As I watched Tom Brady and the Patriots overcome an 11-point deficit in less than seven minutes, I couldn’t help but wonder if Brady could be the best postseason quarterback in history.
Statistically, not so. He is far behind Brett Favre, Dan Marino, and Joe Montana in passing yards and touchdowns. But stats haven’t made Brady famous. Rather, he’s earned his reputation with his knack for getting the job done when his team needs it most.
Just look at the 2002 Super Bowl. Starting on the 17-yard line with 1:21 left on the clock, Brady dissected the Rams defense and drove them 51 yards down field, close enough for Adam Vinatieri to kick a game winner. Final score: New England 20, St. Louis 17.
The 2004 Super Bowl was deja vu for Brady and the New England Patriots. With the game tied at 29 and only 68 seconds to go, Brady completed four of five passes for 47 yards and set up Vinatieri for another game winning field goal to beat a heavily favored Panthers team. The Patriots won the Super Bowl the next year too, and Brady joined an elite group of quarterbacks who have won three Super Bowls.
Tom Brady has a record of 12-1 in postseason games, and has never lost a Super Bowl. He holds the record for the longest postseason win streak (10), a record held by Bart Starr for over 40 years.
On Sunday night, Brady pulled off another last minute drive to beat the Chargers and brought New England one game away from their fourth Super Bowl appearance in six years. First they have to get through a red hot Colts team led by Peyton Manning. But if we know anything about Tom Brady, it’s that he performs best under pressure.
If Tom Brady wins the Super Bowl this year, next year, or any other year, everyone on earth will be able to agree on at least three things: that the day is light, that night is dark, and Tom Brady is the greatest postseason quarterback in history.