The NFL is like politics. It’s all about who you know, what you can offer, and if you’re willing to stand up for yourself. There’s the controversial leader, in this case the commissioner ,Roger Goodell, and those who are seen as his adversaries, this for some time, being the New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady.
There’s a reason that the Patriots are known as one of the best and also one of the most hated sports teams in the world. When asked what’s so special about them, Security guard Connor Sayles, who works for the team, said, “They made one of the best draft steals in NFL history with Tom Brady.”
Tom Brady, the former Michigan quarterback, was drafted 199th overall in 2000. At the time, he had a laughable 5.28 second 40-yard dash. He was picked up by the New England Patriots, led by fairly new head coach, Bill Belichick and very well-respected owner Robert Kraft. Since then he has won five Super Bowls in 16 years of being the starter.
Brady is considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time, often compared to greats like Brett Favre and Joe Montana. However earlier last year, commissioner Goodell tried to destroy this image by suspending Brady for four games. Goodell felt that Brady had knowledge of the deflation of the footballs used in a 2014 AFC Championship, where Brady and the Patriots whooped the Indianapolis Colts with a 42-20 win.
With Brady serving his suspension, his team was captained by second string quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and third string Jacoby Brissett. The back-ups led the Patriots to go 3-1 in their first four games. Brady returned in week five against the Browns, and easily beat them 33-13, passing for 406 yards and three touchdowns.
The Patriots cruised into the postseason with a record of 14-2. This was where Brady turned into the legend people know him to be. With 25 postseason wins, he now holds the quarterback record. So, it was no surprise that the Patriots stomped the Houston Texans 34-16 and the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17.
It was finally time. Brady would lead the Patriots to his seventh Super Bowl. In Super Bowl LI, he took on the most explosive offense in the league, the Atlanta Falcons, led by quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones. This Super Bowl would turn out to be one of the toughest dog fights in NFL history. But, like Sayles and many others would say, the Patriots are a “dynasty,” and they proved it that night.
Let’s be realistic. The Patriots weren’t the Patriots in the first half of the game. The defense couldn’t get Atlanta off the field. The offense couldn’t breakthrough and dropped passes that could’ve changed the momentum earlier in the game. The most “deflating” moment was when Tom Brady threw a pick-6. All hope seemed lost. The Falcons annihilated in the first half and went into halftime with a 21-3 lead. Most were calling it a blowout.
Never count the Patriots out. In the opening series of the second half, the Patriots defense caused a Falcons 3-and-out and give the ball to Brady. That’s when the momentum started to swing in the Patriots’ direction. They knew they could not give up big plays and when they stopped a seemingly flawless Atlanta offense, they started to gain hope. Alas, their offense could not get anything going.
A lot could be said about how incredible the Patriots deficit was coming into the second half, but with the greatest quarterback to ever play, you should never doubt a comeback. There were a lot of naysayers on twitter and every sort of social media outlet already hating on the Patriots about how such a “dynasty” could be toppled by a newcomer team. Then, there was the throw to Edelman. It has to be one of the greatest, and luckiest, catches of all time, setting the Patriots up with great field position.
The Falcons seemed to be getting worse while the Patriots became the Patriots again. What seemed to be an in-the-bag game for the Falcons, led to a tie at the end of the fourth quarter. It was the first overtime in Super Bowl history. The Patriots won the coin toss, chose to receive the ball, and the rest is history.
The Patriots offense was burning on all four cylinders, and with a toss to running back James White, the Patriots came back from the greatest deficit in Super Bowl history to win.
When asked if it was the success or the relationships amongst the team members that was most important, Sayles said, “The success on the field. That’s the whole purpose of having a team. It shows with their five Super Bowls.”
Indeed it does and this is what the Patriots are known for– being great and running the most successful team in the NFL. They think of it as a business and not a game. Businesses need to be taken care of to get the outcomes they’re paid to produce.
The Patriots. Tom Brady. Five Superbowls. Biggest comeback in NFL history. Not much else has to be said to explain why the Patriots are the best franchise led by the greatest quarterback. Not even a suspiciously-negligent commissioner or his punishment will stop this team from becoming the unstoppable force they have imposed on this league for years and will continue to impose for years to come.