For a brief moment with the Denver Broncos, Trevor Siemian looked like he might be a reasonable replacement for Peyton Manning.
It didn't last long. Eventually Siemian was exposed as a starter and then started the backup path to his career. There's nothing wrong with that. But when he came into Sunday's game for the New Orleans Saints in place of injured Jameis Winston, most people probably didn't even realize he was still in the league.
Then Siemian played fairly well and led a scoring drive to knock off Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36-27. Brady had a chance to answer at the end but his pick-six in the final two minutes put the game away. Siemian was 16-of-29 for 159 yards and a touchdown.
For Siemian, who hadn't thrown a touchdown pass since Dec. 10, 2017 and hadn't played at all since one game with the New York Jets in 2019, it had to be a pretty sweet moment.
Bucs come back after bad start
The game had an odd turn early on when Jameis Winston was dragged down from behind and injured his knee. He was done for the game. The Saints couldn't turn to Taysom Hill, who is still out with a concussion he suffered three weeks ago. But Siemian played pretty well.
When Alvin Kamara scored a 1-yard touchdown, the Saints led 23-7 and they were in control of the game. The Buccaneers were flat against their NFC South rival.
But there was plenty of time left for Brady. He hit Giovani Bernard for a 7-yard touchdown. Then Mike Evans got a 41-yard score. The Saints got a field goal but then Cyril Grayson, a third-year player who had one career catch for three yards before Sunday, was absolutely uncovered on a deep route, and the Saints' defensive miscommunication led to a 50-yard touchdown and a 27-26 Bucs lead.
But, Siemian still had a few minutes left too.
Saints take a late lead
Siemian got the Saints going on a drive. He hit a few completions, got a big defensive holding call on third down, and his 16-yard pass to Marquez Callaway got the saints inside the 10-yard line at the 2-minute warning. The Saints couldn't punch it in, but the field goal gave them a 29-27 lead with 1:41 left.
Brady had a chance to lift the Bucs to a win and he had plenty of time, but he threw a pick-six. P.J. Williams picked him off and instead of going down, he just took it into the end zone.
Brady had a great game, with 364 yards and four touchdowns. But he made the one mistake he couldn't make, throwing to Chris Godwin over the middle and not anticipating Williams driving on the ball and beating Godwin to the spot. Brady played well but Siemian and the Saints left with the win.
Of all the things anyone could have reasonably expected on Sunday, Siemian helping beat the defending Super Bowl champions with a clutch drive that Brady couldn't answer wasn't on the list.