I’ll take Tom Brady over any player in the history of football. Give me the number 1 pick in a draft made up of every single man that ever put on a jersey. Put them in their primes. And I would STILL take Thomas Edward Brady Jr., senior out of Michigan, and I’d do it fucking joyously. Then you know what would happen? My team would dominate the hell out of the NFL for the entirety of Brady’s career. Because that’s what Tom Brady does. He dominates practices. He dominates workouts. He dominates Super Bowls. Brady just waves his legend around left and right, manically soaking in the euphoria he gets from putting his body through hell. TB12 is playing so out-of-his-fucking-mind great that Belichick decided he was going to attempt to win a Super Bowl with role players starting on defense. At age 40, Brady is in the second prime of his career. HIS SECOND PRIME. We don’t even notice when most players enter their first, we know damn well no player gets a second. Except for Tom Brady. Because of that Belichick gambled on his own ego. I’ve always been a firm believer in the “In Bill We Trust” mantra, but I am over that now. That died on the field with Brandin Cooks yesterday.
With the way the game played out, a Patriots win in Super Bowl 52 would’ve been the perfect scenario for the Brady > Belichick crowd, but it was still pretty favorable. Brady amassed 505 yards, threw for 3 TDs, the Pats didn’t punt at all and he consistently bailed the offensive line out. Had he not been strip-sacked on the final drive, you know DAMN WELL he was going to march down the field and put up the 8 points that were needed to send the game to overtime. We all know what happens when the Patriots play in overtime on the grandest stage. That would’ve been the dagger in the “Who is more responsible for the Patriots success, Brady or Belichick?” debate. To me, last night’s game still provided that dagger. And if we’re being totally honest, it was more of a guiding light than a dagger. Last night’s game finally led me to the realization that it’s always been Brady over Belichick. No matter who Brady gets surrounded with, different coordinators, coaches, players, and trainers he still provides excellence. He still demands and receives the most out of his teammates. Tom Brady still leads his team, yes HIS team, to 12 win seasons. Brady coordinates these game-winning drives. It’s almost like the first half of games McDaniels gets the play calling duties and in the second half Brady turns his headset off and says “Looks like I need to fix this mess again” and then? Well, then HE DOES IT.
I’m not going to play the “what if” game like the 30 (go to hell, NYG) other fan bases do when they lose to the Patriots, but you and I both know that game was going to overtime if Cameron Fleming knew a 5 letter word that meant “to protect the QB or a large piece of solid material.” Because of Brady’s performance and in spite of Josh McDaniels not getting his head on straight until the 3rd quarter, the Pats STILL had a chance. As awful as the Pats defense was and as clueless as, new Lions head coach, Matt Patricia seemed on how to fix it, the Pats STILL had a chance. That is because of Tom Brady. Say what you want. Tell me football is a team sport. Tell me there need to be 53 guys out there, acting as one cohesive unit, identifying, hunting and achieving the same goal. Tell me that coaching matters and players are a product of the tools they’re taught. And I’ll agree with you, but Tom Brady is the exception and you know it. No quarterback on EARTH could watch his defense lay down like a virgin on prom night and decide “fuck it, I’ll just put up 500 yards and win the damn thing myself.” The fact he almost pulled it off, with his own coaching staff seemingly doing everything they could to prevent it, was a legendary win in itself. Save me your Tom Brady slander and ridicule the Patriots defense and coaching like an adult.
Yeah, this loss sucks. The Patriots have no business losing games to a team quarterbacked by Nick Foles and coached by Doug Pederson. I will give credit where it’s due and the Eagles played a great game. However, being out coached on the biggest stage should be the biggest embarrassment of Belichick’s career. I’m not one of those guys that cry about how he treats the media, but not taking any accountability for his decision to bench Malcolm Butler last night is frustrating as all hell. I’m not going to address any rumors because it’s likely we’ll never know the real or whole story. But if Chandler Jones can get bent on Spice, prance around naked at the local police station and still play, then Malcolm better have gotten caught with a dead hooker and a ton of cocaine, no, TWO tons of cocaine. If Butler’s benching wasn’t disciplinary then he needed to play. If Belichick was proving a point by making him suit up to watch the game from the sideline, in some outlandish form of sadistic torture, then I’m afraid to learn what Malcolm actually did. It had to have been a hella big deal. Either way, Belichick tasked Brady with the impossible and Tommy almost got it done. We know how badly Brady hates losing, and we know how motivated he is to be perfect, so expect Revenge Tour Tom next season. That should absolutely scare the hell out of the NFL.
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Photo: The Big Lead