Rarely do you see a figure grow until it becomes a legend and Tom Brady represents one of those rare opportunities.
During two decades in which he has played at the highest level of demand, Brady grew before our eyes. In 2001, we saw him enter the field as just one more player on a roster, who was called up to fill the gap left by an injury, and from that moment we have witnessed his growth to become a legend without even having to even put up. end of his NFL career.
Ahead of the launch of the series “Man In The Arena” on ESPN + (Episode 1, Tuesday, December 16, 9 pm ET), we will review the five best games in the career of Brady, who led the New England Patriots to become the newest and longest-lasting dynasty in NFL history, to then be the figure that brought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back to prominence with a victory in Super Bowl LV.
In this count, there is no Brady game in the Buccaneers uniform, because despite propelling them to the top of the NFL, he has not had a game that can be considered historically transcendent.
Yes. Brady made Tampa Bay the first team to win the Super Bowl in its own stadium, but it did so against an opponent who entered the NFL title game virtually unarmed by injuries.
It’s likely that once you decide to hang up the helmet and shoulder pads, we’ll include some Brady duels as a Buccaneers quarterback in our tally-ups at the time, but for now, better performances than the No. 12 and future member of the team. Hall of Fame has had son with the jersey with which he became a living NFL legend.
5. THE LEGEND WAS BORN … AND WE DIDN’T KNOW IT
The Patriots were looking to make the leap to relevance 20 years ago at the hands of Drew Bledsoe, who suffered a serious chest injury from a strong blow from New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis and had to leave that meeting.
Brady, who was in his second year in the NFL, was called up to the field and led New England to the Super Bowl.
The then St. Louis Los Angeles Rams were wide favorites to win the title, having conquered it a year earlier, but Brady’s magic prevailed and in a dramatic finish in which he put his team in position to score the goal of Victory field, gave the Patriots one of the most unlikely wins in league history and at the same time laid the foundation for what would become one of the most successful careers in professional sports.
We know the story by heart, but with each passing year, it becomes more incredible.
4. IT RAINS, THUNDERSTORMS, LIGHTNING … AND EVEN WITH SNOW?
October 18, 2009 was a strange day in the New England area. It was two weeks before Halloween, almost a month and a half before Thanksgiving Day, and the weather suggested that Christmas was just around the corner with a snowfall that painted Gillette Stadium white.
Rain and snow are regularly conditions for a quarterback to show off his arm, but not for Brady, who that day uncovered with six touchdown passes, five of them in a quarter, to destroy the Tennessee Titans with shut out 59-0.
Four of Brady’s five touchdowns in the second quarter were for at least 30 yards, including a 40 to Randy Moss and a 38 to Kevin Faulk.
3. LOOK AND LEARN, MAHOMES
The AFC Championship Game of the 2018 season was a rollercoaster of emotions from which Brady emerged with the last smile in his duel against Patrick Mahomes, who was already emerging as the NFL quarterback sensation only in his second year in the league.
While a mental error (punishment for invading Dee Ford’s neutral zone) opened the doors for the Patriots to tie the score in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Brady gave a lecture on how to drag the opposing defense with short passes, precise and lethal. He literally ripped the Kansas City Chiefs’ hearts apart with each of the 75 yards the Patriots advanced on a 13-play drive that ended with Rex Burkhead’s two-yard touchdown run.
Brady still had to win Super Bowl LIII and play one more year with the Patriots, but the duel in which he gave Mahomes a valuable lesson in how to solve high-profile, extreme pressure duels could be considered the last great game that he has played. quarterback played wearing the New England jersey.
2. WITH PERMISSION, RAVENS
The road to conquering their fourth Super Bowl ring was not easy for Brady and the Patriots and their first obstacle between them and their goal was a Baltimore Ravens who arrived with a balanced team that had an efficient defense.
The Ravens did not come to Foxborough as favorites and quickly proved that their mission was to take home victory by leading by 14 points in the first and third quarters.
The Patriots did not stop fighting and erased both deficits, and in the third quarter, with two touchdown passes, including a 51-yard pass from Julian Edelman to Danny Amendola on a surprise play, tied the score at 28-28.
Baltimore regained the lead with a field goal, but Brady had the last word and his third touchdown pass of the game, 23 yards to Brandon LaFell, led New England to win a game that seemed lost twice.
Weeks later, Brady and the Patriots beat Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX.
1. THE CONSOLIDATION
Tom Brady had already shown his ability to command big comebacks. He had already won it all and perhaps he only had to do it in the greatest setting the NFL can offer: the Super Bowl.
The LI edition of the NFL title game was that opportunity. The Patriots started off erratic, something out of the norm for a Bill Belichick team, even turning the ball over twice in losses that the Atlanta Falcons more than capitalized on, including an interception of Brady returned for touchdowns.
The start of the third quarter was not better and Atlanta even increased its advantage by putting the scoreboard 28-3. It was then that Brady, trailing New England by 25 points and with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at stake, began to mount the most spectacular comeback in NFL history.
While his defense backed him up by slowing down the Falcons offense and also stealing the ball, the No. 12 led his offense to score on four straight possessions and make a pair of good two-point conversions to force the extra time.
The Patriots did not lend the ball to Atlanta in overtime after Brady led them for 75 yards for James White’s two-yard rushing touchdown as New England claimed its fifth championship ring from the hand of a Tom Brady who had dispelled any doubts about the size of his figure in the history of the NFL.
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Tom Brady’s top five games of his NFL career