The New England Patriots keep raising the bar with their Super Bowl wins.
Their victory over the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 required a second-half comeback against the vaunted “Legion of Boom” defense just two weeks after Deflategate broke. It was New England’s first title since the 2004 season.
Their triumph over the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 involved the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, with the Patriots rallying from a 28-3 deficit to prevail 34-28 in overtime. It came after Tom Brady served a four-game suspension related to Deflategate to start the season.
But if you ask Brady, he might tell you Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams was just as special as his previous five championships. Because while the Patriots entered the season with lofty expectations, there were more lows than usual during the journey, testing New England’s ability to battle through adversity en route to another duck boat parade.
“We overcame a lot,” Brady said Tuesday on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan” before the Patriots’ championship celebration in Boston, per WEEI.com. “The football season is a marathon and we can get so caught up in what everything looks like the second week in training camp, late in September or even the bye week. But I think the mark of a team is how you perform down the stretch.
“We played our best games and won a lot of different ways. I think that’s what makes it unique. Even if you look at the playoffs. To beat those three teams: the Chargers were undefeated on the road all year, then to go on the road and face KC, which was one of the best teams all year, and then to play against the Rams and win a totally different way and have the greatest defensive performance in Super Bowl history. It’s really about the team and the team sums it up. That’s always been the mark of our team. It’s never been about one player or phase of the game. It’s everybody contributing at different times. That’s what makes it so special.”
There was no shortage of distractions this season, as lingering questions about Brady’s future and relationship with head coach Bill Belichick dominated headlines, especially when the 41-year-old endured occasional struggles on the gridiron. But the Patriots, who lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s Super Bowl, forged ahead, taking down the Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Rams in the playoffs while embracing an “underdog” mentality.
“It’s a lot of things that are done from the outside and not the inside,” Brady said. “You just focus on what we focus on, which is our performance. That’s what it’s all about. We’ve said ignore the noise for a long time. Every team deals with things. Nothing is smooth or linear. These are team sports. There’s adversity at every turn. You have lots of people, it’s a big organization. We’ve done a great job over the years facing the adversity, whether it’s a lost game, like the Super Bowl last year, or losing games this year. But we’re encouraged by the positive things, too. We lose track of the many positives, because those don’t get brought up as much. We’re very blessed and humbled to be part of a great team and organization.”
It’s hard not to wonder what the Patriots have in store for their pursuit of title No. 7.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images