The Buccaneers went down hard in Monday night's wild card finale, falling 31-14 to the Cowboys after barely entering the postseason at 8-9 atop the lowly NFC South. Their star quarterback, Tom Brady, was part of the problem, posting some of his worst numbers of an erratic season in what finished as the second-most lopsided postseason defeat of his 23-year career. But Brady didn't seem surprised after the blowout, telling reporters in between noncommittal remarks about his future that Monday's game was reminiscent of "the way we played all year."

"That's not the way we wanted to end it," Brady said, "but we didn't deserve it."

The 45-year-old QB struggled mightily against Dallas, going 35 of 66 for 351 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while leading the Buccaneers to just six points until the waning minutes of the game. His completion percentage (53%) was worse than all but one other mark from this year, and he nearly threw multiple additional picks to go one-and-done in the playoffs for the second time in four seasons. Addressing the poor showing, Brady simply emphasized that Tampa Bay has endured dysfunctional offense since the start of the year.

"(It's) typically the way we played all year," he said, perhaps indirectly indicting a much-maligned coaching staff. "Most of the time, the team that earned it wins. ... We just couldn't get enough done offensively."

Asked about his future beyond Monday's game, Brady was predictably ambiguous, as he's been for much of the season.

"I'm gonna go home and get a good night's sleep, or as good as I can tonight, and ... this has been a lot of focus on this game, so it'll just be one day at a time, truly," he said.

Later asked if the end of the 2022 season feels any differently than in the past, considering Brady briefly retired last offseason and could be eyeing a permanent step away from the game, the QB didn't bite, but then proceeded to thank the local media before ending his press conference after less than five minutes.

"Yeah, it just feels like the end of a season. I just wanna say thank you guys to everyone this year. ... I appreciate all that you do to cover us, and ... hopefully, um, you know, I love this organization, it's a great place to be, and thank you everybody for welcoming me."

Brady's contract with the Bucs, who won the Super Bowl in their first year with the longtime Patriots QB, will expire in March. If Brady opts to return for another season at age 46, he may well test free agency for the second time since 2020. Wherever he lands, he'll be looking to rebound from the first losing record of his seven-time Super Bowl-winning career.