Legendary quarterback Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win against the Kansas City Chiefs last night.
The Buccaneers did it at home, winning 31-9 in front of a reduced capacity crowd of some 25,000 fans (and 30,000 cardboard cut-outs) at the Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida.
This was Brady’s 10th appearance at the Super Bowl, and he left with his seventh Super Bowl ring, meaning the former Patriot now has more Super Bowl wins than not just any player, but any franchise in NFL history.
Heading into last night’s epic encounter with the Chiefs, Brady had lifted the Lombardi Trophy on six previous occasions as a member of the dynastic New England Patriots side of the 2000s/2010s. The Patriots franchise has never lifted a Lombardi Trophy without Brady, though, so this surely puts an end to the Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick debate? We now know the real reason for New England’s 20-year period of dominance, and he is wearing red down in Florida.
Level with the Patriots on six Super Bowl wins is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers dominated the NFL during the 1970s and challenged Brady’s Patriots throughout the 2000s. Last night’s all-important W puts Brady one ahead of this storied franchise, too — it’s just an unbelievable achievement when one considers how hard it is to even get to a Super Bowl final, let alone win seven of them.
The Cowboys then have five wins; the 49ers just the five, too. Brady has seven wins spanning over a 20-year period; the guy is just incredible.
The truth is there were more than a few who wondered (myself included) if Brady would be as effective down in Tampa without his former coach Belichick and indeed, the Buccaneers’ early-to-mid-season form did little to silence the doubters: Brady wasn’t in sync with his new receivers; tight end, Rob Gronkowski looked off the pace, and the Buccaneers lacked adventure on offense.
Brady and co. took a real beating in the month of November, too. In fact, had you watched ‘the GOAT’ slumped on his seat during the Buccs’ 38-3 mauling at the hands of the Saints on Nov 8, you could have been forgiven for considering Tampa’s season over — the Buccs looked shellshocked and went on to lose two more matches to the LA Rams, and last night’s opponents the Kansas City Chiefs during that same month.
Anyone who watches NFL regularly, though, will know that ‘it’s not about how you start the season; it’s all about how you finish.’
Brady picked his team back up, and he – along with that outstanding, young defensive unit which was superb last night – went on a seven-game win streak to close out the regular season; won four straight games away from home in the playoffs, and then laid waste to the heavily fancied Kansas City Chiefs in the showcase event.
“I’m so proud of all of these guys,” he said. “We had a rough November but Bruce Arians (head coach) had all of the confidence in us and we came together at the right time.”
Thanks to his remarkable resilience and determination, the 43-year-old with the Midas touch now has more Super Bowl wins than any other franchise in the 55-year history of the NFL and deserves each and every plaudit that comes his way.
All hail the GOAT.