Tom Brady, who will get the chance to play in a Super Bowl for the fifth time in his career, used phrases like “I get a chance to redeem myself” to describe his feelings about winning the AFC Championship game Sunday evening.
He also used another phrase, a rather indelicate one, to evaluate his performance on national TV. (“Well, I [stunk] pretty bad today, but our defense saved us.”)
The New England Patriots’ perfectionist quarterback did tie Joe Montana with a record 16th postseason victory and joined John Elway as the only quarterbacks to start in five Super Bowls, but it wasn’t pretty. Brady’s performance wasn’t great — and maybe not even good — but don’t you get the feeling that when he looks in the mirror he sees Shrek?
Brady, after passing for more than 5,000 yards in the regular season, passed for only 239 yards Sunday and was intercepted twice. Although he had zero/zilch/nada/bupkes touchdown passes, he did vault into the end zone on a keeper — and was rewarded with six points and Ray Lewis’s helmet in the small of his back. Brady’s 57.5 passer rating was his season’s worst.
(Maybe he is Shrek.)
Not only does he assess himself critically, he doesn’t let go easily...which kind of explains why he has three Super Bowl rings. Brady admitted this morning, in his weekly spot on Boston’s WEEI radio, that he still is bugged by Super Bowl XLII, the one in which the Giants beat the Patriots and spoiled New England’s run at a perfect season.
“Time goes on, and I still can’t watch highlights from that game,” Brady said on the “Dennis and Callahan Show.” “We had a great opportunity, and we squandered it. We didn’t play our very best … But this team deserves to be there now.”
He’s going to have to watch it, though, over the next 13 days, as well as the Patriots’ 24-20 loss to the Giants on Week 9. He’ll see that Eli Manning drove the Gints to a last-second, game-winning touchdown.
“We’ll certainly look at that game, several times,” Brady said. “You see matchups, you see how your guys match up against their guys, route-running, and blocking and so forth. It will have absolutely zero impact on the game, but at the same time hopefully we can learn some lessons from that game. We really lost the turnover battle in that game, which really hurt us.”
What ate him up Sunday night, he said, was the fourth-quarter interception.
“It’s pedal to the metal for five months and now there is a light at the end of the tunnel for everybody,” Brady said. “There is one game to play, and it means everything. I can’t wait; I’m excited. I wish I’d done a better job yesterday, but I’m thrilled to be a part of this team and lead our team onto the field in Indy.”
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