The game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints was centered on the two of the greatest quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
Instead, it was Tampa Bay's defense that stole the show. They forced four turnovers, including three interceptions of Drew Brees that led to 21 Buccaneers points to help them beat the Saints 30-20 and advance to the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers next Sunday in Green Bay.
Tom Brady didn't light up the stat line as he went 18-of-33 for 199 yards with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing), but he did enough to reach his 14th conference championship game, first with the Buccanneers. Leonard Fournette led the rushing attack with 17 carries for 63 yards, along with five receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Before the game, Fox Sports reported that a loss in the playoffs would be the final game of Brees' career. For the game, Brees ended the season going 19-for-34 for 134 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Alvin Kamara had 18 carries for 85 yards, and Tre'Quan had three catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game concluded, Brees hugged Brady, and they had a brief conversation. Brees left to wave and kiss the crowd inside the Superdome before exiting through the tunnel.
If this is it for Brees, he's had a fantastic career. The 42-year-old holds the NFL record for career passing yards (80,358), touchdown passes (571), and completions (7,142). Brees played 287 games (59 for the San Diego Chargers, 228 for the Saints) and had a regular-season record of 173-114. He helped the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV, in which he was the MVP of the game.
Also, Brees made 13 Pro Bowls, was the comeback player of the year in 2004, and the offensive player of the year in 2008 and 2011.
DAZN News provided live commentary throughout the game. Here's how it went down: