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Tom Brady officially un-retires, and suddenly Tampa Bay has an easy path to an NFC South title

Just when the division looked wide open, Tom Brady is back.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Just a little over a month ago, it was announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady, who is widely considered the best quarterback of all-time, was retiring. In 22-years in the NFL, Brady put together quite the campaign, winning seven Super Bowls, the most of any quarterback in NFL history.

It seemed like with the combination of Brady out of the NFC South and whatever the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers had planned for their quarterback position, the division would be wide-open for the Atlanta Falcons to compete, even with a not-so-great roster.

Well, here comes the big news. On Sunday evening, Brady shared on his Twitter account that he will be returning for a 23rd NFL season, his third with the Buccaneers.

Brady says he has unfinished business, likely referencing the most recent NFC Divisional Round loss to the eventual Super Bowl champions’, the Los Angeles Rams. Personally, I was surprised that Brady would go out in such a non-triumphant way. Although the possibility of retirement was there, I thought he would share the news before the season as to get the season-long recognition he has earned to say the least. Perhaps he will now get that in 2022.

Looking at the Falcons’ side of things, this road just got more difficult, clearly. Brady has never lost to five teams: Falcons, Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. To make things worse for the Falcons, Brady’s 10-0 against them, the most of any of the mentioned undefeated matchups.

The Falcons, who recently restructured Matt Ryan’s deal, seem poised on competing now while also building towards the future. The plan likely remains the same even with this news, but the 2022 Falcons’ schedule which was already tough, just got tougher.