Brady: Super in Big Games

Updated: February 14, 2007, 12:16 PM ET
By Jim Schultz | Special to ESPN.com

Signature Game

Tom Brady
AP PhotoBrady, 26, was the youngest player to win two Super Bowl MVP Awards.
Feb. 1, 2004 - The bigger the game, the better Tom Brady plays. And since no football game is bigger than the Super Bowl, that's where the New England quarterback shines brightest.

At 26, Brady became the youngest player to earn two Super Bowl MVP awards when he completed 32-of-48 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Patriots to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Houston. No one -- not Joe Montana, not Terry Bradshaw -- had ever completed that many passes in a Super Bowl.

And, as it had two years earlier when Brady earned his first MVP trophy for sparking the Pats' 20-17 upset of the St. Louis Rams, his highlight in this game came in the final moments. With the score tied at 29-29 and 1:08 remaining, Brady completed 4-of-5 passes to move the Patriots 37 yards to set up Adam Vinatieri's winning 41-yard field goal with four seconds left.

Brady's first two touchdown passes came in the last three minutes of the second quarter, giving New England a 14-10 halftime lead. Then in the fourth quarter, after the Panthers took the lead at 22-21 with 6:53 left, Brady regained the advantage for the Patriots on a one-yard touchdown pass to linebacker Mike Vrabel. And when the Panthers rallied to tie, Brady came through -- as usual -- to give the Patriots their 15th consecutive victory.

Odds 'n' Ends

  • Besides Brady, Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., has produced several other professional athletes, including Lynn Swann and Barry Bonds.

  • Quarterbacks selected in the 2000 NFL draft before the Patriots took Brady in the sixth round: Chad Pennington (Jets), Giovanni Carmazzi (49ers), Chris Redman (Ravens), Tee Martin (Steelers), Marc Bulger (Saints) and Spergon Wynn (Browns).

  • Maureen, one of Tom's older sisters, was inducted into the San Mateo County (California) Sports Hall of Fame before he was.

  • Brady was the third quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl in his first year as a starter. Vince Ferragamo led the Los Angeles Rams to Super Bowl XIV against the Steelers and Kurt Warner took the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl XXXIV against the Titans.

  • Brady was the fifth quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl in the season of his first NFL start. The others: Dan Marino (1983), Brett Favre (1992), Kurt Warner (1999) and Daunte Culpepper (2000).

  • Brady was a judge for the Miss USA 2002 pageant. Donald Trump, also a judge, flew the two of them from New York to Gary, Indiana, the site of the competition, on his private jet.

  • Brady was not sacked in 126 pass attempts in the 2003 playoffs.

  • The 1972 Miami Dolphins used Bob Griese and Earl Morrall as starting quarterbacks during their 17-game winning streak. So, Brady has the longest personal single-season victory streak in NFL history with his 15 in 2003.

  • Behind Brady, the Patriots won their first six games in 2004 to raise their record NFL winning streak to 21, including the postseason, before they lost to the Steelers.

  • Brady joined Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Bart Starr as the only quarterbacks to win at least two Super Bowl MVP awards.

  • Brady had an audience with Pope John Paul II in April 2004.

  • He was the only starting quarterback not to throw an interception in the 2004 postseason.

  • In May 2005, the Patriots tore up Brady's contract, which had two years remaining and called for him to make $11.5 million, and signed him to a $60-million, six-year deal. The new contract included a $14.5-million signing bonus and a $12-million roster bonus paid in March 2006.

  • In 2005, Brady was named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year."

  • Brady is the NFL's all-time leader in overtime wins without a defeat at 7-0.

  • Through 2006, Brady was 26-5 (.839), including 6-1 in the playoffs and 3-0 in Super Bowls, in games decided by less than a touchdown.

  • Through 2006, Brady was 39-8 (.830), including 12-2 in the playoffs, in games played on Thanksgiving or later.

  • Brady is known for dating attractive actresses. He went out with Tara Reid and was a couple with Bridget Moynahan for three years before they broke up in December 2006.

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