in NFL history to throw 600 touchdown passes as the Buccaneers routed the Bears 38-3 on Sunday.

The record seven-time Super Bowl champion finished the game with 602 TD passes, having completed 20 of his 36 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns.

Brady also tied Drew Brees for the most games with at least four touchdown passes after reaching 37.

"I just think of all the guys that are sharing it with me," Brady told reporters as the Buccaneers reached 6-1 – their best start in franchise history. "That's the reality. There's nothing about this sport that you do by yourself.

"It's the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally, every week, every day at practice – this is not a sport you can just mail it in.

"It takes 100 per cent of what you have every single day to be successful and I'm just grateful to have amazing team-mates, coaches, to be able to do it for as long as I have is a really incredible blessing in my life.

"I have great family. I've got my little baby girl, who's the biggest cheerleader in the world and her two brothers, who are great cheerleaders and mom who was out there today rooting ... great to have the family here and to win a football game feels really good."

Having moved to 599 TD passes on a four-yard toss to Bucs team-mate Chris Godwin, Brady connected with Mike Evans for a nine-yard score, although the latter was clearly unaware of the historical significance of the play.

Evans gave the ball to a fan in the crowd, leading to a member of Tampa's equipment staff negotiating with the spectator to ensure its return, with the ball likely headed to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

"That was really cool," Brady told reporters. "I got it in the bag over there. Mike gave it away. He goes, 'Man, I'm sorry, man. I'll get it.' I said, 'It's alright. I'm sure they'll find a way to get it back.'

"But I don't actually keep too many things so ... in that circumstance, I just felt like that might be a good one to keep."

"[The fan is] gonna get something nice in return. So we'll get him a helmet or a couple jerseys or some other stuff. That was really cool of him to do that."

Tom Brady made history once again as Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rolled past the Chicago Bears 38-3 in NFL action Sunday. 

With a nine-yard strike to Mike Evans in the closing seconds of the first quarter, Brady became the first NFL quarterback to throw 600 touchdown passes.

The 44-year-old – 20-of-36 passing for 211 yards – would finish the game with 602 for his career, all four of his TD tosses going for fewer than 10 yards and three of them landing in Evans' hands. 

Blaine Gabbert took over at quarterback for Brady midway through the fourth quarter with the game well in hand as the Buccaneers improved to 6-1. 

Brady's opposite number, Bears rookie QB Justin Fields, had a brutal day as he was sacked four times and threw three interceptions as Chicago failed to find the end zone. 

Stafford, Rams survive Lions scare

The matchup between Super Bowl contenders the Los Angeles Rams and the winless Detroit Lions finished with the expected result, but the Rams' 28-19 win was much closer than anticipated. 

The Rams (6-1) trailed 19-17 entering the fourth quarter and needed a five-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp early in the period to take the lead and a 47-yard Matt Gay field goal with just over a minute to play to seal the win. 

Stafford completed 28 of 41 passes for 334 yards and three TDs against the team he played for in the first 12 years of his career, while former Rams QB Jared Goff threw a pair of costly interceptions for the Lions (0-7).

Kupp became the first player in the Super Bowl era to have 800-plus receiving yards and nine-plus receiving touchdowns in his team's first seven games of a season.

While the Lions remained the only winless team in the league after Week 7, the Arizona Cardinals (7-0) maintained their status as the lone team with a perfect record, routing the Houston Texans 31-5 behind three TD passes by Kyler Murray. 

Another week, another piece of history for Tom Brady, who became the first player in NFL history to throw 600 touchdown passes in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' clash with the Chicago Bears.

Brady went into the Week 7 contest needing two touchdown throws to reach this latest milestone in his remarkable career.

Just before the end of the first quarter, the seven-time Super Bowl champion had the record on Sunday.

Having moved to 599 on a four-yard toss to Bucs team-mate Chris Godwin, Brady connected with Mike Evans for a nine-yard score, although the latter was clearly unaware of the historical significance of the play.

Evans gave the ball to a fan in the crowd, leading to a member of Tampa's equipment staff negotiating with the spectator to ensure its return, with the ball likely headed to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Brady will also one day have a place in Canton but, for now, the 44-year-old superstar is engaged in the process of yet more legacy padding.

