NFL

Tom Brady leaves Patriots: The quarterback's top five moments in New England

By Sports Desk March 17, 2020

A chapter looks set to be closed on one of the most successful eras in NFL history after the New England Patriots confirmed Tom Brady would hit free agency.

New England certainly got plenty of value from their 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady establishing himself as a franchise quarterback and leading the Pats to six Super Bowl titles.

With the team and their most iconic player now parting ways, we remember Brady's best moments as a Patriot.

 

A LEGEND IS BORN

Nineteen years ago, the course of the NFL was altered forever when Jets linebacker Mo Lewis delivered a brutal hit on Drew Bledsoe, leaving New England's then starting quarterback with internal bleeding.

The relatively unknown Brady stepped into the breach in Week 2 and led New England all the way to the Super Bowl, keeping his job even after Bledsoe returned to fitness.

Bill Belichick's team were huge underdogs against the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, though with 1:21 to play, the Patriots had the ball on their own 17-yard line and the game was tied at 17-17.

New England had no timeouts left and commentator John Madden famously said they should "play for overtime", but a nerveless Brady drove them into field-goal position and Adam Vinatieri did the rest to kick-start a dynasty.

THE (NEAR) PERFECT SEASON

The 2007 season is remembered for the one loss New England had, in Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants, but their incredible campaign certainly deserves to be celebrated.

New England acquired receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss in the offseason and the Brady-led offense proved unstoppable, the quarterback throwing for an NFL record 50 touchdowns - 22 more than he had previously managed in a campaign.

The Pats went 16-0 in the regular season and Brady won the first of his three MVP awards, but the Giants spoilt an otherwise perfect season in Arizona.

 

FIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN ONE QUARTER

Not enough is made of Brady's remarkable performances in cold weather, and his skill in the snow was especially evident during a 59-0 regular-season rout of the Tennessee Titans in 2009.

In the second quarter alone, Brady set an NFL record for touchdown passes in one quarter as Welker and Moss each caught two apiece and Kevin Faulk hauled in a score as well.

This performance came in his first season back from a serious knee injury that kept him out of virtually the entire 2008 campaign.

 

A UNANIMOUS MVP

Three years after being voted the NFL's best, Brady won the respect of his peers again, only this time everyone was in agreement.

All 50 voters selected Brady as the MVP of the 2010 season and he became the award's first ever unanimous winner.

Consistency was the key for the quarterback as the Pats went 14-2, with Brady completing a record streak of 335 throws without an interception at one point in the season.

 

A FIFTH SUPER BOWL RING

Any doubts about Brady's status as the greatest to ever grace the gridiron were surely banished once and for all when he became the first quarterback to win enough rings to furnish one hand.

The Atlanta Falcons were 28-3 up late in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI in Houston, yet Brady, then 39, made history by leading New England to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

James White ran in the winning score in overtime, but it was Brady who walked away with his fourth Super Bowl MVP award after throwing for 466 yards in a 34-28 success.

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