Red and blue confetti filled the air inside the University of Phoenix stadium only moments after the Patriots had defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. An amazing 28-24 come-from-behind victory was the vision left inside the minds of Patriots fans, as despair of a controversy play call crept inside the heartbroken 12th man.
Why didn’t they run the ball? – A question that will always be asked when football fans look back at Super Bowl XXLX. Quite frankly, it might never be answered correctly; or at least under reasoning that we can comprehend as acceptable. They had the game won! 26 seconds left, 2nd and goal from the one-yard line, and a timeout to spare… with Lynch in the backfield, dubbed by many as the “best running back in the NFL”.
The most unbelievable part about the sequence was Bill Belichick not burning his timeouts. Marshawn Lynch ran the ball with 1:06 on the play clock and ended up being tackled on the one-yard line (which you saw). Right then, EVERYBODY was waiting for Belichick to burn a timeout (of their two remaining)… AND HE DIDN’T! I couldn’t believe it; he had Tom Brady on the sideline and wasn’t going to give him a chance, assuming Seattle would just hand the ball to Beast Mode so they could receive their second Vince Lombardi Trophy in a row. Well, after handshake celebrations in the end zone (and maybe a Marshawn crotch-grab) of course. But maybe, just maybe the brilliance of Bill Belichick was on display once again in front of all of us. He didn’t call a timeout because maybe, just MAYBE he thought it’d mess will Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell’s minds. Giving the ball to Lynch was the obvious thing to do (DUH!!!) and it’s possible that Carroll/Bevell believed Belichick didn’t call a timeout because he knew what was coming. ONLY Belichick has the cajones big enough to pull a mind trick with less than 30 seconds left of the most watched event in sports history. Only Belichick would dare to pretend he fell asleep at the wheel with his legacy on the line. If Lynch scores Belichick looks like an idiot for not even giving his football team a chance to get into field goal range. Can’t you see it? It’s a brilliant manipulation from the greatest coach in the history of the game. He single handedly FORCED Seattle into scrambling and calling another play because they thought Belichick was on to them. The guttiness of Pete Carroll took over from there and he tried to out-smart football’s mastermind, which resulted in biting the Seattle Seahawks biting the hand that fed them all season. Malcolm Butler went from undrafted free agent, to household name in less than a moment; a split change in direction. He preserved not only the win, but his coach and quarterbacks storyline. Why? Not because it was destiny, but because of the greatness that wanders the New England sideline on game day. “Do your job” is Belichick’s slogan, trademark, and go-to saying. That is exactly what Butler did when his time was called upon. He didn’t just do his job though; he made a HELL of a play.
“The Call” isn’t the only thing trending after SB49 and New England fans will be the first to tell you what else was (myself included). After his performance, Tom Brady solidified himself as the greatest quarterback to EVER play the game. Put a stamp on it. Let’s go a step further; Tom isn’t just the greatest to ever play his position, but he is also the most valuable player to a franchise in NFL history.
The interception may have officially sealed the game for New England, but that isn’t the only reason why they won.
Let this sink in – Tom Brady threw for 328 yards, four touchdowns, and 37 completions (Super Bowl record) against one of the greatest defenses to ever play the game. Brady was also 13-15 for 116 yards and two touchdowns during his final two drives of the 4th quarter. Brady overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half (Super Bowl record) by going 8-8 on his game winning drive. Tommy leapfrogged Montana (11) during the game for Super Bowl touchdown passes, with 13 (also a Super Bowl record). Oh yeah, it was Brady’s fourth Super Bowl victory (tied Super Bowl record for QB’s), which gives him 21 postseason victories (NFL record).
Go ahead reread; let it sink in. Be happy for Tom Brady because this doesn’t happen often.
There is absolutely no question in my mind that Brady is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Look at the accolades! What else does he have to do? He owns almost every postseason record that a quarterback can have. Brady already had the resume – The drive against the Rams in order to outperform the greatest show on turf, 12/14 AFC East Division Championships, 9 AFC Championship games, the 50 touchdown season, 6 Super Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl victory 10 years apart from his previous, and now the Super Bowl 49 performance. The best part of all – Brady has had little-to-no help over the course of his career from receivers with the exception of Moss, Gronkowski, and Branch. Going 4-2 in the big game is great, but Brady is literally TWO plays from being 6-0. Both plays that happened Brady couldn’t control occurred. He watched helplessly on the sideline. It took two MIRACULOUS plays to conquer the beast on his stage.
