Tom Brady’s career against the Rams includes some of the greatest games in NFL history. He finished 6-4 against the Rams (counting St. Louis and Los Angeles) in his career, most importantly winning two Super Bowls against the Rams.
Brady announced his second retirement from the NFL Wednesday in a short video posted on social media. He looked calm and relaxed and I think this one will stick. He has nothing left to prove after seven Super Bowl titles. Brady is a lock for the NFL Hall of Fame, and we’ll see if he continues his career as an analyst.
You won’t be able to tell the Tom Brady story without including the Rams pretty high up in the conversation. The Rams helped the legend get started, and also probably were a big part of his final chapter. Here’s looking back at the 10 times Tom Brady faced the Rams.
2001: Rams 24, Tom Brady/Patriots 17
Brady was in his first year as a starter with New England after Drew Bledsoe got hurt. I know its wild to say this now, but people weren’t sure he was any good.
The Rams were the darlings of the NFL in 2001 with Kurt Warner at quarterback. He threw for 401 yards on a Sunday night game in St. Louis and the Rams built a 24-10 lead. Brady led New England on a drive to make it 24-17 with seven minutes left, but never got the ball back. New England was 5-5 when the game was over. Brady threw for 185 and three picks. St. Louis was 8-1. It was clear, a dynasty was growing….in St. Louis, right?.
Super Bowl 2002: Tom Brady/Patriots 20, Rams 17
Yeah, about that dynasty. New England didn’t lose another game after losing to the Rams in the regular season, still heading into Super Bowl 36, the Rams were 14-point favorites. The game was supposed to be a romp.
Bill Belichick had other ideas. The Rams committed a bunch of turnovers and trailed 17-3, before rallying to tie the game with 1:30 left.
Every NFL fan knows what happened next. Brady led the Patriots on a drive capped by Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal. Brady was MVP even though he only threw for 145 yards. The legend and a dynasty were born.
2004: Tom Brady/Patriots 40, Rams 22
What a different a couple of years make. The Patriots were 7-1 after stomping the Rams in St. Louis. Vinatieri threw a TD pass on a fake field goal when no one saw Troy Brown hiding on the sidelines. Brady threw for 234 yards and two TDs, one to Mike Vrabel.
Brady and the Patriots would win the Super Bowl again. The Rams would finish 8-8 and get blown out by Atlanta in the playoffs. Dark times were coming in Ram Land.
2012: Tom Brady/Patriots 45, Rams 7
The NFL sent the Patriots to London with the Rams serving as the patsy. Everyone played their role perfectly.
The Patriots scored on their first five drives and led 35-7 in the third quarter. Brady threw four TD passes before coming out of the game late. It was the worst loss of the season for the Rams who finished 7-8-1 under Jeff Fisher. The Pats would lose to the Ravens in the AFC title game.
2016: Tom Brady/Patriots 26, Rams 10
The big news in LA was the Rams had signed Jeff Fisher to a contract extension just before the game. Uh-huh. Jared Goff made his third career start and was terrible. Brady went 33-46 for 269 yards and a touchdown and the game was never close.
Fisher and the Rams would lose again next week to Atlanta and he would be fired. So much for the contract extension.
2019 Super Bowl: Tom Brady/Patriots 13, Rams 3
It’s Brady’s last Super Bowl win with the Patriots in what is remembered as the worst Super Bowl of all time. Brady threw for 262 yards and a pick, but the game was 3-0 at halftime and the Rams just couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything.
Sony Michel scored a 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and then the Patriots kicked a field goal to clinch it. Brady was 41 years old. Julian Edelman was MVP. The less said about this game the better.
2020: Rams 27, Tom Brady/Bucs 24
The Rams got some revenge on Brady, who had left New England and joined Tampa Bay. Goff had maybe his best game as a pro with 376 yards. Cooper Kupp had 145 yards receiving, Robert Woods had 135. Matt Gay made a late FG.
Brady went 26-48 with two TD, but he had the last laugh. Both teams made the playoffs, but we never got the rematch. The Rams lost to the Packers in the Divisional Round, then the Bucs beat the Packers to go on to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Chiefs 31-9.
2021: Rams 34, Tom Brady/Bucs 24
This was Week 3 of the regular season and the Rams made a statement by beating the defending Super Bowl champs handily. This game played out a lot like the playoff game to come. Matthew Stafford threw four TD passes, including a long one to Rams legend (just kidding) Desean Jackson. It was 31-14 Rams in the third quarter before the Bucs rallied. But these two teams would meet again.
2022 Divisional Round: Rams 30, Bucs 27
One of the greatest games in Rams history. If you watched the regular season game (like I did) you weren’t surprised. The Rams were a bad match-up for Brady at this point and they dominated the game and led 27-3 in the third quarter.
But Brady still had some magic. The Rams turned the ball over three times and Brady took the gifts and tied the game at 27 with under a minute to go.
To me, though, this was the last gasp for Brady in his NFL career. Stafford threw two long passes to Cooper Kupp to set up a game-winning field goal by Matt Gay. The Rams would win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady would retire…briefly.
2022: Tom Brady/Bucs 16, Rams 13
Brady had never beaten the Rams in a Bucs jersey until this past season. This was a game the Rams had in the bag, all they needed was a first down…but it just wasn’t their year.
Brady was 36-58 for 280 yards and threw a TD pass with nine seconds left to Cade Otton to win it for Tampa Bay. The Rams would finish 5-12, the Bucs would lose in the playoffs to the Cowboys. Brady did get his win over the Rams, but it didn’t matter that much.