As everyone is well aware, Tom Brady is playing some of the best football of his career right now and is getting ready to make his seventh Super Bowl appearance. Brady has already started more games in the Super Bowl than any other quarterback in the history of the league and with a win will become the winningest starting signal-caller in the illustrious game’s history.
At the tender age of 39, many are asking how much handsome Tom has left in the tank, but if you look at his numbers from the regular season that saw him throw 28 touchdowns, just two interceptions and 3554 yards in just 12 games, it doesn’t look like Brady is going anywhere too soon. The 112.2 passer rating he posted prior to the postseason is the second-best number he’s put up during his 17-year NFL career and unlike Peyton Manning at 39, No. 12 still has an absolute cannon.
Since Brady’s measurables are more or less comparable to what they were in his prime – which some will contest he’s still in – let’s look into his stats in those six Super Bowl appearances to see what he’s accomplished and whether or not they can be applied to his team’s matchup with the Falcons at Super Bowl LI.
Super Bowl XXXVI
This was Brady’s first appearance in the Super Bowl and his coming-out party. The Patriots defense was the centerpiece of this championship team, however, as it held the St. Louis Rams, the Greatest Show on Turf, to just 17 points and just three through the first three quarters as it caused three turnovers.
Brady was named the Super Bowl MVP with a solid performance and a game-clinching drive with under two minutes on the clock to set up an Adam Vinatieri field goal that went through the uprights with zero seconds on the game clock. With all factors considered, that game-winning drive will go down as one of the most clutch two-minute drills in NFL history.
Many are drawing comparisons between this game and the one they are about to play against the Falcons as there are more than a few similarities between the Kurt Warner- and Matt Ryan-led offenses. A major difference, though, is that Brady is now much better than he was in 2002.
As the major underdog in this one, the win also led to one of just two Patriots’ covers in their last six trips to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXXVIII
In possibly the greatest individual performance from Brady in all of his SB appearances, a 26-year-old Tom threw for three touchdowns, zero interceptions, 323 yards and was named SB MVP for the second time after out-slinging Panthers QB Jake Delhomme.
Adam Vinatieri once again hit the game-winning field goal after a Brady-led drive with the score tied late in the fourth quarter. The Pats were dominant all year and were pegged as a big fave in this one, winning by just a field goal, setting a precedent of failing to cover the number that would stay true in four straight SB appearances.
Super Bowl XXXIX
Another solid performance from Brady but he had Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, who caught 11 passes for 130 yards, to thank for that. The Eagles had a chance to come back and win this game but were unable to recover an onside kick after nailing a field goal, then were pinned deep in their own end with under a minute on the clock and Donovan McNabb failed to get into field goal range.
The Pats defense was once again outstanding in this game and in total had four takeaways. New England failed to cover once again but that was just fine with the Pats, considering what was to come in their next two SB trips.
Super Bowl XLII
The game that will go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the NFL, the game that denied physics, the game where the previously undefeated Patriots had a chance to become the first team to go 19-0.
By all accounts, Brady was good in this game – not great, though. The pass rush of the New York Giants was their bread and butter and it seriously affected Tom. He was sacked five times in the game and simply gave Eli Manning too many chances to beat him. Eli ultimately led the Giants down the field for the game-winning drive and was saved by the infamous helmet catch from the otherwise useless David Tyree.
New England was a -12.5 favorite in this one and with the Giants winning the game straight up, sportsbooks lost a then-record $2.6 million.
Super Bowl XLVI
Basically a repeat of Super Bowl 46, the Giants once again used their pass rush to bother Brady all night and beat the Patriots straight up as the underdog. Tom threw his first ever SB interception in the game and failed to score a single point in the fourth quarter.
Super Bowl XLIX
This one should still be fresh in everyone’s memory but let’s get a little refresher. Tom and the Pats were down by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter but rattled off two touchdowns to take the lead and stopped the Seahawks on the one-yard line with a game-clinching interception from Malcolm Butler.
Pete Carroll was – and still is – heavily criticized for the decision to not run the ball with Marshawn Lynch and despite making the biggest play of the game, Butler was not named MVP, Brady was. He threw four touchdowns in the game but he also had two picks – his most ever in a Super Bowl.
New England finally managed to cover the spread with the four-point win but with an overall 2-4 ATS record, Brady’s track record isn’t great. You’ve probably heard by now that the underdog has won the last five Super Bowls and 12 of the last 15 and that the Pats are once again the favorites. Does that have any bearing on Brady, though? Does he feel the pressure knowing he’s supposed to win? Only he knows.
Here are his Super Bowl numbers broken down a little more.
|Super Bowl XXXVI vs Rams||1||0||86.2||145||W||W|
|Super Bowl XXXVIII vs Panthers||3||0||113.6||323||W||L|
|Super Bowl XXXIX vs Eagles||2||0||110.2||236||W||L|
|Super Bowl XLII vs Giants||1||0||82.5||266||L||L|
|Super Bowl XLVI vs Giants||2||1||91.1||276||L||L|
|Super Bowl XLIX vs Seahawks||4||2||101.1||328||W||W|