Most people will remember Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as one of the greatest head coach – quarterback duos of all time, winning three Super Bowls during the early part of their relationship. But there are also the two more losses in the final game, and five more early playoff exits despite being regarded as favorites more than once.
Tom Brady set a new record for passing yards in the postseason. When for over a decade you make the playoffs almost each and every time, it’s hard not to break and set a few record of your own. Brady threw for 320 yards in the 13-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, reaching 5,949 yards passing, the most in NFL history for the postseason.
But Brady was mostly frustrated in the second half, unable to get his team moving; sacked, throwing two interceptions, and looking nothing like the quarterback who moved the chains so easily against the Houston Texans. For a third consecutive time, the Baltimore Ravens made Tom Brady look quite un-golden.
There’s quite a lot of bad blood between the two teams, and dirty plays happen all the time. You just don’t expect a all-pro, future hall of fame quarterback to slide with his cleats high, attempting to injure Ed Reed. Brady was breaking away from the pocket and sliding to end the play. Ed Reed was running to tackle him but made a jump to avoid hitting Brady; it’s against the rules to hit a quarterback when he’s down. Brady raised his feet anyway, hitting Reed on the play as the safety was jumping over the Pats’ quarterback.
And then there’s Bill Belichick, avoiding an interview, not for the first time. Sore losers are easy to find, but Belichick trumps them all with the way he treats the media, especially after not getting his way. Even the greatest coaches get out-coached on some days, but it’s too bad Belichick has to show everyone the less pleasant sides of his personality. Coaches he has beaten in the past do not shy away from talking about a loss.
Shannon Share from CBS ripped Belichick after he refused the post-game interview: There’s something to be said about being gracious in defeat. We’ve seen the New England Patriots five times in the last 12 years be victorious. And we’ve seen the opposing coaches that lost come out and talk to our Steve Tasker. Coach Cowher did it when the Steelers lost to them. We saw this last week when the Patriots beat the Texans. Bill Belichick makes it real easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can’t be a poor sport all the time. You’re not gonna win all the time. And he does this every time he loses. It is unacceptable.
There’s a reason a lot of people do not like the Patriots, regardless of their own favorite teams. It has more to do with them winning so much; it has a lot to do with the kind of class and sportsmanship they don’t show when things don’t go their way.