Seattle Seahawks 16-21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady stars in first ever NFL regular season game in Germany

By Paul HighamBBC Sport
Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates a touchdown
Tom Brady has now won games in the UK, Mexico and Germany.

Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 in the NFL's historic first ever regular season game in Germany.

The NFL brought out their biggest star to mark their global expansion hitting Munich, and Brady delivered with a masterclass to thrill a packed-out Allianz Arena.

Brady moved to 4-0 in International Series games having previously won two in London and one in Mexico City.

The Bucs move to 5-5 for the season.

The NFL has played 33 games in London since 2007 and is also continuing to play in Mexico, and now Germany could be the next permanent base given the huge demand for tickets and the stunning atmosphere on Sunday.

"It was a great atmosphere," Brady said on the field after the game. "It felt like a hyped-up game when we came out for warm-ups, so it was pretty electric.

"I hope the German fans got what they wanted."

Brady has endured a tough season so far, but the seven-time Super Bowl champion produced a classic late comeback last week to stop the rot and followed that up with an impeccable performance at the home of Bayern Munich.

The 45-year-old Brady threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns as the Buccaneers opened up a 21-3 lead in the fourth quarter before Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith finally started to get Seattle moving.

Smith and the Seahawks entered the game as one of the surprise success stories of the season, winning six of their first nine games despite trading away star QB Russell Wilson before the start of the campaign, but they struggled against a rejuvenated Bucs defence.

When the Seahawks did finally get going, Smith threw TD passes to Tyler Lockett and Marquise Goodwin to reduce the deficit to five points at 21-16, but Brady retained possession with a near four-minute drive to seal the win.

Brady back to his best after losing streak

Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the huddle
Tom Brady's Tampa Bay now have back-to-back wins after three straight defeats

It's been a tough time for Brady on and off the field this season, with his decision to go back on retirement looking like the wrong one as the Bucs failed to get anywhere near the level they'd been in two previous seasons with him at QB.

But while he may struggle to recover from the big hits at his age, his arm strength has not diminished at all as, with the team able to run the ball and open up a few more gaps, Brady was able to sling the ball around the field, zipping it into his receiver with as much velocity as he ever has.

There aren't many NFL records that Brady doesn't have, and he collected one more when he threw the first ever touchdown in Germany - his 11th quickly followed by his 12th thrown outside the USA as he maintained his unbeaten record on foreign soil.

Brady agonisingly missed out on another record as he threw his first interception since the first game of the season, with Cody Barton's pick ending a run of 399 straight pass attempts for Brady without turning it over - just three short of Aaron Rodgers' NFL record of 402.

It still represents a good day at the German office for Brady and the Bucs, who now have a week off but will still return at the top of the NFC South division, and if their defence and run game continues to improve it could yet be another successful season for the man widely regarded as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of the league.

More games in Germany on the cards?

A general view of the Allianz Arena for the NFL
Allianz Arena was packed out for the NFL

The NFL have signed a deal to play four games in Germany until 2025, with Munich and Frankfurt alternating as host venues, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hinted over the weekend that more games could be added.

"In our commitment, we're going to play the next four years, at least, and with at least four games," Goodell said at a fan forum in Munich on Saturday.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it expanded beyond that at some point soon."

Four teams have been given new marketing rights in Germany as part of the International Home Marketing Area initiative the league has introduced, aimed at producing more fans of the individual teams than just general NFL fans.

Tampa Bay are joined by the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers in having secured rights in Germany - and those teams could well request to add an extra game to the four already scheduled.

"There's always the possibility due to one of our clubs wanting to play another game here, there's the possibility for more inventory," Brett Gosper, the head of NFL UK and Europe, told Sky Sports.

"What we do know is there's lots of capacity for more inventory here, that's not a problem. So if there are more games that would be wonderful."

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