He found Evans for two more touchdown throws before half-time to give Tampa Bay a 35-3 lead at the break, defending Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers looking near-certainties to move to 6-1 as Brady seeks his eighth Lombardi Trophy.

Tom Brady joked about Aaron Rodgers becoming a "shareholder" of the Chicago Bears, while taking a shot at his old rival, the New York Jets.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Brady sarcastically congratulated Green Bay Packers quarterback Rodgers on owning the Bears after the reigning MVP shouted "I still own you" at their fans after completing a fourth-quarter touchdown during Sunday's 24-14 NFL win.

The topic of ownership came up on Wednesday.

"I wanted to say congrats to Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, he's a great QB but I guess he's now a shareholder of the Bears," Brady quipped during his appearance on the Let's Go! podcast.

"I saw a clip of him really enthusiastically telling the crowd how happy he is to own Solider Field."

Podcast host Jim Gray joked that by that measure Brady owned the Jets, given his 29-7 career record against the New York franchise, but the 44-year-old and seven-time Super Bowl champion threw shade rather than be drawn it.

"Oh, no I'll just take the colour green. I don't need the Jets," the former New England Patriots quarterback said. "I'll just own the colour green, I think that's a little bit better."

Brady has thrown for 8,649 yards and 57 touchdowns against the Jets, who have not won the Super Bowl since 1968.

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker compared Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to NFL greats Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski after the star pair helped take down the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Altuve and Correa each homered for the Astros, who rallied to top the Red Sox 5-4 in Friday's ALCS opener at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

The Astros wiped out a 3-1 deficit behind Altuve's two-run homer in the sixth inning – his 20th postseason home run as he became the fourth player to achieve the feat.

Correa then completed the comeback in the seventh with his 18th playoff homer – tied for seven-most all-time, while he recorded his 55th postseason RBI, the most among active players.

Baker hailed Altuve and Correa after the Astros drew first blood in the best-of-seven matchup, likening them to Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstars Brady and Gronkowski.

"It's kind of like Tom Brady and [Rob] Gronkowski," Baker said, with Brady and Gronkowski enjoying great success together with the New England Patriots and now the Buccaneers.

"They know how they think. They know probably what they eat for dinner, what they like and what their kids like."

Altuve became the fastest player (68) to reach 20 playoff home runs.

The World Series winner has now scored 11 runs in Houston's five playoff games this season. According to Stats Perform, that is tied with Carlos Beltran (2004) for the most runs in any five-game span in a single postseason.

"He is just so dangerous," Correa said of Altuve. "His track record in the playoffs is insane, and he just inspires me. He inspires me without saying much."

"When I walk into that clubhouse in spring training and I see this guy that has won MVPs, Silver Sluggers, batting titles, Gold Gloves, Hank Aaron Awards," added Correa. "Every single award you can imagine, he has won it, and then he shows up to spring training wanting to work on different things to get even better."

Correa celebrated his fourth career go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later of playoff games, the most in postseason history.

"He is amazing. He likes this kind of game," Altuve said of Correa. "He wants to go out there and hit big homers. It seems like he expects to go out there and do it, so if you're expecting something, eventually you're going to make it happen, and that's him."

Correa's heroics prompted the Astros star to drop his bat and point to his wrist after homering against the Red Sox.

"It's to my team-mates," Correa explained. "When the playoffs start, they always tell me 'it's your time now to go out there, hit homers.' They told me to hit the watch, when I hit the homer.

"I did it in Chicago [in the ALDS] the first time on my own, and today they told me 'if you hit a homer, hit them with the, it's your time'."

Tom Brady had no problem with his thumb as the superstar quarterback guided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 on Thursday.

All eyes had been on Brady pre-game after the seven-time Super Bowl champion hurt his thumb in last week's rout of the Miami Dolphins.

But Brady looked fine on the road in Philadelphia, where the 44-year-old threw two touchdowns as NFL champions the Buccaneers held off the fast-finishing Eagles.

"I feel great, awesome," said Brady, who finished 34 for 42 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and an interception without being sacked.

