FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – This was her Ted Williams, her Bill Russell, her soccer icon and no one here wants it to end.
Nobody here wants Tom Brady's clock to go to 12.
Nobody here wants Tom to say goodbye to the end of the greatest dynasty in NFL history.
The tension will kill them all when Brady decides to test the Free Agents water, and no one is sure Bob Kraft will save his Tom Terrific again.
But it looked and felt like the dying embers of a dynasty on a foggy Saturday night.
Tom Brady's Last Stand And the old gunslinger ran out of bullets.
The Titans, 20-13 wildcard winners, travel to Baltimore. Brady is going home, perhaps as a former New England Patriots quarterback.
"Who knows what the future holds?" Said Brady.
Here it was: Brady on his 11-yard line, 14-13, 4:44 and three timeouts left.
Almost always its time. To gain time.
His chance to repair all the damage the angry bull Derrick Henry (34, 182 meters, one landing) had done.
His chance to remember how to be Tom Brady again, maybe one last time before Patriot's nation.
"Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy," they sang.
He hit James White for 20 yards. Third and fourth after a fall from Julian Edelman, he threw Phillip Dorsett behind him.
One last, desperate, impossible chance: Brady at his 1, 15 seconds and no more time-outs.
"Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy" one last time.
And Brady had distracted his passport for Mohamed Sanu for a 9-yard Logan Ryan Pick-Six.
"We just didn't do enough right," said Brady. "I wish it was a 99 yard touchdown."
He was excluded in the second half. Never threatened the titans with the deep ball. Tom Brady is no longer afraid.
"Thirteen was not enough," said Bill Belichick.
Neither was 12.
You knew Brady wouldn't go into the night gently. As a champion like Brady, you'd better stick a knife in his lion heart to defeat him. Even at 42. But his iron will alone could not save the patriots.
ZIEGE had stirred up Patriot's nation with a pregame hype video with lion motifs that ended with the message to everyone: "It is too late to be afraid." It is time to kill. "
A big problem: Brady can no longer carry this team into a Super Bowl alone.
He's only been Tom Brady a few times. That means he's no longer Tom Brady.
Go into retirement? "Pretty unlikely," said Brady. And when he comes back, Belichick owes it to Brady to get him better weapons.
We've been here before and the NFL's predictions for Evil Empire always go back to the year that Matt Cassel replaced Brady and Bill Belichick missed the 2008 playoffs, and they laughed all the way to the Lombardi Trophy.
But this time it felt different. This time there was no reunion in the first round. There was no Rob Gronkowski this time. Josh McDaniels, Brady's reliable offensive coordinator, seems ready to lead the stable and lead his own team again.
"I love the patriots," said Brady.
In the showdown between Tom and time, time has finally intercepted Tom. Antonio Brown survived a game. Brady trusted Edelman and ran back to James White. And nobody else. Brady's tight ends – Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson and Ryan Izzo – had wrapped 36 catches for 418 yards and two TDs, a historically low production on Brady's watch.
It was late in the first half when Brady, who had a 10-7 win in the 1-7 win, failed to get his team into the end zone after a few breaks and Henry quickly brought the titans to 14 – 13 halftime lead.
"I wish we could have met there," said Brady.
They sang "Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy" on his first possession after completing a 21-yard graduation on Watson on the third and 10th
They sang "Bra-dy, Bra-dy, Bra-dy" at the beginning of the fourth quarter before incompletely topping third and third place after Dorsett at Tennessee 47. Because they fear that they will never be able to sing “Bra-dy” again.