Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. There can no longer be a debate around that; at 43 Brady is playing in another Super Bowl. The living legend of Brady continues to grow; there are plenty of chapters still to write in his fairytale career. Through perfect play, determination, and a desire to silence the critics, Brady is relentlessly pursuing more glory. After 20 years of sheer dominance, Brady’s GOAT status is concrete.
The Trophy-Laden Start
We know the story now, Brady was drafted in the sixth round to back up Drew Bledsoe. Once Bledsoe got knocked out, in came Brady. The Michigan alum led the team to the Super Bowl where the Patriots faced the reigning champion St. Louis Rams. He did that after a clutch game-winning drive against the Raiders in the snow, a critical fourth-down conversion in overtime that set the Patriots on their way. In a tight game, the second-year backup executed a superb two-minute drive to move the Patriots into the field-goal territory; Adam Vinatieri made the kick.
The Patriots won their first world championship with a sixth-round reject under center. Brady’s poise in the critical situation allowed him to find another level while other players were wilting under pressure. It was the highlight of his early career. Brady was the MVP of that Super Bowl.
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Two more championships followed in 2003 and 2004. These two teams were the greatest in the Patriots dynasty. Willie McGinest, Richard Seymour, Ty Law, and Tedy Bruschi were critical components of the group. Brady gradually improved in both of those title-winning seasons. There was also another crucial two-minute drive in the Super Bowl against Carolina.
Once again Brady marched the offense into Vinatieri territory, Mr. Automatic made the kick, and the Patriots had another Super Bowl championship. It also got Brady another Super Bowl MVP award, the biggest stage in the NFL was starting to become Brady’s domain. The following year Brady played the best ball of his career, he posted a passer rating of 92.6, the Patriots went 14-2 in the regular season; they then beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
MVP’s, Perfection and Heartbreak
After three Super Bowls in four years, 2005 and 2006 were low years by Brady’s standards. The highlight of those two years was the AFC Championship game in Indianapolis when the Patriots lost. The Patriots saw the Steelers win in ’05; then the Colts won it all in ’06, people were beginning to wonder if the Patriots dynasty was over. That was premature thinking, Brady roared back into life in the 2007 season. He threw for over 4000 yards, had 50 touchdowns, and a QBR of 87.
With help from Randy Moss, Brady completed the most remarkable season from a quarterback we’ve witnessed. The Patriots went 16-0, Brady bagged a first MVP award. The sixth-round quarterback reached football perfection.
Ultimately, that season ended in heartbreak as David Tyree, a ferocious Giants defense and the stretchiest jersey ever conspired to deny Brady perfection. 18 wins one Giant loss. For the first time in his career, Brady played a lousy game on the Super Bowl stage.
An Achilles injury would destroy the following season in 2008, while the Patriots weren’t at their best in 2009 and 2010. Brady displayed an indomitable resilience in coming back from a career-threatening injury. There was a shock defeat to the Jets in the playoffs, Brady did pick up another MVP award in 2010 with 36 touchdown passes; however, the Lombardi trophy was proving to be elusive.
By the 2011 season, New England had gone seven years without a championship; New England was in a drought. 2011 saw the Patriots bounce-back as a team, Brady dropped off slightly, though the team responded as New England went to the Super Bowl. Brady and Welker built up a healthy relationship, while a young Rob Gronkowski was tearing up the NFL.
Once again though, Eli Manning stood in the way as the Giants beat New England for the second time in the Super Bowl. A Wes Welker drop was the critical moment; the Lombardi trophy slipped through Brady’s hands. For all the MVP awards, Brady couldn’t land the big one. The drought would continue
Cincinnati, the Brady Bunch, and a New Dynasty
The Patriots were still trophy-less by 2014; they suffered back to back defeats in the AFC Championship in 2012 and 2013; it seemed as if New England were never going to win another Super Bowl. Then it got worse; the Patriots were humiliated by the Chiefs on a Monday Night game.
That game spawned the infamous, “we’re on to Cincinnati,” press conference. It felt like the Brady was coming to an end. Belichick benched him in that defeat to Kansas City. It wasn’t the end, not even close to the end.
From rock bottom, Brady hauled himself up off the canvas to drag the Patriots into the playoffs. New England was an average defense that year; it wasn’t the dominant defense of the early 2000s. Brady pulled Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Gronkowski alongside him on offense, the veteran then posted a QBR of 76.2, which was the highest mark since his MVP year of 2010.
Brady took New England to the playoffs to lead a dramatic comeback on the Ravens in the AFC title game. That sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl against the dominant Seahawks. Seattle’s defense ranked number one in that season, the Legion of Boom was a historically great unit.
Trailing in the fourth quarter by ten points, Brady went 13/15 for 124 yards with two touchdowns. He did that against one of the most outstanding secondaries in NFL history. With no running game and a limited Gronkowski, Brady put in a fourth-quarter performance for the ages.
From rock bottom at Kansas City to Super Bowl glory, it was the finest Super Bowl performance in Brady’s career. He silenced the critics, plus he proved to himself that he can still perform on the big stage. And it signaled a new dynasty.
28-3, those numbers will forever haunt the Atlanta Falcons. Tom Brady should get them tattooed on his arm. After getting drubbed in the first half of Super Bowl 51, Brady engineered the most incredible comeback in sporting history.
Brady threw all game; he made 43 completions out of 62 attempts. His yardage total of 466 yards was the most in Super Bowl history. Yet again, Brady’s indomitable spirit paired with an insane ability to get better in the most significant situations came through as he dragged the Patriots to another world championship.
Defeat would follow in the year after as the Eagles triumphed in a Super Bowl for the ages; although please do not ignore Brady’s performance. He threw for over 500 yards as he destroyed the Eagles secondary. A third consecutive Super Bowl trip beckoned as Brady broke Kansas City’s hearts with one of the most incredible game-winning drives in history.
He converted several third downs in enemy territory; it was a Brady masterclass. Everyone else’s hearts were racing like an Indycar, Brady got ice cold in the hottest of furnaces to take New England back to the Super Bowl.
The Style and Spirit
The key to Brady’s longevity and dominance is the fast release. He is the greatest processer in NFL history; he runs through his progressions in super quick time. That protects him; it also keeps the defense on its heels. The other trait that Brady owns is absurd accuracy plus timing.
His footwork is exemplary; that is why he enjoys so much success in rhythm offenses. Every step is on time; it follows the same routine. Watching Brady is like watching a ballet in the middle of a violent bar fight; that is why he is so accurate. With that legendary accuracy, Brady can make throw after throw, it’s why he can methodically march offenses down the field.
Pair the extraordinary skill with a raging fire to compete; you end up with a 20-year run of domination. Tom Brady is the greatest competitor in the history of team sports; he is the gutsiest competitor in team sports. Even after six championships, countless MVPs, and millions of dollars, Brady is still the most competitive dog in the fight. No moment is too big for him; he stays ice cold in the most pressured situations. That is the defining trait of his legendary career, that will never leave him; at 43-years-old, Brady is still as competitive as ever.
He is a bad loser; after winning everything, he is always hungry for more. Please go on, write him off again, say that the Chiefs are favorites, Tom Brady’s endured 20-years of being written off. He is still here, and he plans on going nowhere. Write off the GOAT at your peril.
He is the undisputed GOAT for a reason.