It has finally happened. It seemed like it wasn’t happening anytime soon. His grasp over the league seemed inescapable. But it is over. Tom Brady, TB12, Tommy Terrific, The GOAT has officially retired.
Yes, after dominating the league for over two decades, Brady has called it quits. We can go throughout the history books, and find an infinite archive of Brady achievements that launched him into football immortality. He has the MVP awards, league records, and Super Bowl titles to justify the claim as the GOAT. Despite the greatness we’ve witnessed, Brady is not perfect. Brady’s flaws people will point at, in an attempt to undermine his career. But, it will be out of pettiness. Regardless, some are really unavoidable.
2014 was definitely a special one for Brady. He was facing a decade-long championship drought. New England reached the AFC Championship game, to take on the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots would go on to win the title, and their fourth Lamboardi over the Seattle Seahawks. Conflicting reports rose that the Patriots’ balls were underinflated, to help Brady better grip the ball. The debacle led to Brady’s 2016 four game suspension. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the decision. It was the controversial talk of the season.
Brady had none of it, returning in Week 5. An infuriated Brady couldn’t be stopped. 2016 concluded with the ultimate comeback in Super Bowl history. 28-3, against the Falcons. This would be Brady’s greatest performance in New England gear. 25 unanswered points and OT touchdown, for ring number five.
Super Bowl Losses
What better way to make an early statement in a career, than with an accumulating number of Super Bowl wins. His first was against the Rams, in the ‘01 Season, at only 24 years old. The ‘04 Philadelphia Eagles and ‘05 Carolina Panthers provided Brady with his 2nd and 3rd.
Brady and the Patriots entered Super Bowl 42 as clear favorites, over scrappy underdogs, the New York Giants. New England rode on an 18-0 season, looking to become the 2nd team, since the ‘72 Dolphins, to end the season undefeated.
Eli Manning’s 10-6 Giants pulled off the shocker of the year. The game will be remembered for David Tyre’s 4th Quarter ‘Helmet Catch’, followed by Manning’s touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress. Brady was unable to respond with a game winning drive.
Brady found himself in a Super Bowl rematch, four years later. Once again, Big Blue bested the Patriots. Another miracle play, Manning to Mario Manningham’s sideline catch, was capped off with an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown run. Brady’s best efforts couldn’t fabricate the game winner, making Brady to 3-2 in Super Bowls.
Fast Forward to the 2017 season. Brady led his team to their eighth Super Bowl. This time in a Super Bowl 39 rematch, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Brady played a near perfect game, but backup QB Nick Foles pulled off his own miracle win, with the Philly Special, stunning the favorites.
Brady played superb games, but something about should-be scrubs stopped him from winning titles.
Last Game as a Patriot and Buccaneer
In 2019, Brady was poised to enter a consecutive fourth Super Bowl, after beating the LA Rams in Super Bowl 53. New England started the season on fire, going 8-0. Several losses later, the Patriots were relegated to a Wildcard game against the Tennessee Titans. Brady was overwhelmed in their match-up. On a potential game winning play, Brady was intercepted by Logan Ryan, for a touchdown. This painful interception would turn out to be Brady’s last pass as a Patriot.
The next year, the unthinkable happened. Brady left New England, and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady’s first season erased all doubts of him being washed-up, in a dominant 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, at Super Bowl 55. 2021 looked like Brady was going back to the Big Game. The Rams met Tampa in the Division Round. On the Bucs’ 2nd to last drive of the game, history was made. Mike Evans caught a 55 yard bomb, for Brady’s last career touchdown pass. LA turned over the ball, on their next drive. Leonard Fournette scored for the Bucs, to tie the game, 27-27. LA drove the length of the field, and the Tampa defense failed to block the eliminating field goal. Ironically, the Rams was the team Brady defeated for his first Super Bowl title. Rams’ revenge came in at the best possible time.
His Retirement Instagram Post
Regardless of his success in Tampa, Brady will forever be associated with the Patriots. It’s practically his home. One would think that an official farewell will include the clubs that welcomed him with open arms. In Brady’s Instagram retirement post, he addressed the fans, teammates, family, and the Buccaneers. But, no mention of the Patriots or Bill Belichick. For the diehards of Patriots Nation, that probably stings. He retired with another team, and did not publicly address his first. Yet, it doesn’t indicate that Brady has turned a cold shoulder to New England. Whatever emotions he feels towards the latter is probably best expressed between the two parties, before the football world gets to know more.
What other dubious moments in Brady’s career standout amongst others?