No Super Bowl for New England

The Tennessee Titans eliminated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots from the NFL Playoffs in the Wild Card round with a 20-13 victory in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This is the Patriots’ earliest exit from the playoffs since the 2009 season. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady had a very pedestrian night on the field. He threw for only 209 yards and failed to tally a touchdown pass. His final throw of the game was an interception returned for a touchdown by Titans’ cornerback Logan Ryan to seal the win for Tennessee.

Now all eyes turn to Tom Brady’s future. Brady, who will turn 43 before the start of the 2020 season, will become a free agent at the end of the NFL league year on March 18. Few quarterbacks have played in the NFL at Brady’s age and even fewer have played effectively. After the game Tom Brady said, “I don’t know what the future looks like, and I’m not going to predict it.” When asked if there was a possibility that he would retire, Brady answered, “I would say it’s pretty unlikely, hopefully unlikely.”

As a dense fog that shrouded Gillette Stadium for the first half dissipated, it became clear that the Patriots who made the last three Super Bowls and won two, no longer were the bullies on the block. Six-time champ Brady’s contract is up and the 42-year-old quarterback could well be headed elsewhere, including retirement. After walking slowly to the sideline, Brady sat alone and motionless on the bench, his helmet on the ground between his feet. No one spoke to or approached Brady, who coolly reached for a light-blue tablet to view a replay of the interception. As Brady finally lifted his gaze to the scene around him, the final seconds of the Patriots 20-13 playoff defeat to the Tennessee Titans elapsed.

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