Tom Brady put a stamp on his legacy with a cold-blooded fourth quarter, leading the New England Patriots from a 10-point deficit to capture his fourth Super Bowl ring and third MVP award in the 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
"It wasn't the way we drew it up, certainly throwing a couple picks didn't help," Brady told NBC after the game. "It was great, a lot of mental toughness, our team's had it all year and we never doubted each other. ... That was a great football team we beat. I'm just so happy for our team."
Brady threw four touchdown passes and set a career Super Bowl record with 13 touchdown strikes in his six games played, passing Joe Montana's mark of 11.
The 37-year-old quarterback might have a sore arm on Monday after attempting 50 passes, completing a Super Bowl-record 37 for 328 yards. The Patriots came in with a game plan to pick apart the Seahawks' secondary with a million paper cuts.
Brady responded with an MVP performance worth his lore.
Brady was spot on for most of the game, making quick reads before the pass rush could get to him.
However, his first-quarter interception to Jeremy Lane in the end zone killed a 13-play drive and his third-quarter pass to Rob Gronkowski was picked by linebacker Bobby Wagner and led to a touchdown. Both passes were terrible.
However, the future Hall of Famer put on a fourth-quarter clinic that NFL Films will be showing for years to come.
Brady completed five passes on a nine-play, 68-yard drive that culminated in a Danny Amendola touchdown catch to pull the Pats within three. On the ensuing Pats drive, Brady hit Gronk on several big tosses before throwing a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman for the game-deciding score.
The tide of the game flowed much like the Patriots' season, with positive ebbs tempered by the downward flows. Following his second interception, a frustrated Brady sat on the bench shaking his head. For much of the third quarter it appeared he'd suffer another Super Bowl defeat.
The signal-caller then drove the Patriots on those two impeccable drives, reminding us all of vintage Brady.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks had one last chance to steal Brady's fourth ring. After a miraculous Jermaine Kearse catch set up Seattle at the goal line, it appeared the Patriots would lose their third straight Super Bowl.
"It's been a long journey. I've been at it for 15 years and we've had a couple tough losses in this game and this one came down to the end and this time we made the plays," Brady said.
When Malcolm Butler picked off Wilson, Brady's facial expression danced from doomed to ecstatic. The quick change of emotion displayed just how much the MVP quarterback wanted that fourth Lombardi Trophy.
After Sunday that "Greatest Quarterback of All Time" debate will now unquestionably lead with Tom Brady.