"It's football season, so I'm just prepared to play football. I feel great, I really do."

It was Brady's 10th career win on three days' rest, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Peyton Manning for the most by any quarterback since the 1970 merger.

Brady's performance helped the Buccaneers – who lost Richard Sherman to injury in the opening half having played without Rob Gronkowski – win their third straight game as they improved to 5-1 for the season.

It marked just the fifth time in franchise history the Buccaneers have won five of their first six games. In each of the other four – including the 2002 Super Bowl campaign – they went on to make the playoffs.

The Buccaneers had to withstand a rally from the Eagles, who were 28-7 down before fighting back to close within six points of the visitors.

"It was a good win. You know, it's tough to win on the road. Obviously, we didn't play our best, so we gotta get back to work," Brady said.

"We gotta good little break here, use it and get back to work, see if we can get better."

Tom Brady and Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their third consecutive game after outlasting the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22.

Brady threw two touchdowns as the in-form Buccaneers held off the fast-finishing Eagles, who fought back from 28-7 down in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Despite playing without star Rob Gronkowski and losing cornerback Richard Sherman to a hamstring injury early in the first quarter, the Buccaneers survived to make a 5-1 start to the season for the first time since 2005.

Brady – playing with an injured thumb – made a red-hot start on the road, tossing touchdown passes on Tampa Bay's first two drives while going 11-of-12 passing for 121 yards.

The seven-time Super Bowl winner finished 34 for 42 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and an interception without being sacked.

O.J. Howard and Antonio Brown caught passes from Brady in between Jalen Hurts' TD throw to Zach Ertz for the Eagles in the opening period.

The Buccaneers took a 21-7 lead into half-time courtesy of Leonard Fournette's two-yard run and he stretched the lead with less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter after another run.

Hurts – who finished 12-of-26 passing for 115 yards, one touchdown and an interception while he rushed for 44 yards on 10 carries – tried to spark a comeback for the Eagles, rushing for two TDs having last week become the first quarterback with two rushing touchdowns in a win for Philadelphia since Mike Vick in 2010.

But Brady and the Buccaneers held on to continue their quest for back-to-back Super Bowls.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady admitted his right thumb is a "little bit sore" but feels he "should be fine" for the Super Bowl champions' clash with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brady hurt his thumb after throwing five touchdown passes to fuel the Buccaneers' 45-17 rout of the struggling Miami Dolphins in the NFL on Sunday.

Against Miami, Brady threw for 411 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions – it was the first time in the 44-year-old's illustrious career that he had thrown for 400-plus yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, becoming the 14th quarterback in the Super Bowl era to accomplish the feat.

As the Bucs (4-1) gear up for Thursday's battle against the Eagles (2-3) in Philadelphia, seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady provided an update on his fitness.

"I think it's just a little bit sore, but I expected it to be. But I think I should be fine for Thursday," Brady said.

"There's no serious injury at all. It's more just discomfort, but I think that should be gone here in the next day or two.

"This is just, you play a game, you get hit -- you deal with bumps and bruises over the course of the year. It just so happens that this bruise is on my hand.

"I'm just trying to be preventative and precautious and be smart -- it's been less than 48 hours since it happened -- so it's not like it's had five or six days to do its thing. But I feel confident that I will go out there and do what I need to do."

Tampa Bay have scored 45 or more points in five of their last 15 games dating back to last season. In the 698 games in franchise history prior to that, the team only had five total games with 45 or more points, according to Stats Perform data.

In Week 4, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced an AFC East defense and by, their standards, looked out of sync. In Week 5, they faced an AFC East defense and could hardly have looked more impressive.

Freed from the rainy confines of Foxborough and away from the defensive scheming of his old boss Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers routed a Miami Dolphins team whose rebuild appears poised to come crashing down 45-17 to improve to 4-1 on the season.

Back in the Florida sunshine, it was very much a return to business as usual for the Bucs, but, for Tampa Bay, business as usual is looking steadily more remarkable.

Speaking after Sunday's game, running back Leonard Fournette said: "Prior to the third quarter Rich [Richard Sherman] came up to me and said, 'Man, I've never been part of a team with so much talent.'

