Both things can be true. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. Furthermore, his combination of individual and team accomplishments is unmatched at the moment. However, no athlete has ever had more luck, good fortune, and good circumstances come his way like Tom Brady. What I have compiled below is a list of the most fortunate occurrences that have gone Tom Brady’s way in his 7 Super Bowl runs.
-Divisional Round vs. Oakland Raiders: The Patriot’s defense held the Oakland Raiders to 13 points. The Patriots offense only scored 16 points. In addition, Tom Brady threw 0 TD passes and 1 interception. Brady had a game losing sack fumble turnover overturned by “The Tuck Rule” down 13-10 with 1:50 left in the game. The Patriots won 16-13 in overtime.
-AFC Championship Game at the Pittsburgh Steelers: The Patriot’s defense held the Pittsburgh Steelers to 17 points and intercepted quarterback Kordell Stewart 3 times. In addition, the Patriots scored 2 special team touchdowns which accounted for 14 points. Tom Brady left the game early with an injury and did not throw for a touchdown pass. The only touchdown pass the Patriots threw all game was by Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots won 24-17.
-Super Bowl vs. the St. Louis Rams: The Patriot’s defense held the Rams to 17 points and Patriots cornerback Ty Law intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it for a touchdown. That means that Tom Brady only led the Patriots offense to 13 points. In addition, Tom Brady only completed 16-27 passes for 145 yards with 1TD pass and somehow won Super Bowl MVP. The Patriots won 20-17.
-Tom Brady’s stat line during the Patriots Super Bowl Run: 60-97 572 yards 1TD 1INT.
-The Patriots defense held their playoff opponents to 15.7 points per game
2003 New England Patriots Super Bowl Run
-Divisional Round vs. Tennessee Titans: The Patriot’s defense held the Titans to 14 points. Tom Brady’s stat line during that game: 21-41 201 yards for a completion percentage of 51.2% with 1 TD and 0 interceptions. Furthermore, Tom Brady had an abysmal passer rating of 73.3. The Patriots won the game 17-14
-AFC Championship vs. the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots defense held the Peyton Manning led Colts to 14 points. In addition, the Patriots intercepted Peyton Manning 4 times. Tom Brady’s stat line during that game: 22-37 237 yards 1 TD 1 interception with a passer rating of 76.1. The Patriots won the game 24-14.
-The Patriots defense held their playoff opponents to 19 points per game.
2004 New England Patriots Super Bowl Run
-Divisional Round vs. Indianapolis Colts: The Patriots defense held the Peyton Manning led Colts to 3 points and forced Peyton Manning into an interception. Furthermore, the Patriots won the turnover battle 3-0. In addition, the Patriots running game gave Tom Brady 210 yards on 5.4 yards per carry and 1 touchdown of support. Tom Brady’s stat line during that game: 18-27 144 yards 1TD 0 interceptions. The Patriots won the game 20-3.
-AFC Championship Game at the Pittsburgh Steelers: The Patriots defense forced Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger into 3 interceptions. The Patriots won the game 41-27
-Super Bowl vs. the Philadelphia Eagles: The Patriots defense forced Eagles QB Donovan McNabb into 3 interceptions. The Patriots won the game 24-21
-The Patriots defense held their playoff opponents to an average of 17 points per game.
2014 New England Patriots Super Bowl Run
-Divisional Round vs. the Baltimore Ravens: The Patriots defense forced Ravens QB Joe Flacco into 2 interceptions. The Patriots won that game 35-31
-AFC Championship Game vs. the Indianapolis Colts: The Patriots defense held the Indianapolis Colts to 7 points. In addition, the Patriots defense also forced Colts QB Andrew Luck into 2 interceptions. The Patriots won that game 45-7.
