Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. asserted himself as the greatest football player to have ever set foot on a field when he won his seventh Super Bowl title in Super Bowl LV.
With his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he defeated Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, with a scoreline of 31-9. He was already considered the Greatest of All Time – the GOAT – by many, but now it is out of the question.
Tom Brady Super Bowl wins
After receiving his seventh Lombardi trophy and his fourth SB MVP, presenter Jim Nantz asked Brady where this ranks among all of his wins. Of course, Brady didn’t answer the question – but I decided that somebody should.
So, here goes. Let’s rank all seven – yes, seven – Tom Brady Super Bowl wins.
7. Super Bowl LIII – Patriots 13 – 3 Rams (2018)
This game meant a lot when it happened, as Tom Brady’s sixth Super Bowl win, and of course the final win of the New England Patriots dynasty which he was central to.
However, now that he has continued his legacy beyond the sixth win, we can remember this game more as the final championship that the Pats won with him at the helm.
The 13-3 scoreline tells most of the story. The Patriots defense was absolutely awesome and the Rams couldn’t do anything to score. New England weren’t that much better, but it didn’t matter, because they scored the sole touchdown of the game and won it, which is all they cared about.
Julian Edelman won the Super Bowl MVP with his 10 receptions for 141 yards, and Sony Michel rushed in the only touchdown of the game. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t as exciting as many of the other games, but it did put the Patriots joint-first with six Super Bowls, tying the Steelers for the most ever.
6. Super Bowl XXXVIII – Patriots 32 – 29 Panthers (2003)
Brady’s second Super Bowl win came in 2003 in just his third season in the NFL.
That alone is impressive enough. He threw 354 yards and 3 touchdowns and they won a close game with a clutch field goal kick from Adam Vinatieri.
If you want a good way to measure the longevity of TB12, his third and final touchdown pass in this game was thrown to Mike Vrabel, who is now the head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
This game was an exciting one, and if you remove all of the context it would be higher up this list for sure, but as a sandwich win it gets slightly demoted due to how impressive the other two either side of it were.
At the time that this game was played, people had no idea what was truly playing out, but it was evident early on that Brady was special.
5. Super Bowl XXXVI – Patriots 20 – 17 Rams (2001)
One of the aforementioned Super Bowl win sandwich was the most unexpected of them all.
Back in the 2001 season, the second of head coach Bill Belichick’s tenure, quarterback Drew Bledsoe got injured in just Week 2. Brady took over in just his second season in the NFL, having been – now infamously – drafted in the sixth round (the 199th pick overall) the year before.
The young QB went 11-3 in his starts and took the team to the playoffs, which was impressive on its own. What happened after that is the stuff of legend. While the injury to Bledsoe – a good QB in his own right, 17th all-time in passing yards – seemed like a terrible misfortune when it happened, it completely changed the future of the Patriots, and the NFL, forever.
Tom Brady took the underdog Pats to victory over Kurt Warner and the Rams, winning 20-17, and won the first of his Super Bowls, and the first of New England’s. This was the first of Brady’s Super Bowl appearances, Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVP’s.
4. Super Bowl XXXIX – Patriots 24 – 21 Eagles (2004)
After bursting onto the scene in 2001 and earning the starting role, Brady was fantastic, and as we already saw, he won his second Super Bowl just one year removed from his first.
Well, in 2004 the Patriots went back-to-back with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. In his first Super Bowl meeting with Andy Reid, Brady led the team to a 24-21 win.
He was only required to put up a line of 236 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win, but his defense did a great job and intercepted Eagles QB Donovan McNabb three times to secure the title defense.
Deion Branch won Super Bowl MVP with a line that wasn’t dissimilar to Edelman’s in SB LIII, with 11 receptions for 133 yards, more than half of those that Brady threw. This wasn’t Brady’s most impressive individual performance, but winning back-to-back Super Bowls is a truly elite accomplishment so I rank this win as the best of the rest, behind the three truly unimaginable, unbelievable Super Bowl wins that cemented the legacy of Tom Brady.
3. Super Bowl XLIX – Patriots 28 – 24 Seahawks (2014)
If you read my article listing the greatest Super Bowls of all time, you already know where we have arrived on our list.
When Tom Brady and the New England Patriots made it to the Super Bowl in the 2014 season, they were matched up with a Seattle Seahawks team who were planning on being the first team since our last entry to go back-to-back.
