Tom Brady did a long interview with SI’s Peter King about the two fourth-quarter touchdown drives that won the Super Bowl.
He goes through the drives play by play, breaking down what he saw and how he was able to overcome a 10-pound deficit against the NFL’s best defence.
A lot of what Brady talks about has to do with preparation. He told King that he knew that Seattle was too good on deep balls coming into the game, so his plan was to dink and dunk them with four-yard passes all night — death by a thousand cuts, if you will.
His explanation of the 21-yard gain to set up New England’s first touchdown of the quarter is particularly insightful. He says he knew the play would work because he saw Seattle drop of defence lineman into coverage on this exact situation by watching them on tape over and over and over again (emphasis ours):
“We had two guys running opposite seams, Gronk and LaFell. Both safeties had vision on that. Julian’s route was supposed to be four yards. This was identical to a play we ran [against Seattle] in 2012. I hit Wes Welker. They played that same coverage against Welker in 2012, with a lineman dropping back on him in coverage in the short middle, and I hit him. I watched a lot of tape — our game with them from two years ago three times, Dallas this year multiple times, their championship game against Green Bay three times. I’m always trying to match the perfect amount of physical preparation with the right mental preparation. And I’m 37, I’ve got to get a lot of rest. I am a person that relies on my sleep. Anyway, that is what makes my relationship with Josh so special, because I feel at this point we’ve been together so long and we know each other so well and we’re so synchronised. This game, awesome. This play was an example of that. He knew it would work. He knew Julian would be there for me, and he was. Watching that tape, I saw it from a couple of years ago — and Josh saw it too.”
Here’s the play he’s talking about. You can see the defensive tackle drops into coverage, and Brady throw it right at him:
You aren’t going to go out and impose your will on the Seattle defence. The only way to beat them is to analyse their tendencies and take what they’re willing to give you.
Brady’s work ethic and preparation are legendary, and both those things were key in the comeback.
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