Tom Brady’s Post Season Success is a Mirage
For those who don’t believe that being the pretty-boy all-star quarterback can create reality out of that which is fiction, look no further than Tom Brady and the mirage that is his post-season greatness.
Before anyone starts bellyaching about Tom Brady being a terrible quarterback, that’s not the case. He’s an outstanding quarterback. He’s the offensive leader of a team that has won 3 Superbowls in the last 10-years. He was (ridiculously) awarded the Most Valuable Player in two of them when other people were probably far more deserving. Further, the New England Patriots Superbowl wins had less to do with his performances as they did with defense and clutch field goal kicking. Lately, Tom Brady has been a choke artist.
Superbowl XXXVI vs. St. Louis Rams (20-17 win)
Tom Brady was awarded the most valuable player award for his 16-for-27-145 yards, 1 touchdown performance. This is probably the game where the MVP award in the Superbowl was rendered a joke (the first that allowed fan voting to influence the outcome). While Brady certainly took the team into field goal range on the final drive, it was the real MVP of that game, Adam Vinateri, whose clutch kick won the game for the team on the final play of the game. Combine that with an outstanding performance by the Patriots defense, which forced then super-QB, Kurt Warner into two interceptions and numerous fumbles. Tom Brady was barely a game manager in his first Superbowl and walked away with an MVP over a few other deserving players – namely Adam Vinateri and Ty Law.
Superbowl XXXVIII vs. Carolina Panthers (32-29 win)
Tom Brady was awarded the most valuable player for his 32-for-48-354 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception performance. Far more impressive than his pedestrian effort in Superbowl XXXVI, there is still much to be said about the Patriots defense and, of course, Adam Vinateri showing up to win the game at the end. While he did miss a field goal and had another blocked, he was spot-on when it counted. There was also Deion Branch’s 10-catches for 158-yards and a touchdown that was overlooked in favor of the prettier Tom Brady.
Superbowl XXXIX vs. Philadelphia Eagles (24-21 win)
Finally, someone other than Tom Brady would win a Superbowl MVP. While I’m certain it was difficult to not award it to the New England Patriots quarterback, it was hard to overlook Deion Branch’s 11-reception, 133-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. Branch was rightfully awarded the most valuable player of the Superbowl. Brady’s 23-for-33-236 yards and two touchdown performance was adequate to win the game against the hapless Philadelphia Eagles and their eternally vomitous quarterback, Donovan McNabb.
In 2005, Tom Brady and the Patriots were 1-1, bounced from the playoffs by the Denver Broncos. His post-season completion percentage of 55.6, four touchdowns and two interceptions could have probably used some walk-through tape review of their opponents.
In 2006, Tom Brady and the Patriots were 2-1, bounced from the playoffs by the Indianapolis Colts. His post-season completion percentage of 58.8, five touchdowns and four interceptions could probably have used some walk-through tape review of their opponents.
In 2007, Tom Brady and the Patriots were 2-1, losing in the Superbowl to the New York Giants after their epic undefeated regular season. The post-season also included six touchdowns and three interceptions along with their inability to generate much offense in the big game.
In 2008, I expected him to win the Superbowl MVP despite missing the entire season. Matt Cassel, despite all of his detractors, did a fine job as backup and the Patriots failed to make the playoffs despite a record worthy of being there. Matt Cassel did lead the team to an 11-5 record with 21 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions.
In 2009, Tom Brady and the Patriots were 0-1, having gotten smashed in the mouth by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14. Tom Brady had two touchdowns and three interceptions.
In 2010, Tom Brady and the Patriots were 0-1, losing 28-21 to the New York Jets. His two touchdowns and one interception and inability to generate much in the way of offense would not lead to another Superbowl MVP award.
Here’s what I see: Since Belichick can no longer videotape other teams’ game planning walk-throughs and such… and since the New England Patriots have neither the defense nor the clutch kicker of their bygone Superbowl stretch years… there is no sanctuary for Tom Brady. They’ve had to open up the playbook and rely much more heavily on the pass. The end result: No Superbowl wins and no more Superbowl MVP awards for Tom Brady.
I see 1-3 in his last 4 meaningful post-season games, with 7 interceptions to match his 7 touchdowns. What do you see? Leave a comment.