February 03, 2017
By Justin Lasher
The time has finally arrived. All week, you were wondering if and why we haven’t been discussing the quarterbacks. They, after all, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan, are the focus of this game. Well, today is the day, and with the following words, I will attempt to cover Tom Brady. My goal is not to look at things from a historical perspective, but to examine what attributes Brady has that will benefit him, and the Patriots, and help them win Super Bowl LI. You can grade my performance after reading this in the comments section.
Before we get to the breakdown, I want to publically declare my warming appreciation and respect for Tom Brady. As a New York Jets fan, it is easy for me, to throw hate and have disdain for Brady and the Patriots. Well I’m still not fond of the Patriots, this year has helped me grow appreciative of the greatness of everything Brady has done and continues to be able to do at a high level on the football field. I have to finally admit that Tom Brady is probably one of the two greatest quarterbacks to every play in the NFL. I am not ready to crown him GOAT, as I was just having a conversation with a friend, and I believe that Joe Montana is still the greatest QB to have ever played.
Ok, now that we’ve gotten the gushing over Brady out of the way, it’s now appropriate to begin to break down Brady’s impact on Super Bowl LI. The first thing that stands out to me is Tom Brady’s preparation. Tom is a tireless worker and is always studying, preparing, and working hard to put himself in the best possible mental and physical shape come game time. Come Sunday, Tom will have studied enough film on the Falcons defense to be able to anticipate just about everything. He will know where every blitz is coming from. He will be able to anticipate the defensive line stunts. He will have an audible ready to counter just about everything the Falcons and Dan Quinn throw at him. Trust me, Brady want Super Bowl ring number five, more than anyone else. He wants nothing more than to meet Roger Goodell on that stage and have force Goodell to hand him the Lombardi Trophy. Tom has been preparing for this all season. The motivation. The work. Everything that Brady has put into this game and this moment, definitely makes me nervous for the Falcons. There will be no one more ready for everything that comes his way on Sunday night then Tom Brady.
The next advantage that Tom Brady has is his intelligence. He is one of the smartest quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. Brady knows when it is better to take just take the sack. He knows when it is wise to just throw the ball 10 yards out of bounds. Finally, he knows, when to take the risk to thread the needle on a pass. Over 17 years, Brady has thrown only 152 interceptions, averaging just 8.9 per season. This year, Brady only threw 2 INT’s during the regular season. He is smart with the football, and it’s not very often he will give the football to the opponent’s defense. The other thing that makes Brady so smart, is his ability to take what is given to him. He doesn’t force things. If you want to give him the short throws underneath, and force him to nickel and dime you down the field, he will. If you give him the running lanes and take away the pass, Brady has no problem handing it off to a guy like LeGarrette Blount 30 times on Sunday. Tom Brady will adjust and fit the Patriots game plan to whatever Dan Quinn wants to give him. The Falcons will not be able to take everything away from what Brady wants to do, and he will recognize that, and take whatever he is given, and use it to beat Atlanta.
Tom Brady is incredibly competitive and has a will to win like only a few we have seen. This makes the rest of his Patriots teammates better, and we will see this on display on Sunday. Tom is not afraid to yell at a teammate that he knows blew a route, or a had a flag thrown against him. He is not afraid to disagree with a coach over a play call or game strategy. If Brady hits you in the hands, you catch the ball, because if you don’t, you may not get it thrown your way again. Tom Brady brings out the best in his team, and as the Patriots leader, he will ensure, the Patriots have their A+ game on Sunday.