Tom Brady’s 19th career playoff victory did not come easy as the Patriots twice found themselves down by 14 points only to methodically erase those deficits in route to a thrilling 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.
“Execution” is the perfect verb to sum up the Patriots comeback victory. Brady masterfully completed 8-of-9 passes on the Patriots game-winning drive including a perfect pass that hit receiver Brandon LaFell in stride as New England took its first lead of the game with just over five minutes to play. It also happened to be Tom Brady’s 46th career post season touchdown pass which broke Joe Montana’s previous record of 45.
Watching Tom Brady play the game of football is akin to being able to watch an artist like Picasso paint “Starry Night.” It is artistry at the highest level and we are all fortune enough to be bystanders to Brady’s virtuosity. At this stage of his career, it’s almost easy to take for granted the utter dominance that the Brady/Belichick era has showcased in New England for the past 14 years. The franchise will play in its 9th AFC Championship Game since Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round back in 2000. That is good for one appearance in the conference championship game ever 1.78 seasons which is jaw-dropping.
To think this Patriots team is back in the AFC Championship Game after a 2-2 start to the season is remarkable in and of itself. After being absolutely massacred in Kansas City back in September on Monday Night Football, the Pats won 10 of its final 12 games in route to a sixth consecutive AFC East crown. They will host either the Broncos or Colts in Foxborough next Sunday and a sixth trip to the Superbowl would further cement Brady’s legacy as perhaps the greatest to ever play the game.