For a guy who critics questioned whether the New England Patriots should replace him early this season, Tom Brady seems to be doing just fine.
He has another trophy to take home to his trophy wife.
Brady directed the Patriots to a come-from-behind 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, earning MVP honors for the third time to tie Joe Montana for the most in history.
“I’m just proud of our effort and our determination,” Brady said. “We showed it all year. Every team has a journey, and a lot of people lost faith in us early, but we held strong. We held together. It’s a great feeling.”
Brady completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, a 101.1 passer rating. He set four Super Bowl records and tied two others.
His four Super Bowl victories tie Montana, his childhood hero, and Terry Bradshaw for the most among quarterbacks in history.
But Brady, 37, has no plans of walking off into the sunset.
“I’ve got a lot of football left,” Brady said. “It’s hard to play this game, and it takes a big commitment, a lot of sacrifice. For all the players that have played in the past and I’ve looked up to and admired and a lot of the players now who I look up to and admire, it’s a big challenge and it’s incredible to experience this feeling once, and I’ve been fortunate to play on four really great teams, so I’m really blessed.”
Brady was at his best when it mattered most.
He went 13-of-15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. On the go-ahead drive, Brady completed eight of eight passes for 65 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman.
“Tom is the best quarterback to be on this planet,” Edelman said. “He’s won four Super Bowls in the salary cap era. He’s been in six. He’s played with a bunch of different guys. I don’t know how you can argue that. You just can’t go out and buy Super Bowls these days.”
The Patriots, though, couldn’t celebrate until Malcolm Butler’s heroics at the 1-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Russell Wilson turned Brady into the hero.
“He’s the best, and he showed it again tonight,” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said.
“He never got disappointed or discouraged when we had a couple of turnovers in the course of the game. He just kept fighting and demonstrated a lot of confidence on the sideline, a lot of confidence at halftime. I think our players fed off of that. I don’t think we ever felt like it was anything more than us needing to go out and execute. He was the guy that we put the ball in his hands, and he really came through big in the fourth quarter.”
Brady won his first Super Bowl to end the 2001 season. He won two more to end the 2003 and ’04 seasons. But his previous two trips had ended in heartbreak with close losses to the New York Giants.
“We’ve had some great teams that haven’t won it, and I think you’ve got to just enjoy the moment,” Brady said. “We’ve been on the other end of this twice now and being ahead late and not being able to make the plays to win, and this time, we made the plays to win. Just awesome. What an experience.”
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760