SportsPulse: NFL insider Jarrett Bell puts into perspective Tom Brady winning his sixth ring and how this decades Patriots dynasty might be more impressive than the one in the 2000s.
Vintage Tom Brady was at Super Bowl LIII briefly. With under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Brady went 4-for-4 passing on the winning drive.
It’s what you expect from Brady. A sweet touch pass over a defender to Rob Gronkowski for 18 yards. Then a 13-yarder to Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman. A dump-off 7-yard play to Rex Burkhead. Then Brady completed the most crucial pass of the day, a 29-yard toss to Gronkowski to set up a short dive for the winning touchdown.
It wasn’t the most spectacular drive of his career, but it was Brady being Brady. Masterful reads. Pinpoint accuracy. Clutch throws. Those are the moments New England fans will remember from this 13-3 win.
But the reality is that this Brady performance, with no touchdown passes and one interception, will rank last among his six Super Bowl-winning individual efforts.
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Here is how we rank them from best to worst:
1. Super Bowl LI (2016 season)
34-28 win over Atlanta Falcons
43/62 passing, 466 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Shaking off a poor start, Brady rallied the Patriots from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to earn MVP honors. He set a new Super Bowl passing yardage record (which he broke in the next Super Bowl with 505) while leading New England to the most memorable comeback in Super Bowl history.
2. Super Bowl XXXVI (2001)
20-17 win over St. Louis Rams
16/27 passing, 145 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs
Even though Brady didn’t have impressive numbers, he was given the MVP award for the composed, mistake-free way he managed the game. Brady had no timeouts and 1:30 left in regulation when he passed the Patriots down the field for a winning 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri on the last play of the game. Brady started the season as an unheralded backup quarterback, and he ended it with his first Super Bowl.
3. Super Bowl XLIX (2014)
28-24 win over Seattle Seahawks
37/50 passing, 328 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs
Trailing 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Brady directed two touchdown drives to earn MVP honors. He threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Edelman with 2:02 left in regulation. At the time, Brady’s 37 completions against a strong Seattle defense were a new Super Bowl record, which he broke two years later.
4. Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003)
32-29 win over Carolina Panthers
32/48 passing, 354 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
With the game tied at 29-29 with 1:08 remaining, Brady missed on his first throw and then completed five in a row, including a 17-yarder to Deion Branch, to set-up a game-winning 41-yard field goal by Vinatieri. The two teams combined for 37 points in the fourth quarter. Brady was named MVP.
5. Super Bowl XXXIX (2004)
24-21 win over Philadelphia Eagles
23/33 passing, 236 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Brady wasn’t MVP of this game even though he earned the highest QB rating of his Super Bowl-winning performances (110.2). It was a near-flawless performance. Brady delivered the MVP honor to Deion Branch by hitting him 11 times for 133 yards.
6. Super Bowl LIII (2018)
13-3 win over Los Angeles Rams
21/35 passing, 262 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
What will be remembered about Brady in this game was that he was exceptional when the Patriots needed him to be. When they needed a winning drive, his touch was perfect. But this was the lowest QB rating (71.4) Brady has had in his eight Super Bowl appearances.