In many ways, Sunday's showdown between the Buccaneers and Seahawks broke new ground. It was the first NFL game to be played in Germany and the first international showcase to feature two teams in first place in their division.
But the historic event had a familiar finish, a result recognizable to Americans and Europeans alike: a Tom Brady win.
Tampa Bay's 21-16 victory over Seattle, its fifth of the season, was played in front of 69,811 attendees at Allianz Arena in Munich, home to Bayern Munich, the most successful and valuable franchise in German soccer. Presented with a different kind of football but a similar air of greatness in Brady, the fans in attendance were raucous and engaged, cheering, booing, celebrating and singing along to American staples such as "Seven Nation Army" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads." It all made for a unique setting, one the 45-year-old, well-traveled Brady won't soon forget.
"That was one of the great football experiences I've ever had," Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, told reporters after the contest. "It says a lot for 23 years in the league and for a regular-season game. I think the fan turnout was incredible. It felt, like, very electric from the time we took the field. The end of the game, with them singing 'Sweet Caroline' and 'Country Roads,' that was pretty epic. So I think everyone who's a part of that experience got to have something pretty amazing, (a) memory for the rest of their life. So thank you for hosting us, we appreciate it. Thank you."
The fans in attendance have Brady and the Bucs to thank, too. The quarterback, who has not enjoyed his best statistical season by any stretch this year, was in vintage form Sunday. Brady completed 22 of 29 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle, just his second game with at least two pass TDs this season and his first since Week 4.
Brady's success against the Seahawks really should have come as no surprise. Forget Pitbull. TB12 is Mr. Worldwide. Brady is the first quarterback to not only start a game in three different countries outside of the United States, but the only one to win a game in three other nations (United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany). The future Hall of Famer is undefeated (4-0) in international games.
The most recognizable face in football just so happens to its most prolific on foreign soil, a recipe for success for quarterback, club and league.
"I hope the German fans got what they wanted," Brady told NFL Network's Sara Walsh. "Great win by our team, we needed it. We played against a good opponent. Our defense played great and glad we slugged it out and found a way to win."
It wasn't all pretty for Brady and the Bucs. The QB was on the receiving end of a shocking passing attempt in the third quarter, but he fell to the slick turf as Leonard Fournette's ill-advised toss approached him, allowing Seahawks star rookie Tariq Woolen to record an interception. Adding insult to injury, Brady was flagged for tripping Woolen following the pick, a comedy of errors during an otherwise awesome afternoon.
"I slipped!" Brady told Walsh of the unfortunate play. "I wouldn't have caught it anyway, but I would've tried to tackle him, at least prevent him from getting the interception."
Brady will return to Tampa Bay with his squad atop the NFC South at 5-5. The Bucs' start to the 2022 season hasn't been strong; as their record reflects, it's been average at best. But with the bye upcoming and a win in pressure-packed environs in the bag, they can take solace in this: The Bucs went halfway around the world and found their form.
"It feels good, but we've got a long way to go," Brady said to Walsh. "We're just 5-5, so trying to figure it out, keep grinding and try to get better."