Even if the Patriots hadn’t made that historic comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI last night, he still would have been the greatest of all-time, as much as it pains me to say it. Once the Patriots started to get some momentum, you could sense Terrific Tom wasn’t going to make this easy on the Falcons.
Down 28-3 in the third quarter, a comeback was almost impossible. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Patriots had a 0.5% chance of winning that game. But the stats didn’t take into account Brady, Belichick and the insufferable Patriots’ greatness.
Brady put together the best Super Bowl performance ever after going down 28-3. In the fourth quarter and overtime, he went 21-27 passing for 246 yards and a touchdown. Near perfect football.
Some people are saying the Falcons choked this game off. In a way, yes, but that would diminish the gravity of this comeback. Consider this: the Falcons defense was on the field for 93 plays, adding up to the biggest play disparity in NFL postseason history. These guys were gassed, and their offense didn’t do them any favors in the second half.
After going up 28-3, Atlanta ran just 16 plays on four drives, ending on a punt, fumble, punt and punt, all while taking minimal time off the clock. It’s no wonder Brady looked surgical as the game wound down.
So yeah, I guess the Atlanta offense did kind of choke, but you can’t pin this all on the defense. Matty Ice could have iced the game when the Falcons got the ball back up 28-20 with 5:53 to go in the game. All Atlanta needed was a three-plus minute drive and a field goal and the game would have essentially been over. After marching down to the New England 22-yard line, I thought they had a chance to do just that. Like the Lions do every Sunday, they got my hopes up, only to crush them in the end.
Here’s what followed for Atlanta: rush for a loss of one yard, sack for a loss of 12 yards and a holding call to pull them out of field goal range. That was how Atlanta’s Super Bowl chances died. If you squint and turn your head to the side, you could see some Honolulu blue and silver on that Super Bowl field.
After that, you knew Brady was going to lead the Pats down the field for a touchdown. You knew they’d get the 2-point conversion. You knew Atlanta wouldn’t be able to score after squandering all of their timeouts. The only chance the Falcons had was to win the overtime coin toss, and they couldn’t even do that. The rest was just a formality.
Here’s the most frustrating part for all the Brady haters out there (myself included): he’s not even done yet.
By the time he takes the first snap of the 2017 season, Brady will be 40 years old and will still out perform all the twenty-something hot shot quarterbacks in the league. Even though the Revenge Tour is over, Brady is far from done, and that should scare the 31 other teams in the NFL.