Tom Brady confirmed his retirement from the NFL after a storied 22-year career in the league for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady ended his tenure as the most accomplished player in NFL history, winning seven Super Bowls, three MVP awards, and breaking every record for a quarterback for passing yards and touchdowns.
When the pressure was at its greatest Brady performed to the peak of his powers. In his 20 seasons as a starting quarterback, he reached the Super Bowl 10 time, and only failed to reach the post-season once in the 2002 campaign.
As Tom Brady announces the end of his NFL career, here is our essay on the one aspect of it that we can all agree on. I hope it brings back as many memories for you as it did for me writing it. pic.twitter.com/WVBo5P287c— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 1, 2022
Therefore, it will be highly unusual to not see Brady’s name mentioned in the Super Bowl betting markets for MVP, an award he won five times, as the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams.
Los Angeles beat Brady’s Bucs in a thriller in the Divisional Round, which effectively ended the career of the GOAT, and now they are backed heavily to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy potentially beginning a new dynasty in the NFL.
On the other side are the Cincinnati Bengals, who have reached the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1989 season. Burrow could join Brady in a select group of quarterbacks to win the title in a second year. Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson were also part of the group, but have come nowhere near to matching the accomplishments of Brady.
How does Burrow compare with Brady?
Burrow has a lot of the characteristics of Brady, earning comparisons for his composure under pressure and the ability to improve a struggling franchise to the brink of glory. The Patriots and even Bill Belichick were not perennial winners until Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe in the second game of the 2001 season.
As an unheralded sixth-round pick in the 2000 Draft, Brady had to scrap his way onto the Patriots’ roster before rising up the ranks. When the chance came along he displaced Bledsoe, who had just been handed a $100m contract by the Patriots and never relinquished his place until opting to leave New England at the end of the 2019 season.
The early stages of his career made the NFL seem like a walk in the park, winning his first nine playoff games and three Super Bowls. However, a humbling defeat that cost New England an immortal 19-0 campaign against the New York Giants and another loss against the same outfit four years later would stymie his legend.
However, after getting back over the hump against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49, Brady would win three further titles, including one away from Belichick with the Bucs, which enhanced his legacy further and put the spotlight on his former coach.
Time and again he proved his doubters wrong, establishing a dominant record that not only reached heights that no one in the game achieved but also spanned two decades.
Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen are among the next generation of quarterbacks. All have the physical skills to thrive at the top level, but whether they can produce the level of excellence over 20 years is unlikely, to say the least, with Mahomes spurning the chance to reach a third Super Bowl in a row.
It is apparent we will never see a player of Brady’s talent and longevity in the NFL ever again.