It’s truly amazing to me how tough Tom Brady is. Not just on the field, but mentally. The last couples of weeks leading up to the Super Bowl were anything except fun for Brady. Anytime he tried to do anything he would hear or see people ripping his image apart for allegedly deflating footballs (that is turning out to be a lot different).
Even Joe Montana, Brady’s lifetime role model, questioned his integrity. Can you imagine if the one person you’ve looked up to your entire life just absolutely crushed you before you are about to do something that would define your career? How does Brady react to Montana’s comments? He puts on his work boots and transforms into whom I call Dr. Brady.
The Doc is different than any quarterback ever. His ability to pick apart a defense is instinct rather than a process. A right arm as accurate as a world champion darts finalist and strong as a M67 recoilless rifle. Deceptive mobility within the pocket while two eyes constantly glow down the field. Brady has silent confidence that hides behind his bleak frame and fierce game time countenance. Bottled up emotions are only shown after touchdowns through his head-butts that are passed onto teammates; unless Brady is coaching teammates on the sideline. A command from teammates while on/off the field that is second to none; an extension of Belichick that is always in the offensive huddle. Cold blood runs throughout the legend’s veins that allow him to perform at his best in any weather, anytime of the game, or any stage.
He put on a clinic Sunday with how he surgically removed the Legion of Boom out of the Super Bowl. Even with two interceptions, Brady kept his composure. “He never got disappointed or discouraged when we had a couple of turnovers,” said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. “He just kept fighting and demonstrated a lot of confidence on the sideline, a lot of confidence at halftime. Our players fed off of that.”
Brady rebounded and went nearly perfect when the Pats needed #12 the most. With the entire world watching, Brady delivered with a “Boston against everybody” mentality. If they had lost the game ALL Brady hears is that he’s a cheater, or can’t win a game without bending the rules. However, Brady didn’t just deliver, he did so in heroic fashion. He wiped away all criticism and doubt surrounding his name while displaying one of the greatest performances in Super Bowl history.
For those who’ve watched Brady throughout his career, you knew that there was no way he was going to let them lose that game. I could see it in his face as he ran out of the tunnel during the Pats introduction. His demeanor, his swagger was the epitome of what he’s been about. The jog out to his sideline was very Brady-esque. After seeing how fired up he was for the game, I knew there was no way he wasn’t going to play great.
Throughout the game Brady was a magician. He was smart enough to attack Seattle underneath and take shots when they were there (TD to Gronk, 3rd & 18 to Edelman, etc.) Teams haven’t been successful against Seattle’s defense in two years (especially when passing) and Brady made them look like a high school man-to-man with how easy it was for him to get completions. Of course Edelman, Gronkowski, Amendola, LaFell, Vereen, etc. made great runs after their catches, but that is what they do! If you’d say Jerry Rice never made plays after the catch for Montana Bradshaw, or Manning, you’d be a fool.
The best part of the game for me was the closing seconds. Brady had a GREAT hard count that made Seattle jump (brilliant, just brilliant) to get the Patriots out of their end zone so they could seal the deal. This caused a fight of some kind because Seattle had never been manipulated, controlled, or managed with the force Brady used in Super Bowl 49. During the fight there was a close up shot of Brady just standing there in the midst of everything, calm as ever, just watching. This is what Brady is about, the big picture. After the final knee, Sherman was already waiting next to Brady to shake his hand. Brady could’ve asked him, “You mad bro?” like Sherman famously said to Brady, but instead he shook his opponents hand like a man.
Everybody else ran away to celebrate the victory while Brady just stayed down, taking it all in.
Tom Brady was always close. Always close to becoming the greatest to ever play the game. But this game was just over the top. It was an explanation point. I don’t need to post pretty pictures of Brady’s individual head-to-head stats between him and 5 other quarterbacks because Super Bowl 49 was the deciding factor. We witnessed history on Sunday, a showcase of the GOAT manifesting his legacy in front of 114.4 million people. This game was the substance of his career – refusing to quit, doubted by many, thriving under great pressure, and of course triumph.
Brady was a kid from San Mateo, California with dreams of becoming Joe Montana. As of Sunday, Brady is that. Nobody is better than Brady in regards to football. Next season Brady will be the first athlete since Michael Jordan to be playing his sport while addressed as, “The Greatest Ever” (four major sports). He is the greatest quarterback to step on this planet and the margin will only widen between the GOAT and his field. He is the best today, Sunday, and in all of history.