Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Two decades of brilliance and unthinkable levels of success — for Tom Brady, for Bill Belichick, for the Patriots and for the city of Boston — may have come to an end on Saturday night.

Why it matters: Brady will be a free agent this offseason for the first time in his illustrious career, giving way to a winter of speculation about whether the soon-to-be 43-year-old is done in New England — or done with football, period.

"The fog hung in the air and swathed the field of Gillette Stadium, muting the colors and making you think, inevitably, of ghosts. It all felt like ... the past. Until the Tennessee Titans yanked [it] so powerfully into the present."
— Sally Jenkins, WashPost

In his postgame press conference, Brady didn't sound like someone who had just played his last game. "I would say it's pretty unlikely, hopefully unlikely," he said when asked if he plans to retire. So odds are he's back in the NFL next year. But crazier things have happened.

  • In a bizarre twist, Saturday's game ending in a pick-6 may have been the best thing that happened to New England all night, as Brady doesn't seem like the type to go out like that. But again, who knows?

What he's saying: "I just don't know what is going to happen. I'm not going to predict it," said Brady in his final answer of his final press conference this season.

  • "No one needs to make choices at this point. I love playing football. ... I love playing for this team for two decades and winning a lot of games. Again, I don't know what it looks like moving forward, so we'll take it day by day."

The bottom line: At no point this century has the thought of Brady changing teams felt even remotely plausible. Now, the odds are 3/2, with the Chargers getting some early buzz — an outcome my brain won't even let me process.

Go deeper: Baltimore Ravens dominate the NFL's Pro Bowl selections

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.