NFL: How Tom Brady continues to defy the odds at 43 as he eyes astonishing seventh SuperBowl
When Tom Brady was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the New England Patriots in March 2020, few predicted he would make another SuperBowl, but here we are again.
On Sunday, Brady will be competing in an unprecedented 10th SuperBowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nine of his appearances have come with the New England Patriots — and he will now look to add a remarkable seventh SuperBowl at the age of 43.
Some questioned whether Brady still had it in his locker after the Patriots lost their wild card round match 20–13 against the Tennessee Titans in January 2020 — but the way he has conducted himself this season has been nothing short of sensational.
Some argued that the Michigan product could only do it at the Patriots. How wrong were they? Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offence is stacked but he still had to adapt to that offence, and he has been efficient all season. He does the simple things well and that has been so effective.
Brady has also thrown a staggering 47 touchdowns this season; only Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback has thrown more — he has thrown more than the likes of Patrick Mahomes, who Brady will be facing-off in the SuperBowl this Sunday.
What was more impressive is how Brady has handled himself throughout the season, and he has a passer rating of 72.6, which is tied ninth in the NFL. The statistic which stands out the most though, is the fact that he’s thrown a staggering 4,633 yards this season. That’s the most yards he has thrown in a season since the 2015/2016 season, when he threw for 4,770 yards.
Of course the offence he is surrounded with is explosive, and they have been superb all season, but Brady has still had to be accurate when executing his throws and his composure in the pocket still makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and all of his experience has allowed him to excel.
How Brady overcame old foe Rodgers to reach yet another SuperBowl?
Brady outfought his old foe Rodgers, who was in sublime form heading into the NFC North divisional conference. The Green Bay Packers quarter-back was tremendous in the regular season and had the best quarter-back rating in the NFL, with an incredible 84.3.
He also threw the most touchdowns in the league and threw the least interceptions heading into the game, with just five — two of them came in the game between the two franchises earlier on in the season, which saw the Buccaneers blow-out the Packers, winning 38–10.
This, however was a much closer affair. The Buccaneers did lead 28–10 at one point, but Rodgers slowly brought the Packers back to life, showing his outstanding natural athleticism to bring the score back to 28–23, before Ryan Succop hit a 46-yard field goal with just under five minutes left — to make the score 31–23.
Rodgers tried to then complete the comeback but the excellent Buccaneers defence stood firm and Brady’s experience proved vital in securing the victory for the Tampa Bay franchise. This will be just their second ever SuperBowl appearance; they won their first in 2003, thrashing the then Oakland Raiders 48–21 at the Qualcomm Stadium, in San Diego, California — Jon Gruden was their head coach back then.
Is Brady capable of beating the magnificent Kansas City Chiefs?
With the likes of Mike Evans, Robert Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin on their roster, the Buccaneers will always pose a threat. Evans has been the standout player in their offence, scoring 13 touchdowns in the regular season, whilst racking up an impressive 1,006 receiving yards in the process.
However, if they’re to overcome the sensational Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, they will need to get out in-front quickly, as the defending SuperBowl champions have once again showcased this season, their ability to come from behind to win games and when you have a young, hungry quarter-back like Mahomes — you can never count them out.
We witnessed that in last year’s finale, when the Chiefs came from 20–10 down to score 21 unanswered points in the final quarter to give them their first SuperBowl victory for 50-years, so if the Buccaneers are to overcome Kansas City, they will need their key players to turn up and it is essential Brady puts on another vintage display this Sunday.
The only two teams to defeat the Chiefs this season are the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. It must be noted Andy Reid fielded a much weakened team against the Chargers, having already sealed a play-off spot.
Brady will be hoping to make it three come Sunday in what is set to be a mouthwatering SuperBowl, which is going to be played in Tampa Bay, which could potentially give the Buccaneers the edge over the Chiefs.
There will also be a limited attendance this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 22,000 fans expected to attend the Raymond James Stadium, which is approximately 30% of the 75,000 seater arena.