Tom Brady will appear in the 10th Super Bowl of his illustrious career and first since leaving the New England Patriots last season. The 43-year-old opted to leave the Patriots at the end of the 2019 season after his contract expired to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady had the choice of signing for the Buccaneers or the Los Angeles Chargers but chose to join Bruce Arians’ men due to their talented roster, especially on offense.
Brady has been rewarded for his decision and has the chance to earn his seventh Super Bowl ring when he and his team-mates face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. Here you can see each team's Super Bowl 2021 odds, and evaluate whether it would be a wise move to back the 43-year-old to further enhance his legacy or side with the rising upstart Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Neither quarterback has a pressing need to secure the title, but for Brady it would be nice for him to prove that he can win it all without Bill Belichick on the sideline.
The NFL is full of storylines every off-season, but Brady’s decision to leave New England stole the headlines and dominated the news cycle for a month. He had enjoyed unmatched success during his 20-season run alongside Belichick, but he and his head coach had become disgruntled with one another over a three-year period leading to their split.
While Brady has proved his talent on the field by leading a franchise that finished 7-9 in the 2019 season to the Super Bowl, Belichick and the Patriots took a huge step back. Cam Newton was brought in to replace Brady and struggled immensely over the course of the campaign, throwing only eight touchdowns compared to the 40 thrown by Brady in Tampa Bay. The Patriots find themselves in quarterback purgatory with no clear answer at the position in the long term. At the age of 68, Belichick is running out of time to prove that he can win without Brady.
A seventh Super Bowl for Brady would further drive the narrative that the quarterback rather than the coach was the primary reason for New England’s success when the duo were working in tandem. Belichick is the best tactician in the game and his gameplans from two Super Bowl wins are in the Hall of Fame. His short-term focus and discipline were key in keeping the Patriots together as a unit over a 20-year period, ensuring that there were no troughs to go with the six peaks the franchise accomplished.
However, his inability to surround Brady with talent was a constant issue outside their unbeaten 2007 campaign and the drafting Rob Gronkowski. The quarterback made the most out of players of the ilk of Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Deion Branch and Chris Hogan. When the Patriots needed big players to drive championship runs – more often than not Brady produced on the field – notably in Super Bowls XLIX and LI.
Without the presence of Brady this term, Belichick’s poor roster construction cost the franchise, recording their worst season since 2000 before Brady claimed the starting role from Drew Bledsoe. Newton-like Brady before him found that the options on offense were not good enough to consistently put points on the board. Newton’s successor will not find any easy answers either, further increasing the pressure on Belichick.
The Buccaneers were blessed with top-quality wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on their roster, and Brady capitalized on their prowess along with the additions of Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette and Gronkowski to throw for 40 touchdowns - his best since throwing 50 in 2007. Statistics are pleasing on the eye, but another championship would be the icing on the cake for Brady in his battle for the narrative with Belichick, and one that could land his former coach facing difficult questions in 2021 and beyond.Back to the NFL Newsfeed