Tom Brady is the GOAT. No one will argue that point. However, what is up for debate is his best single-game performance. There are countless lists on the Internet and videos on YouTube, identifying Brady’s top performances, but inevitably, there’s always a different game listed at the top.
For Brady himself, it’s not a matter in question. And, frankly, it’s not even close. In “The Greatness Code,” a new sports documentary series on Apple TV released on July 10, Tom Brady details the one game in his NFL career where everything went right and how every game since he has unsuccessfully tried to recapture the magic of that Sunday night.
Tom Brady’s career highlights
When you envision Tom Brady and his career highlights, it’s a movie reel that would run for hours. And that’s just the Super Bowls. In his unparalleled 20-year NFL career, Brady guided the New England Patriots to an unbelievable nine Super Bowl appearances. He won six.
He’s led the league in passing yards on three separate occasions in 2005, 2007, and most recently in 2017. Brady has been tops in the NFL for touchdown passes on four different occasions. And his list of accomplishments goes on and on.
With all of his many achievements, Brady’s trophy case has enough awards to fill a small museum. He’s been to the Pro Bowl 14 times. He’s a three-time All-Pro. He was named the AP Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 and 2010. And he’s earned MVP honors three times. All of it a result of years of sustained excellence and countless games where Tom Brady played at an elite level.
What others say is Brady’s best game
The easiest and most obvious choice for Tom Brady’s best game would have to be a Super Bowl. And that’s why many lists feature a “pick ’em” of Tom Brady Super Bowls. One of the common choices is Super Bowl 49 against the Seattle Seahawks.
In that contest, Brady and the Patriots trailed by 10 heading into the fourth. Unfazed by the deficit, the veteran quarterback took the Pats offense on two lengthy scoring drives in the final quarter, the final one a 10-play drive that took almost five minutes off the clock and more importantly, put New England ahead with two minutes remaining. But for a timely goal-line stand by the Patriots defense that was capped off by a Malcolm Butler interception, this game is never remembered as Brady’s best.
The overwhelming choice for Brady’s best single-game performance is the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons. It featured many elements of greatness, and like Super Bowl 49, it featured a patented Tom Brady-led comeback. This one, however, was historic, as the Patriots scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat and complete the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Tom Brady reveals his best game
For Tom Brady, his best game didn’t happen in a Super Bowl. In fact, it didn’t even take place during a Super Bowl-winning season. It was, however, the season when the Patriots made a run at history and failed. It was the 10th week of the 2007 season and a Sunday night game in Buffalo with Al Michaels and John Madden up in the booth.
After an early Bills turnover that resulted in great field position, the Patriots ran two plays and led 7-0. Next Pats offensive possession—six plays, 63 yards, another touchdown. The following possession—eight plays, 72 yards, another score. It was a theme that would last throughout the night and would include Brady connecting with Randy Moss on four touchdown tosses.
“It’s a very challenging thing for everyone to be on the same page for 60 minutes,” Brady said in the documentary. “We scored touchdowns every single time we touched to ball. It was a throw to (Wes) Welker, it was a throw to (Donte) Stallworth, it was a touchdown to Moss. We did something that I’m still trying to repeat today. As a quarterback, you leave the game thinking every decision I made was the right one. Every throw was on the money. I think of that game in 2007.
“That was a masterpiece of football. That was a clinic. That’s the thirst that can never be quenched. That’s the one that we’re always trying to strive for. So when you’re in that moment and the game ends, you realize that’s one night that will go down for me as one of the greatest nights of football that I ever had.”
For the night, Brady completed 31 of 39 passes, had five touchdowns and no interceptions. The Patriots won in a blowout 56-10. While Brady, by his own admission, has never been able to recapture the excellence of that one night in Buffalo, the numbers suggest he’s been pretty successful otherwise.