In the New England Patriots’ overtime comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Tom Brady lead the team to his fifth ring. Although this was the Patriots’ seventh Super Bowl appearance since Brady began his career, defeating the Falcons was no easy task. Fans of the NFL have witnessed the incredible run Brady has had in Foxborough since 2001, as arguably the most consistently prolific quarterback in the National Football League. His dominance as a quarterback is certainly unmatched now, but the question is, how long can it last?
At age 39, Brady’s career has had no shortage of profound performances, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play the game. As a future hall of famer, it seems there is little left to be accomplished. But Brady does not seem to be running out of steam, nor has his play deteriorated with age. His amazing level of play will likely soon decline, but he believes he has about five seasons left in him. Without question, Brady will return for next season, but will he ever play for the Lombardi trophy again?
In Super Bowl 51, the Patriots trailed by 25 points in the third quarter, with seemingly no answer for Atlanta’s high octane offense. Brady’s play was lackluster to start, overthrowing his favorite target Julian Edelman several times, along with an interception returned for a touchdown. The game felt seemingly out of reach for the Patriots, but they responded, and began steadily regaining momentum. With multiple defensive stops, and incredible catches from the entire Patriots’ receiving core, they found themselves trailing by only a touchdown. In the final quarter, Brady demonstrated why he is the greatest quarterback of all time. With the supporting cast of James White and Danny Amendola, the Patriots forced overtime, where they completed the greatest comeback in sports history.
At the conclusion of this performance, those who previously had any doubts about Brady’s legacy were silenced. Regardless of deflategate and his teams’ controversial history, five championship rings simply cannot be ignored. This easily could be considered the greatest career of all time, and Brady could retire tomorrow, riding out into the sunset with a ring like Peyton Manning. Yet, he will return, as he always seems to do, and will likely return to the Super Bowl again. With his ability to turn any player into an all-pro, Gronkowski returning, and assuming they stay healthy, they could easily return to win a sixth ring in the next few seasons. If he retires without at least one more Super Bowl appearance, it would be surprising to say the least.
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