Is this the end of Tom Brady's storied 20-season NFL career with the New England Patriots?
For once the 42-year-old quarterback was unable to pull off a miracle as the Tennessee Titans beat his New England Patriots 20-13 on Saturday in an AFC wildcard playoff game.
Derrick Henry carried 34 times, rushed for a franchise playoff-record 182 yards and scored a touchdown to lead the sixth-seeded Titans' attack against the third-seeded Patriots.
The Titans (10-7) are now headed next week to Baltimore, to face the Ravens, the league's top team. Tennessee had been 9-7 in the regular season and the Patriots 12-4.
As a dense fog that shrouded Gillette Stadium for the first half dissipated, it became clear that the Patriots, who made the past three Super Bowls and won two, no longer were the bullies on the block.
It was the earliest postseason exit for Brady and the Patriots in a decade.
Six-time Super Bowl winner Brady completed 20 of 37 passes for 209 yards and Julian Edelman rushed for a score for New England's only touchdown.
A three-time NFL MVP and four-time Super Bowl MVP, Brady's contract is up, prompting speculation he could well be headed elsewhere, including retirement.
Brady has said all along he wants to play until he's 45 years old, but his late-season struggles fed the narrative that he could be ready to retire.
"I would say it's pretty unlikely, hopefully unlikely," Brady told reporters when asked about retirement.
"I love playing football. I don't know what it looks like moving forward."
"I think we're all running out of time and chances, every year that goes by," said Brady, whose late pick six sealed the Patriots' demise.
"I don't think I'm the only one in that category."
In the other AFC wildcard game, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson escaped an almost certain sack to set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's game-winning 28-yard field goal as the Texans beat the Buffalo Bills 22-19 in an overtime classic.
Watson pulled away from two Buffalo defenders to hit Taiwan Jones with a 34-yard pass at the Buffalo 10-yard line that paved the way for the winning points in Houston.
The Texans, 10-6 in the regular season, will play the Kansas City Chiefs next weekend in the divisional round.
Buffalo, who at one point led 16-0, had forced overtime after Stephen Hauschka kicked a 47-yard field goal that tied the score at 19-19 with five seconds left in regulation time.
"We never quit regardless," Watson told reporters.
"Whatever it takes to get the win, we are going to keep fighting however we need to play."
REMAINING NFL PLAYOFFS:
NFC WILDCARD MATCHES:
Sunday, Jan 5 (Monday AEDT):
6-Minnesota Vikings at 3-New Orleans Saints
5-Seattle Seahawks at 4-Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday, Jan 11:
NFC-Vikings/Seahawks/Eagles at 1-San Francisco 49ers
AFC-Titans at 1-Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Jan 12:
AFC-Texans at 2-Kansas City Chiefs
NFC-Seahawks/Eagles/Saints at 2-Green Bay Packers
Sunday, Jan 19:
Sunday, Feb 2 at Miami