-Super Bowl vs. the Seattle Seahawks: With the Patriots leading 28-24 with 26 seconds left in the game, the Seattle Seahawks had 2nd and goal from the Patriots 1 yard line. Instead of handing the ball off to star Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw a goal line interception to give the Patriots the win. The Seahawks would have almost certainly won the game if they would have handed the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and scored a touchdown there. Only Tom Brady can will his opponents into making stupid play calls to lose games from the sidelines. The Patriots won that game 28-24
2016 New England Patriots Super Bowl Run
-Divisional Round vs. the Houston Texans: The Patriots defense held the Houston Texans to 16 points and forced Texans QB Brock Osweiler into 3 interceptions. Tom Brady’s stat line during this game: 18-38 287 yards 2 touchdowns 2 interceptions. Furthermore, Brady had an abysmal 68.6 passer rating. The Patriots won that game 34-16
-AFC Championship vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers: The Patriots defense held the Pittsburgh Steelers to 17 points and forced an interception of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Patriots won that game 36-17
Super Bowl vs. the Atlanta Falcons: This game will forever be remembered as the game in which the Patriots came back from down 28-3 to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl. However, this game was most about how the Falcons choked. With the Falcons ahead 28-9 with the ball, they had a second and 1 at the Patriots 32-yard line which is well within field goal range. The next play results in a holding call against the Falcons followed by an incomplete pass and a sack of Falcons QB Matt Ryan to force the Falcons out of field goal range which resulted in a Falcons punt.
The Patriots then added a field goal to make the score 28-12. With the Falcons up 28-12, Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower sacked Falcons QB Matt Ryan which forced a fumble in which the Patriots recovered at the Falcons 25-yard line. That play set up an easy 5 play 25-yard drive to cut the deficit to 28-20. With The Falcons ahead 28-20, the Falcons again were well within field goal range and a field goal would have effectively sealed the game. However, The Falcons faced a 2nd and 11 from the Patriots 23-yard line and for some reason decided to call a pass play. That pass play resulted in Matt Ryan being sacked. Furthermore, what followed was a Falcons holding call and an incomplete pass which left the Falcons with 4th and 33 from the Patriots 45-yard which forced the Falcons to punt with 3:38 left in the game.
The Patriots would then tie the game and win it in overtime. The game management from the Falcons was such a disaster that it completely let the Patriots back into the game. It was more about how the Falcons choked than how Tom Brady led a comeback. The Patriots won that game 34-28 in overtime.
2018 New England Patriots Super Bowl Run
– AFC Championship game at the Kansas City Chiefs: With the Kansas City Chiefs ahead 28-24 with 54 seconds left in the game, Tom Brady threw what would have been the game losing interception to Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward. However, the play was nullified by Chiefs defensive end Dee Ford lining up offside on a play he had no impact on. Furthermore, that was the second time in Brady’s playoff career that he had a game losing turnover nullified. Cough cough “The Tuck Rule.” Tom Brady’s stat line in that game: 30-46 348 yards 1 TD 2 interceptions. The Patriots won that game 37-31 in overtime.
-Super Bowl vs. the Los Angeles Rams. The Patriots defense held the Rams to 3 points while forcing Rams QB Jared Goff into an interception. In addition, Tom Brady only led his offense to 13 points. This was the second time Brady won a Super Bowl while leading his offense to only 13 points. Tom Brady’s stat line during that game: 21-35 262 yards 0 TD 1 interception. The Patriots won that game 13-3.
-Tom Brady’s stat line during the Super Bowl run: 85-125 953 yards 2 TD 3 interceptions.
2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl Run
-Wild Card Round at the Washington Commanders. The Buccaneers defense forced Commanders QB Taylor Heinecke into an interception. The Buccaneers won that game 31-23
-Divisional Round at the New Orleans Saints. The Buccaneers defense forced 4 New Orlans Saints turnovers which included 3 interceptions thrown by Saints QB Drew Brees. The 3 Buccaneers touchdown drives were an average length of 21 yards. The Buccaneers won the game 30-20.
-NFC Championship Game at the Green Bay Packers. The Buccaneers defense forced two Green Bay Packers turnovers including an interception thrown by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Tom Brady threw 3 terrible second half interceptions that didn’t end up costing his team the win. Tom Brady’s stat line during this game: 20-36 280 yards 3 TD 3 interceptions. The Buccaneers won that game 31-26.
Super Bowl vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers defense held the Patrick Mahomes led Kansas City Chiefs to 9 points and forced Mahomes into 2 interceptions. The Patriots won that game 31-9.
-The Buccaneers defense held their playoff opponents to 19.5 points per game.
As you can see, Tom Brady has had a ton of luck and held in his playoff career. It wasn’t just Tom Brady that won those Super Bowls. Football is a team game and nobody has had more help and support from their teammates than Tom Brady. That is why Tom Brady is both overrated and the GOAT all at the same time. Furthermore, there is one thing in life that is undefeated. The Brady luck.
Photo Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck