Nine Lives: He is Human After all | Act II

Time seemed to tick as the next few years passed by without the Patriots making an appearance in the Super Bowl. Until the 2007 season came by to shock the world. All of a sudden, New England’s seemingly all-star season began to lead the charge in the NFL. The additions of Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, and Randy Moss to a mostly unnamed roster showed promise. For the first time in the Patriots locker room, a showcase of brutal force and dominance on-field seemed possible.

The Brady-led offense not only dominated that season, but they also ran away with the torch, daring anyone to catch them. For the first time in the history of the NFL, there was a team that went 16-0: The New England Patriots. This seemed to be the year of Brady and company. He launched 50 touchdowns into the endzone, breaking the record previously held by Peyton Manning. That record was followed by 4,806 passing yards and only eight interceptions on the season. For this caliber of accomplishments, it was only fitting that Brady was awarded the Most Valuable Player award, Offensive Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year.

That year, the Patriots found themselves in the Super Bowl for the fourth time since 2001. Everyone assumed that this was the year of the perfect season. For the first time in the modern era, fans were about to witness one of the greatest seasons to ever happen, until an Eli Manning-led New York Giants team thwarted all plans for New England to go 19-0.

Following the near-perfect season, the Patriots were ready to put the disappointment of 2007 behind them. The start of the 2008 season was going to bring back another chance for New England to try and take the crown back. However, the Kansas City Chiefs had different plans for Brady during the season opener. Safety Bernard Pollard ended the ‘revenge tour’ season early, by taking the quarterback away from his safety net. For the first time since the introduction of Tom Brady to the world, he did not play for a full season. Injuries to his knee and torn ligaments briefly retired him from coming back to the game that year. It took a few years before Brady found himself back in the Super Bowl circuit.

Four years following his last Super Bowl appearance, the Patriots found themselves facing a familiar foe. The New York Giants were back in business. Most of the analyst remarks leading up to this rematch seemed to be in favor of New England. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” This time, the Patriots were fooled twice. Eli Manning and the New York Giants had their number, again. Tom Brady went from being three for three in the playoffs to three wins and two losses in a decade. Could this be the end of the dynasty?

Fortunately, the story of Tom Brady did not end in 2011. The New England quarterback was about to prove to the world that age is not a factor when determining greatness.

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