The Loop

Tommy Boy

Tom Brady vetoing a Byron Leftwich play call right before the game-clinching completion is yet another reason why he’s the GOAT

September 10, 2021

A new NFL season is here and Tom Brady is 1-0. Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. On Thursday, the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-29, putting together an epic game-winning drive that had a little bit of everything, even an exotic OPI non-call …

That play put the Bucs in field goal range, and would prove to be the decisive moment of the night, but it almost didn’t happen. Just before Brady and co. broke the huddle, broadcast picked up this exchange, in which Brady appears to emphatically veto a play call from offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, shaking his head and shouting “NO!” at the sideline. He then turns to his own wristband and dials up the play you see above.

If this were a rookie—or some guy with a reputation for “freelancing”—he’d be getting killed this morning. But it’s not. It’s Tom Brady, a man who has forgotten more about football than Brett Favre ever knew. It also worked, which counts for a lot.

So let's go ahead and chalk this up as yet another reason why Tom Brady is the GOAT. The confidence, the leadership, but also probably the one thing he doesn’t get enough credit for: His football IQ. Your grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be singing songs about Peyton Manning’s audibles, but Brady knows his way around a playbook just as well and proved it once again on Thursday night … with a little help from the refs, of course.