"And I'm telling him like, and excuse my language, but this s*** is different."

It is tough to disagree with Fournette's assessment of the Super Bowl champions. When performing at their peak, the Bucs appear to be on a different level to almost every team in the NFL.

They were several leagues above their in-state neighbours at the weekend, with the gulf in class illustrated by a rapport between Brady and arguably the NFL's premier group of wide receivers that appears to be growing ever stronger.

Brady heading for more history

Brady finished with 411 yards passing and five touchdowns against the Dolphins for a 144.4 passer rating, tying Peyton Manning with his ninth career game with at least five touchdown passes. Only Drew Brees (11) has more in NFL history.

It was his 36th game with at least four touchdown passes, taking him past Manning (35) and one shy of Brees. Brees (16), Manning (14) and Dan Marino (13) are the only players with more 400 passing-yard games than Brady's 12.

A 62-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown marked Brady's 45th of 50 or more yards, moving him level with Brees and John Hadl for the third most in league history. Johnny Unitas (51) and Manning (46) stand ahead of him in that regard.

Leading the league in passing yards (1,767) and second in passing touchdowns (15) and plays of 25 yards or more (16), Brady will be a strong bet to keep moving up those lists, provided he and his wideouts continue operating at a level that left a Dolphins defense known for producing momentum-stopping takeaways powerless to stem the tide.

Pressure? What pressure?

Brady delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 81.6 per cent of his pass attempts against Miami. The average for the week heading into Monday was 81.7, but Brady was close to that mark while also averaging 10.53 air yards per attempt.

Only two quarterbacks who averaged more air yards had a better well-thrown percentage. Russell Wilson was accurate on 93.3 per cent with 12.00 air yards per attempt before his injury, and Josh Allen was on target 87.5 per cent of the time with an average of 12.46 air yards.

It was under pressure where Brady stood out in Week 5, as his first of two touchdown hookups with Brown saw him stand in against the interior rush and deliver a perfectly timed ball to the former Pittsburgh Steeler on a crossing route despite falling away from the throw.

Brown was able to collect the pass in stride, racing into open space to find the endzone and give the Bucs a 17-10 lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Arguably as impressive was Brady's 34-yard bomb to Mike Evans. The first of two touchdown catches for Evans, Brady dropped a downfield shot into the bucket despite dealing with late-arriving pressure from the backside and Byron Jones being in phase in good trail position covering the receiver.

Brady was accurate on four of his five attempts under pressure, on which he averaged 9.80 air yards, with his release time of 2.41 seconds on those passes the second-fastest in the NFL.

In a league increasingly dominated by quarterbacks who can escape pressure with their legs, Brady is a 44-year-old statue winning through his mind and his arm operating at a faster speed than everyone else on the field while continuing to demonstrate remarkable placement on throws that seemed beyond him as recently as 2019.

Part of the credit for his success, though, must be attributed to a receiving corps firmly living up to its reputation.

Business booming for AB and Co.

Evans, Brown and Chris Godwin can each be considered elite options at the wideout position, and their status in that regard was further solidified in a game where the Bucs shredded the opposing defense despite Brady being without a tight end in Rob Gronkowski who is averaging a big play on 57.0 per cent of his targets.

Brown finished with seven receptions for 124 yards and his two scores, becoming the fastest player to reach 900 catches as he took his tally to 906 in 143 career games, breaking the record set by Marvin Harrison (149 games).

He also became the fifth player in league history to reach 12,000 receiving yards in fewer than 150 games and, while Brown may never reach the levels he demonstrated during his time in Pittsburgh, he is undoubtedly worthy of Brady's increasing faith in him.

Producing a burn – when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted – 69.0 per cent of the time, Brown is tied-third among receivers with at least 20 targets with his 5.3 burn yards per route.

Evans, meanwhile, is seventh on the list of receivers who meet that same threshold with a big play on 41.7 per cent of his targets, and Godwin – the quietest of the trio versus Miami with seven catches for 70 yards – is fifth in burn percentage for receivers with a 20-target minimum, winning his matchup on 74.4 per cent of targets.

