After missing two passes with under a minute to play, Brady held up four fingers, seeming to think that it was fourth down. Instead he had just turned the ball over on downs.
"Yeah, he knew," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said after the game.
Brady said he was trying to pick up the 6 yards he needed to get a first down but didn't mention the down confusion.
That raised some immediate comparisons to J.R. Smith, who seemed to forget the score in the final seconds of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
JR Smith watching Tom Brady forget it was 4th down pic.twitter.com/OY0wyvtCYQ— SpookyMaan (@MoneyMaanHD) October 9, 2020
While it was just a regular-season game, Brady joins some infamous company:
2018 NBA Finals Game 1: After a missed free throw that would given the Cleveland Cavaliers the lead over the Golden State Warriors at the end of the game, J.R. Smith grabbed the rebound. But instead of putting the ball back up, Smith, thinking the Cavs had the lead, dribbled away from the basket to run out the clock. The game would go to overtime, and the Cavs would lose Game 1 and be swept in the series.
CLASSIC JR SMITH LOLOLOLOL pic.twitter.com/V609eAhWql— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 1, 2018
1993 NCAA championship game: With Michigan down by two to North Carolina with 13 seconds on the clock, Michigan forward Chris Webber dribbled the ball down the court and ran to his bench to call a timeout to set up a play. Only problem? He did not have a timeout to burn. Doing that resulted in a technical foul. The turnover allowed UNC to close out the victory and give Dean Smith his third national title.
1990 Colorado vs. Missouri game: This one was on the referees. With Colorado trailing 31-27, the Buffaloes were driving for the winning score. After a spike to stop the clock on first down and a run on second down, a referee did not change the down marker. Another run was stopped, and then QB Charles Johnson stopped the clock with another spike. That should have been fourth down and a turnover, but because of the referee error, Colorado got an extra play. Johnson would score the next play -- on "fifth down." Colorado earned a share of the 1990 national title, but the controversy hangs over the title.
1984 NBA Finals Game 2: With the Los Angeles Lakers up 1-0 in the series against the Boston Celtics, the Celtics stole a James Worthy pass and tied the game in the final moments of regulation. The Lakers had a chance for the final shot, but Johnson dribbled out the clock without even putting up a shot. The game would go to OT and the Celtics would win, tying the series 1-1. The Celtics would go on to win the series in seven games.