The Debate is Over: Tom Brady Cements Himself as Greatest QB of All-Time
He stands alone.
Montana, Elway, Unitas, and Manning? Please
Tom Brady, in capturing his fifth Super Bowl title, has climbed the mountain of NFL quarterback supremacy and established himself as the greatest of all time.
It seems impossible that a man who is six months away from age 40 could pull off a miraculous comeback like this with precision, sheer will and a little bit of luck. But, hey, here we are.
“He’s the best ever,” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “There’s no flinch in Tom.”
No flinch might be putting it too lightly considering New England trailed 21-3 at halftime and faced a 28-3 deficit in the third quarter. The largest Super Bowl comeback ever was just a measly 10 points, which the Patriots matched just two years ago in their victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX.
But 25 points? No big deal for Brady whose stellar play engineered the 34-28 victory.
Brady was Brady as he finished the game completing 43 of 62 passed for 466 yards and two touchdowns. The 466 yards broke a Super Bowl record held by Kurt Warner who had 414 yards 17 years ago.
Did I mention Brady was 39 years old?
Capturing his fourth Super Bowl MVP, the entire Patriots locker room knew they were not out of the game when trailing big at halftime. It pays to have confidence in the best player of all time at his position.
“We all brought each other back,” Brady said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle. They have a great team. I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them.”
Oh yeah, those plays Brady speaks of were quite marvelous.
Trailing by eight with 3:30 to play, Brady completed a pass that in hindsight should have not been thrown. Yet, this is a play that will be talked about for ages.
That luck factor that also helped out Brady and the Patriots to the title came in the form of Julian Edelman who somehow reeled in a deflected pass just millimeters from the ground as he clutched it to his forearm.
There were shades of David Tyree’s famous helmet catch that aided in the Patriots first defeat to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. However, the Patriots found themselves on the right side of fortune in Houston.
Falcons cornerback Robert Alford, who was covering Edelman and had tipped the pass in the air, did not think it was possible for the pass to be complete.
“I couldn’t believe that he caught it,” Alford said.
With the “Deflategate” controversy and suspension garnering all of the attention before the game, Brady put all that talk to rest and was playing for things he considered far more important.
In addition to winning another title for the organization and owner Robert Kraft, Brady played for his family, especially his cancer stricken mother.
Emotions were high and many situations had occurred since the Patriots last title in the 2014-15 season. Brady just played football.
“I knew how emotional he was when he was down the way it was,” Kraft said. “And we had talked at his locker before that. This was the first game his mother had been at, and she’s been going through a lot. He said ‘Let’s win one for her,’ and I was thinking when we were down, when it was 28-3, how he must have felt.”
The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history was capped off with a drive led by the greatest quarterback of all time to win the game in the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
That is certainly a lot of firsts.
“There was a lot at stake tonight,” Brady said. “We played our tails off all season to get to this point. It’s hard to win a game in the NFL. To beat this team and be down 28-3, it was just a lot of mental toughness by our team. We’re all going to remember this the rest of our life.”
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