Tom Brady, for some, may have cemented his standing as the greatest NFL player of all-time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ NFC Championship victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Brady’s performance in the title game wasn’t completely overwhelming. He was 20-for-36 with 280 passing yards, three touchdown passes and three interceptions. The three interceptions all came in the second half and allowed the Packers to get back into the game.
But in the grand scheme of things, Brady made one thing clear: the 43-year-old never lost it.
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Brady will be advancing to his 10th Super Bowl appearance. It will be more appearances than 31 of the 32 teams in the NFL have ever made. The New England Patriots, have appeared in a Super Bowl 11 times thanks to Brady, Drew Bledsoe and Steve Grogan.
Brady will be looking for his seventh Super Bowl ring, which would be more than the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have in their franchise’s histories.
Tampa Bay has only made one Super Bowl appearance and that was during the 2002 season. Brady and the Patriots finished 9-7 that season. Brady led the league in touchdowns with 28. Fast forward 18 years later, Brady led the Buccaneers to an 11-5 record with 40 touchdown passes.
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Barring the absolutely absurd, Brady will be starting in his fourth Super Bowl in his last five seasons and his third since he turned 40 years old. ESPN Stats & Info noted that there are no other quarterbacks who have ever started a Super Bowl in their 40s.
Brady beat legendary quarterbacks Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers on his way to his next Super Bowl appearance. He will have as many Super Bowl starts in his 40s than Brees, Rodgers and Dan Marino had in their career.
Brady also has a playoff win against 27 different starting quarterbacks in the playoffs, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The only other quarterback to start 27 games in the playoffs was Peyton Manning and he produced only 14 wins. Brady has 33 career playoff wins.
The domination doesn’t stop there.
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According to Elias Sports, Brady will join Norm Van Brocklin and Johnny Unitas as the only quarterbacks to play in a Super Bowl or NFL Championship in three different decades.
Brady and NBA superstar LeBron James are the only professional athletes in the four major North American sports in the last 30 years to play in 10 championship games or rounds and the first NFL player to play in 10 NFL championship games.
Three quarterbacks have started for multiple teams in Super Bowls and Brady will be the fourth. Craig Morton, Kurt Warner and Manning are the only others to do it.
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The Buccaneers will be the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. That mark also has a lot to do with Brady. Raymond James Stadium has only hosted two other Super Bowls in the past.
Brady signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers in the offseason after spending two decades with the Patriots. He was booted from the wild-card round last season.