Godwin's average depth of target of 8.3 yards speaks to a receiver who is working more as an underneath option while Evans (14.2) and Brown (13.9) are being relied on to produce the more explosive plays downfield.

Yet when performing at the standard they showcased on Sunday, the nature of their deployment is almost immaterial. With three receivers who could be number one targets on most teams in the NFL and a quarterback whose arm and ability to process are seemingly unaffected by the passage of time, a Bucs offense that is clicking is a near-impossible one to stop.

Any notion of a short stay in Tampa being akin to a Florida retirement home for Brady has long since been dispelled. With an embarrassment of riches at receiver, he is continually polishing a legacy that glistens more than any other in league history. With more offensive performances like his 400-yard blitz of the Dolphins, he may end the year buffing up an eighth Lombardi Trophy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady was non-committal on his playing status after suffering a hand injury in his five-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins.

Brady threw five TD passes to fuel Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers' 45-17 rout of the Dolphins in Week 5 of the NFL season on Sunday.

The 44-year-old was 30-of-41 passing for 411 yards without throwing an interception against the struggling Dolphins (1-4) in Tampa, where the Bucs improved to 4-1.

Among Brady's touchdown passes was a 62-yard TD throw to Antonio Brown – the longest pass TD he has completed with the Buccaneers, while it was the seven-time Super Bowl champion's 25th career pass TD of 60-plus yards, which is tied for ninth-most in NFL history.

But afterwards, Brady was seen with his right hand bandaged as the Bucs quarterback provided an update on his injury.

"Yeah in my younger days I probably [would have] never showed you guys that I wrapped it up, because I'd probably try to keep it a secret, but I think in my old age I don't care as much," Brady told reporters post-game, with the Bucs due to meet the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.

"I mean it's just a kind of a football injury. So, do my best you know to get ready for this game. We'll see what happens."

In the win, Bucs wide receiver Brown became the fastest NFL player to 900 receptions in just his 143rd career game, eclipsing Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (149 games).

Brown – a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro – finished with two touchdowns from 124 yards on seven receptions against the Dolphins.

"I take so much inspiration from Tom. As a professional, as a leader, making sure that I'm doing my job, making sure that all the other 10 guys are doing their job," said Brown, who played alongside Ben Roethlisberger at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"He just continues to up the standard and raise the bar."

Brown, 33, added: "I've played with some great quarterbacks. Roethlisberger. Tom Brady. It's a blessing."

Brady, who played alongside Brown briefly at the New England Patriots before reuniting in Tampa last season, said: "It's pretty amazing. Just give him a lot of credit.

"He's been through a lot and he's shown a lot of mental toughness, a lot of resilience. Everyone just wants him to succeed.

"We've got a unique group of guys. Very talented, but very selfless too. All those guys are getting opportunities to make plays, and just fun to see when everyone's involved how fun it can be."

The Green Bay Packers went 4-1 for the 2021 season after Mason Crosby's overtime field goal secured a dramatic 25-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Crosby missed two field goals in the final quarter as Cincinnati pegged back the visitors at 22-22, with the Packers #2 then squandering another chance early in overtime.

His third miss came sandwiched in between Bengals rookie Evan McPherson twice hitting the post with field goal attempts of his own.

Yet a brilliant pass from the superb Aaron Rodgers – who threw for two touchdowns to take him into outright fifth place in the all-time list for quarterbacks with 422 – to Randall Cobb teed up the game-winning moment.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow also threw for two touchdowns, having got Cincinnati started when he picked out Samaje Perine from close range in the first quarter. 

Burrow collected his second TD pass of the game in style, throwing 70 yards (the longest pass of his NFL career) for Ja'Marr Chase to cross.

Chase's score came after Rodgers had propelled the Packers ahead with passes to Davante Adams and AJ Dillon, and although Joe Mixon forced OT, Crosby held his nerve at the fourth time of asking.

Brady downs Dolphins

A week on from breaking Drew Brees' NFL passing record, Brady was at his imperious best again for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing for five touchdowns and 411 yards in a 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins.

