Tom Brady turns 40 on Thursday, so it got us thinking about all the big moments of his career — on and off the field.
So here are 10 memorable ones engineered by Brady:
Super Bowl LI comeback
For nearly three quarters, Brady and the New England Patriots’ offense struggled.
The Patriots were getting blown out by the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Brady was 21 of 34 for 220 yards, never looking fully comfortable against a defense that had already notched a pick-six against him.
Then he hit James White for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter to make it 28-9, and it began the most improbable comeback of his storied career. The Patriots tied the game when Brady hit Danny Amendola for a two-point conversion following a James White touchdown run, capitalizing on an amazing fingertip catch by Julian Edelman earlier to keep the drive alive.
When the Patriots scored in overtime, it sealed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and the only title game to be decided in overtime. It also helped Brady earn his record fourth Super Bowl MVP.
Hosting Saturday Night Live
Stepping into the spotlight on Saturday Night Live is one of the clear signs that a player has made it, and Brady is one of a handful of athletes to do so. He hosted on April 16, 2005.
One of the best skits riffed on Brady not being able to throw a football through a hole in the wall at a carnival, even though everyone else in his group could, including a woman on a motorized scooter who tosses the ball over her head.
Beating the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI
Brady created his first magical Super Bowl moment in New Orleans for Super Bowl XXXVI in the 2001 season.
When the St. Louis Rams scored on a Kurt Warner 26-yard TD pass to Ricky Proehl, the game was tied at 17 with 1:30 remaining. After the kickoff, the Patriots had the ball on their 17-yard line.
Brady completed 5-of-8 passes for 53 yards, the final one to tight end Jermaine Wiggins, and got New England to the 30-yard line, where Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired.
“What Tom Brady just did gives me goose bumps,” Fox analyst John Madden said.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Kevin Spain