With Russell Wilson, Marshawn ‘Beast Mode’ Lynch and the ‘Legion of Boom’ on defense, the Seahawks were well equipped to repeat.
Tom Brady had other plans, though, and he threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-24 win. This game was forever immortalised when the Seahawks opted to throw the ball instead of running it with Lynch, and Malcolm Butler’s interception on the goal line went down as one of the greatest moments in Super Bowl history.
The game itself being so insane somehow masked what else happened that night – the Patriots dynasty was reignited.
After the ridiculous period from 2001-04 with 2 wins and three appearances, the next decade before SB XLIX featured just two appearances in which they lost to the Giants both times. This victory was much more than an amazing game and another Super Bowl ring for Brady and Belichick. This was the start of the second leg of the dynasty.
2. Super Bowl LI – Patriots 34 – 28 Falcons (2016)
The greatest Super Bowl of all time. The greatest comeback of all time.
Super Bowl LI topped my list when we looked at the best Super Bowls ever, but it comes second when I rank Brady’s wins for obvious reasons.
We will talk about legacy in a minute, but first let’s focus on 2016. The Patriots were behind the eight ball in this one, when the Atlanta Falcons and their high-flying offense got out to a 28-3 lead – a scoreline which is as infamous as the man who overcame it – before Brady could wake up and take over the game. By the end of the comeback, number 12 had thrown a record-breaking 466 yards [a record which he broke again the year later in the LII loss, with the greatest losing effort I’ve ever seen in sports] as well as two passing touchdowns.
By the time we had those 466 yards, we had seen Julian Edelman make the most ridiculous catch we’d seen since David Tyree, James White scored three touchdowns, and the Super Bowl went to overtime for the first time in history. This game was utterly insane, unforgettable, and the game that added more to Tom Brady’s legacy than any other before it – and any other, full stop, until Sunday 7th February 2021.
1. Super Bowl LV – Buccaneers 31 – 9 Chiefs (2020)
Let me make a couple of things clear before we start talking about this game. Firstly, I know that the Buccaneers defense was absolutely phenomenal, that the Chiefs offensive line was banged up and that the game was nowhere near as entertaining and crazy as SB LI. All of this is completely accurate. But this article is about the legacy of the greatest player to ever play in the NFL. So, you know damn well that I’m giving last night the recognition it deserves. Super Bowl LV was the greatest victory of Tom Brady’s career, and here is why.
When Tom Brady won the Super Bowl for the seventh time, it was special for more reasons than I can fit in one paragraph. First thing’s first, he is 43 years old. He also did it after joining a new team during a global pandemic, in his first season in a new system – after years of people wondering if the system he was in with New England was what elevated him.
Brady only threw for 201 yards, but he only passed 29 times, completing 21 as he threw 3 touchdowns. His 125.8 passer rating was the highest he has had in 10 Super Bowl appearances – yes, even including the game where he threw 505 yards for 3 TD’s and no picks – and earned him his fifth Super Bowl MVP, the most ever.
The four touchdowns in the game also all went to notable free agent recruits, with Brady bringing some friends ‘into the fray’ in the form of Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard ‘Playoff Lenny’ Fournette.
Gronk, in particular, had an outrageous game, reconnecting with his old friend for two TD’s and 67 yards on a team-leading 6 receptions. It felt inevitable, Brady bringing Gronk back out of retirement and using him when it mattered. The tight end and his long-time QB broke two records in the game which were both owned by Joe Montana – Brady’s idol – and Jerry Rice, becoming the duo who connected on the most touchdowns in playoff history and in Super Bowl history with 14 TD’s in the playoffs and 5 TD’s in Super Bowls.
I could keep listing reasons that this win was amazing, like the fact that the Buccaneers are the first team to ever play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, and of course, therefore, the first to win it at home, but I will stop now.
Tom Brady officially made himself the undisputed greatest player in the history of the game. His combination of longevity and dominance has led to numbers that are almost unimaginable. He has played in 18% of all of the Super Bowls ever played, and won 13% of them. If you reduce it down to the Super Bowls since Brady entered the league, he has played in 50% of them, and won 35%. These numbers shouldn’t be possible, and maybe they aren’t. He won a Super Bowl in three different decades and hasn’t even retired yet. There will never be another Tom Brady, a man who was drafted in the sixth round and yet won more Super Bowls individually than any NFL franchise.
Tom Brady is the greatest of all time, the GOAT, and we witnessed the greatest victory of his career in 2021.