His 72 touchdown passes against the Dolphins mean he is the joint-leader, alongside Dan Marino (72 v. the New York Jets) for TD passes against a single opponent in the Super Bowl era, while his 62-yard pass for Antonio Brown on Sunday was the longest he has thrown while at the Buccaneers. 

Pitts stars in London

The NFL returned to London on Sunday, with the Atlanta Falcons overcoming the New York Jets 27-20. Rookie receiver Kyle Pitts was the star of the show at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, taking nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, the first of his NFL career.

Mac Jones emerged from the New England Patriots' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with great credit, but that was of little interest to the rookie quarterback after a defeat that dropped them to 1-3.

The 15th overall pick in this year's draft and the man the Patriots hope will be the long-term successor to Tom Brady came up short as the seven-time Super Bowl champion made a winning return to Gillette Stadium.

Yet Brady was arguably outperformed by Jones during an unexpectedly close battle, which saw the defending champions hold on to claim a 19-17 win.

Nick Folk's 56-yard field goal as time expired amid driving rain hit the left upright, denying Jones a game-winning drive on his resume that would have been well deserved.

Jones finished 31 of 40 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, at one point completing 19 consecutive pass attempts.

But the former Alabama star was clearly not in the mood for looking on the bright side, telling his post-game media conference: "We could be 90 per cent or 85 per cent and you lose, so we don't really do moral victories.

"Those are always forgotten. But you just kind of have to take it for what it's worth and move on.

"I think we moved in the right direction. We made plays and played hard the whole game and I turned the ball over.

"That's one of the problems, you know, turnovers can kill you, and you know if you turn the ball over — If you don't turn the ball over, you have a 90-something per cent chance to win, and it's just statistics but I have thought we moved the ball, passing well and the run game needs to improve and we'll come up with ways to do that.

"I thought everyone fought really hard. It sucks we lost but yeah, look at it, like you said, that we're making some progress."

The night did ultimately belong to Brady, though, as he made history by breaking Drew Brees' NFL passing yards record.

Brady, who finished 22-of-43 passing for 269 yards without a touchdown or interception, eclipsed the 80,291-yards mark in the opening quarter – the 44-year-old's 28-yard completion to Mike Evans seeing him surpass Brees.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady revelled in his "very cool record" after becoming the all-time passing yards leader during his emotional Foxborough homecoming against the New England Patriots.

Brady broke Drew Brees' NFL record and led Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers (3-1) past former team the Patriots (1-3) 19-17 on Sunday.

All eyes were on Brady as the seven-time Super Bowl champion made his first appearance in New England since leaving the Patriots for the Buccaneers ahead of the 2020 season, having won six rings at Gillette Stadium.

Brady received a warm welcome from Patriots fans, with the 44-year-old going on to eclipse Brees' mark of 80,291 yards and join Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Brees as the only QBs to defeat all 32 NFL franchises.

"I just think it's amazing statistic in that so many people can share in it with me," Brady told reporters after finishing 22-of-43 passing for 269 yards without a touchdown or interception, while he rushed for three yards on four carries.

"Quarterback doesn't throw and catch. Quarterback can just throw it. It's yards. Passing yards have to be caught, so I just hope that everybody who caught passes from me over the years just had a little smile on their face tonight knowing they contributed to a very cool record."

"It's not that I would predict what would happen," Brady said. "There were a few emotional moments thinking about the people that meant so much in my life. My football journey took me somewhere else."

Brady shared an embrace with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick following the game, which saw a desperate 56-yard field-goal attempt from Nick Folk bounce off the upright in the final minute as the former got the better of New England.

"All of that is personal," Brady said when asked about what was said between him and Belichick. "We've had a lot of personal conversations that should remain that way.

"So much is made of our relationship... nothing is really accurate that I ever see. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and this organisation."

"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."

It remains to be seen whether Brady will play another game in Foxborough as the five-time Super Bowl MVP said: "It's been a great stadium for me for a long time. I don't know what the future holds, obviously. So there could be an opportunity to come back here. So we'll see."

After the reunion, Belichick added: "We went against Tom Brady every day, every day in practice defensively. So it's not like we've never seen Tom Brady before."

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