Tom Brady Shares Surprising Take On 2007 Patriots’ Super Bowl Loss

'Maybe the desire is a little bit different'


Dec 2, 2021

Had the New England Patriots completed their undefeated season in 2007, Tom Brady might not still be leading an NFL offense in his mid-40s.

Episode 4 of Brady’s new documentary series, “Man in the Arena,” which premieres next Tuesday on ESPN+, focuses on that ill-fated ’07 season. The Patriots, of course, won their first 18 games — often in ruthlessly dominant fashion — before falling to the underdog New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Brady, Randy Moss and Michael Strahan all speak at length about that game during the episode, but the most remarkable admission comes from the former Patriots quarterback, who said the stunning loss to the Giants helped instill the maniacal desire for perfection that still drives him to this day.

If the Patriots had beaten the Giants and achieved 19-0 immortality, Brady says, he might have retired from the NFL years ago.

“Had we won that game — I don’t know, I’m not a big hypothetical guy — but maybe the desire is a little bit different, if you’re looking at silver lining,” the 44-year-old says. “Maybe the desire to reach that point, maybe I would have been fulfilled — not to stop playing at that time, but I don’t know. Maybe I’d play another seven or eight years, and maybe I’m fulfilled. Maybe not.”

Instead, it took seven years for Brady to win his next championship, finally breaking a decade-long drought in 2014. He added two more Super Bowl titles with the Patriots after the 2016 and 2018 seasons, then another — his seventh overall — in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady said the 2007 Patriots, who set an NFL record for point differential (plus-315) that still stands, remain the best team of his storied career.

“I still think that it was the best team I ever played on, even though we didn’t win the Super Bowl,” Brady said. “It wasn’t the most accomplished team, but it was probably the best team. It was the best team. It was probably the best team in NFL history. … In my mind, the greatest football team that ever played.”

Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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