Some people have jealously called them the New York Yankees of the NFL. Other people worship the “Patriot Way.” Whether you love them or hate them, there is no denying that the New England Patriots have built one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.
This Sunday will mark the sixth Super Bowl appearance (they have already won three) for the Patriots during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. The six Super Bowl appearances will put Brady in a tie with Mike Lodish for the most ever by a player, and will put Belichick in a tie with Don Shula for the most ever by a coach. That fact alone speaks volumes to the success of the Patriots since the turn of the century.
While the records for Super Bowl appearances are truly remarkable feats, they would pale in comparison to holding the records for most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback and by a coach in NFL history. If the Patriots are able to come away victorious on Sunday, it will give Brady and Belichick each four Super Bowl wins. Brady would tie the record that is currently held by Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, and Belichick would tie the record that is currently held by Chuck Noll.
All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.
With five Super Bowl starts already notched in his belt, it should come as no surprise that Brady owns nearly every career passing record in Super Bowl history. The two-time Super Bowl MVP already holds the career records, by a comfortable margin, for pass attempts, pass completions, and passing yards. He currently has nine career Super Bowl touchdown passes, which is two behind Joe Montana’s record of 11. As long as the Patriots don’t have a Denver Broncos-esque performance against the Seahawks this Sunday, Brady will likely break or, at the very least, tie this record. Another record that Brady could make a run at on Sunday is the career completion percentage mark. He has completed 64.5% of his career Super Bowl pass attempts, and would need a near perfect game to push Troy Aikman’s career record of 70%.
If Brady is able to take over the career Super Bowl touchdown passes record, he will likely be remembered as the best Super Bowl player in NFL history. As the best player in the history of the biggest game in football, it would be hard to argue against Brady being the best clutch quarterback to ever play professional football. Likewise, Belichick already holds the NFL record for most playoff wins by a head coach, and with another Super Bowl win on Sunday, he will undoubtedly hold the title of best postseason coach in league history.
Some people may view these records in a similar fashion to the home run records set by Barry Bonds during the steroid-era of baseball due to the Patriots’ various scandals throughout the Belichick-Brady years. Either way, there is no refuting the fact that one of the best player-coach duos in the history of professional sports is on the verge of achieving multiple historic feats.