Tom Brady, the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, will start in his 10th Super Bowl this Sunday. Brady has made it to the Super Bowl in more than 50% of the seasons where he’s started more than one game.
Brady has simply too much history in the big game to expect anyone to remember all of it, so we’re providing this game-by-game primer as a refresher. If you’re someone who has never seen a Tom Brady Super Bowl but somehow clicked on this, welcome aboard.
Missed the first three Super Bowls? You can find Part 1: A New Hope For New England here.
In Part 2, the Patriots battle the same villain twice, but will they come out of it with both hands intact?
Part 2, The Empire State Strikes Back
Super Bowl XLII – Lost to New York Giants 17-14
In the 2007 season, Brady set a new season record for TD passes with 50, receiver Randy Moss set a new season record for TD receptions with 23, and the team went 16-0.
Many thought their Super Bowl win against the Giants was only a formality and their perfect season was guaranteed. The New York defense didn’t see it that way, sacking Brady five times and slowing their historic offense to a halt. Brady still connected with Moss on a late TD to take a 14-10 lead, but Eli Manning led his team down the field for an even later score, a Giants Super Bowl win and Brady’s first Super Bowl loss.
Key Play – Helmet Catch
The Giants faced a third down with just over a minute remaining when Manning heaved a prayer down the field. The rest is simply known as “The Helmet Catch”.
Super Bowl XLVI – Lost to New York Giants 21-17
The Patriots were 5-3 on the season after losing to the Giants in a Week 9 Super Bowl rematch. The team then won their last 8 games and demolished a Tim Tebow-led Broncos team in the playoffs. New England got lucky in the AFC Championship Game with a last second TD pass breakup and then a missed FG by the Ravens, which sent them to a real Super Bowl rematch vs. the Giants.
Brady did not have a great start, as he committed an Intentional Grounding penalty that had to be ruled a Safety since it occurred in their own end zone. The Patriots trailed 9-0 after the first quarter, but Brady would complete 16 straight passes over the 2nd and 3rd quarters and New England led 17-9 deep in the 3rd quarter. But Brady and the Patriots could not put up any more points on the board and the Giants came back to win 21-17, giving Brady his second Super Bowl loss.
Key Play – Welker Drop/Brady Misfire
The Patriots led 17-15 with a little over four minutes remaining, and New England had the ball on the Giants 44. Brady lofted a pass to Wes Welker, but the two couldn’t complete the connection (who was at fault is still debated). A catch would have put the ball right near the Giants 20 and allowed the Patriots to kill a lot of clock (the Giants only had one timeout left) and score at least three points. Instead, the Patriots failed to convert on the ensuing third down and punted.
Just like most second movies in trilogies, our hero is reeling. Earlier it seemed like he could do no wrong and success was a given. Now, as he enters into what should be the final years of his career it seems like that 4th ring could never come.
Or maybe this is just setting the stage for a comeback like we’ve never seen?
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