Quarterback Tom Brady was a winner in his return to New England as he led his squad, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a close 19-17 win over his former team, the Patriots, on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The 44-year-old Brady made his return much sweeter as he clinched the record for all-time passing yardage after he completed 22 of 43 passes for 269 yards with no touchdown or interception. Brady also engineered a 7-play, 45-yard drive that kicker Ryan Succop capped with a 48-yard field goal that gave the Buccaneers a slim lead with less than two minutes left in the game, giving Brady his 50th career game-winning drive.

The Patriots had a chance to clinch the win but Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal attempt, allowing the Buccaneers to return to Tampa Bay with the win and a 3-1 mark. After the game, Brady had a 20-minute private meeting with his former Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, inside the Buccaneers’ locker room, but he did not provide details about their long talk.

Brady turns emotional about return

During his Sirius XM Let’s Go! Podcast with veteran broadcaster Jim Gray, Brady talked about the best part of his return to New England. “I got to see some people after the game that I just love so much. The best part of the night was having the game over and seeing them,” Brady said, per a report by Isaiah Houde of USA Today.

Brady may be referring to some of his former teammates, coaches and some Patriots fans that he hasn’t seen since he signed a two-year deal worth $50 million with the Buccaneers last offseason. “No matter how we compete, my relationship with those people transcends wins and losses,” he said. Brady said the hugs, the handshakes and the congratulatory messages are some of the things that continue to motivate and inspire him to perform at a high-level.

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Brady lauds former teammates

On his Instagram stories, Brady lauded Belichick as posted a photo of them hugging on the field after the game and accompanied it with the caption “appreciate you coach”. Brady also thanked his current teammates, like wide receiver/special teamer Matthew Slater, safety Devin McCourty, running back Brandon Bolden, team owner Robert Kraft and, of course, the Patriots fans.

Brady gave Slater the longest compliment, calling him “one of the best football players I've ever shared a locker room with, and an even better man." Slater, for his part, revealed during his talk with the media that he sought out Brady just before the quarterback boarded the Buccaneers’ team bus for one final goodbye. During his interview with Gray, Brady also lauded former teammates Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, David Andrews, and Shaq Mason.