It began in April 2000 in the sixth round of the NFL draft. 32 teams decided to pick 198 players before the New England Patriots finally landed on Michigan-based Tom Brady. Brady didn’t light up college football like Andrew Luck and Trevor Lawrence did but he certainly became a fan favorite in New England and cemented himself as one of the greatest to ever do it.
Brady built a Dynasty in New England and on Sunday 3rd October 2021 he returns to Foxborough, not as their leader but as the man that hopes to inflict the third defeat of Bill Belichick’s season.
Fortunes of The Two Franchises
Everyone knows the success that Tom Brady brought to the New England Patriots. Ever since Drew Bledsoe went out injured he turned the franchise around and delivered six Lombardi trophies to the Boston-based team. In that same period, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers only went to one Super Bowl. They did win it but still quite a difference.
Brady would go on to set all the records possible as a Quarterback and become the greatest player to ever wear a Patriots jersey. At the end of the 2019 season, the love affair between Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came to an abrupt end. After throwing an interception in a playoff game against the Tennessee Titans Brady decided it was time to call it quits in Foxborough and find a new team. It wasn’t until March 2020 that he decided on a new team and that team was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As previously mentioned the Buccaneers only made it to one Super Bowl in the same time that Brady and his Patriots made it to nine Super Bowls and won six of them. Surely even the great Tom Brady wouldn’t be able to turn this franchise around.
Well, after a slow start and taking some time to learn the “Tampa way”, Tom Brady managed to do what nobody was expecting him to. He led his team into the playoffs after four straight wins to end the season. The dream of a home Super Bowl was on the cards but first, they had to travel away from home on three occasions. Washington was first, followed by the New Orleans Saints, and then finally a trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers.
In yet another record-breaking season, Tom Brady became the first player to lead his team through three playoff games away from home only to play in a home Super Bowl match. Kansas City waltzed into the Raymond James Stadium with the belief that they were going to become back-to-back Super Bowl champions.
A belief that ended quickly. A dominant defensive display saw Patrick Mahomes running for his life and Tom Brady had all the time in the world to find his playmakers. The other former Patriot on the roster, Rob Gronkowski, showed just how good he can be as he racked up two touchdowns. A horrible sight for Patriot fans as they had to watch their two former heroes lift yet another Lombardi but this time without them.
Meanwhile, in New England, the 2020 season was one to forget. Cam Newton was handed the keys to the kingdom and after only throwing eight touchdown passes it was no surprise to see them finish with a losing record and third in the AFC East. New Englands’ run of 11 straight division titles came to an end as the Buffalo Bills took over their mantle. Was Tom Brady really the key to the success of the Patriots? It would appear so and on Sunday 3rd October 2021 he has the chance to really stick it to his former employers.
Tom Brady V New England Patriots
The day that New England fans, players, and even coaches have been dreading is finally here. The return of Tom Brady to the Gillette Stadium. Belichick and company are still trying to find their feet after losing Brady and currently sit with a 1-2 record which is good for third in the AFC East. A new rookie quarterback in Mac Jones looks better with the reigns than Cam Newton did last year but still doesn’t have the Patriots wrecking machine quite ticking over.
Brady meanwhile has the Buccaneers sat in second place in the NFC South at 2-1. Brady could complete the incredible feat that only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Brett Favre have managed before him and secure a win against every single NFL franchise. Is it a formality? Many would probably say so looking at the state of the two teams since he departed but if there is anyone who could beat Brady, well other than Nick Foles and Eli Manning, it’s the man that coached him since he entered the league.
Belichick knows exactly what Brady likes and doesn’t like. He knows what defenses he loves playing against and what defense he hates playing against. Belichick’s biggest strength has always been his ability to completely take away a team’s biggest threat. On Sunday he faces his biggest challenge yet as he tries to take away the threat of Tom Brady.
Who do you think wins? Will Tom Brady do what everyone is expecting him to do and beat his former employers or will the Empire rise again and find a way to beat their former prodigal son? Either way, it is bound to be an interesting affair and should provide plenty of talking points.
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