Tom Brady doesn’t look troubled by many things, but he certainly looked off his game during Super Bowl XLII, as the New England Patriots, despite being a record breaking 16-0 team in 2007, lost to the New York Giants in an epic final game. On February 5 in Indianapolis, the two time Super Bowl MVP has a chance for some revenge.
Brady’s numbers on that night, as the Giants’ front four, great back then as it is now, sacked him five times for a loss of 37 yards, weren’t that bad, but weren’t MVP worthy like his regular season performances. Remember, during the regular season, Brady finished with 4806 yards, 50 touchdown to only 8 interceptions, finishing with a 117.2 QB rating, the highest of his career.
On that Glendale loss? “Only” 261 yards and a touchdown, but only 29-48 in his throws, with the Giants’ front four suddenly too much to handle for the fantastic Patriots offensive line. Brady faced the Giants that season in the regular season as well, finishing with 356 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots completed their perfect season with a 38-35 win. He got sacked only once during the game.
Four years later, and the Giants faced the Patriots once again in the regular season. The Giants beat New England 24-20 at Foxborough, with Brady sacked twice. Still, they pressured him enough to throw two interceptions, a rarity this season with Brady’s INT total ending at 12. This is what he’ll be facing against in about 10 days.
Lets no kid ourselves, as awesome as the Giants’ front four have been this past 6 weeks, Eli Manning’s rise this season has a lot to do with the Giants’ magical run. Even against the 49ers, the best defensive team in the NFL, according to popular opinion, Manning was able to dominate with 316 yards and two touchdown passes. More importantly against a team that often creates turnovers, no turnovers. It wasn’t as easy, with a 55.2% completion rate, but things will be easier against a Patriots secondary that isn’t so hard to crack.
Brady didn’t have it easy against the Ravens as well. He was terrible, and the Patriots won thanks to some very bad decisions by Harbaugh, not due to their all-pro quarterback being his usual brilliant self. Brady threw two interceptions and not a single touchdown in a game that somehow slipped away from the Ravens.
Super Bowl XLVI? Brady doesn’t have to be MVP-like, but it’s recommended that he is. The Giants’ secondary are not flawless, but getting through that front four isn’t easy. Not impossible, but under their current form, it’ll probably take a lot of creativity from the coaching staff to find ways and take the pressure off Brady, who probably needs Gronkwoski healthy to be extremely productive.
Arguably the best quarterback in the NFL and of the last 10 years, but he actually peaked, title-wise, during the years when he wasn’t as dominant. I think Brady deserves another crowning moment for the best years he’s had on the football pitch like the recent 4-5 seasons, as the Patriots became a team completely reliant on him, and for good reason.