It was a bizarre ending for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week 5 loss to the Chicago Bears. Replays showed Brady holding up four fingers after throwing an incomplete pass intended for Cameron Brate on what was the actual fourth down on the Buccaneers’ final drive. Another replay showed Brady asking one of the officials if it was fourth down after the team’s final down had just happened.
Brady clearly thought he had one more attempt to get a first down to allow the Buccaneers to try a game-winning field goal. Instead, it was a turnover on downs, and the Bears were able to run out the clock. Brady also appeared to run off the field after the game instead of participating in the traditional post-game quarterback handshake with Nick Foles.
Here is a look at the video of Brady holding up four fingers after fourth-down had already been played.
Brady Dodged 4th Down Questions After the Loss
During Brady’s post-game press conference, the Buccaneers quarterback was asked multiple times if he knew it was fourth down. Brady sidestepped the question by explaining he was trying to gain a chunk of yardage on his final pass rather than thinking about getting a first down.
Despite being asked several times, Brady did not claim to know that it was the Bucs’ final down. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians denied the notion that Brady did not know the down situation. Brady was blunt in his overall assessment of where the Buccaneers are through five weeks.
“We obviously have a lot of work to do,” Brady noted, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman.
Here is a clip of Brady asking the referee if it was fourth down after the play had been completed.
After a Fast Start, the Bucs Failed to Close Out the Bears
The Buccaneers got off to a fast start but allowed the Bears back in the game after leading by double-digits. Brady had recently discussed his goal of the offense putting together a complete game after their comeback win against the Chargers in Week 4.
“We put ourselves in a pretty good hole and we were just going to have to dig our way out of it,” Brady noted after the Bucs win over the Chargers, per Buccaneers.com. “That’s just the way football works sometimes. We’ve just got to tighten things up. I’m glad we came back. The defense made a big play for us just before the end of the half and that got us and that got us ignited a little bit. We made some plays in the third quarter, made some good plays in the fourth quarter. We started the game well, finished the game well, that middle part we’ve just got to figure out how to play 60 minutes well.”
Given the short week, Tampa will have a few extra days off to get healthy for their Week 6 matchup against the Packers. It will be interesting to see if Brady can finally get both of his star receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, to once again share the field against Green Bay.