Tom Brady Retirement: Ranking The Top 10 Moments Of TB12’s Career

After some conflicting reports last week, Tom Brady finally ended the confusion. The GOAT announced on social media Tuesday morning that he was retiring from the NFL after 22 amazing seasons.

After the news was announced, we’re all looking back at what an incredible ride it was for Tom Brady. And while their were so many amazing feats during his storied career, let’s try to look at the top-10 greatest moment of TB12’s career.

10. Super Bowl 53: Tom Brady defeats Jared Goff, Rams

If this was a “top 10 most memorable moments” list, this game would likely not make the cut. It was an utterly lazy Super Bowl by all accounts. But for me, this one felt symbolic for Tom Brady. Heading into the 2018 season, many people around the NFL were expecting Brady and the Patriots to hit their wall. He was over 40 years old, and the team was starting to lose their identity.

Not only did Brady prove to the league that he can still win. But that was probably the game when he cemented his legacy as the greatest QB of all time. And he was able to stave off the up-and-coming offensive juggernauts throughout the playoffs, taking down the Chargers and Chiefs (in an epic OT thriller) before he beat the Rams 13-3 in the Super Bowl.

9. 2001 AFC Divisional Round: Tom Brady catches break with “tuck rule”

People forget a lot about this game except for the infamous “tuck rule” call that ended up being the difference-maker in the game. However, this was Tom Brady’s first-ever postseason start, it was a snow storm, and he still threw the ball 52 times — out dueling Rich Gannon and the high-powered Raiders offense.

And then, when Brady and the Pats were down 13-10 late in the game, it appeared that he fumbled the ball away. When referees ruled the “tuck rule” meant the ruling was to be changed to an incomplete pass, a young Tom marched his team down the field for a game-tying drive. The Pats would go on to win the game in OT.

8. 2019 AFC Conference Championship: Brady Outlasts Mahomes in OT

We’re gonna go right back to the 2018-19 season for the eighth greatest moments of Tom Brady’s career. The Chiefs were cooking with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid — in the first year where Mahomes was the starting QB. It was clear that Mahomes and Reid were on the verge of something special, but Brady stood in the way of the new-school offense and their first Super Bowl trip.

Mahomes and the Chiefs marched down the field with less than a minute left on the clock to set up a Harrison Butker game-tying kick to force the game into overtime. But once it got there, Brady and the Patriots marched right down the field — winning the game on a walk off TD rush by Rex Burkhead.

7. Super Bowl 49: Malcolm Butler Picks Off Russell Wilson

Tom Brady went up against the tall task of the “legion of boom” defense in this Super Bowl. No team had ever come back from a deficit of more than seven points in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl until that game. Brady flung two touchdowns to take the lead late — overcoming two interceptions earlier in the game.

And then, the infamous image of Malcolm Butler picking off Russell Wilson that will live forever. And fans will always be left wondering: why wouldn’t Pete Carroll just run the ball with Marshawn Lynch there?

This is also the game that gave us the classic image of Richard Sherman walking over to a kneeling Tom Brady to shake his hand as confetti was flying.

6. 2015 AFC Divisional Round: Tom Brady withstands the brutal Ravens pass rush

Tom Brady had a fun rivalry with the hard-hitting AFC North teams, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, throughout his tenure as the Patriots QB. But this is the game when he overcame the most adversity from either team, TB12 was put on the ground early and often thanks to Baltimore’s ridiculous defensive front, mixed with all-time players throughout the linebacking and secondary groups.

Despite taking his licks, Brady kept coming at Baltimore. He ended up out dueling Joe Flacco when he hit Brandon LaFell for a touchdown late in the game to win 35-31.

5. Super Bowl 38: Tom Brady Wins his second Super Bowl

This is when the world realized the Patriots might be onto something special with Tom Brady and their defensive core; including the likes of Rodney Harrison, Mike Vrabel, Teddy Bruschi, etc.

Brady and Jake Delhomme went back and forth. And with a minute left in the game, Belichick decided to cut his young QB loose rather than play for overtime. The QB responded by leading a beautiful drive, setting up Adam Vinatieri for a game-winning field goal as the clock expired.

It was Tom Brady’s second Super Bowl in three seasons, and the start of a dynasty that would pan for two decades.

4. 2018 AFC Championship: Brady plays through gruesome thumb injury to defeat Jaguars

Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars defense was one of the more dominant units in NFL history, but going against Tom Brady and the Patriots was too much to handle for the team.

This game ends ups his high on my list because of what we found out later. Earlier in the postseason, Brady endured a gruesome thumb injury, and his status for the game was in question all week long. Brady’s throwing thumb was completely split open, and he was forced to wear a glove for the game. He still managed to go 26/38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns, beating the elite defense 24-20.

All of which with his thumb looking like this days before:

3. Super Bowl 55: Tom Brady wins a ring with Tampa Bay

It was extremely unprecedented for a quarterback to be so highly-coveted in free agency while entering his age-43 season. But we’ve also never had a player quite like Tom Brady.

In Brady’s first season in Tampa Bay, it took a little while for him to find his chemistry with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. But once he did, they became one of the most dominant teams in the entire league.

However, Brady and the Bucs came into this game as the underdogs, as Mahomes had fully turned the Chiefs into a juggernaut at this point — didn’t matter.

Tom Brady had his way with a weak Chiefs defense, and Mahomes had no answers throughout the game. The Bucs ended up defeating Andy Reid’s squad 31-9 to get Tom his seventh and last Super Bowl ring.

2. Super Bowl 36: Brady wins his first

A young Tom Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe midway through the season. And because Belichick saw something special in the sixth-rounder, he stuck with his gut throughout the postseason. The Pats had the tall task of going up against the Rams’ “greatest show on turf” and came in as heavy underdogs.

The Patriots found themselves tied at 17 with the Rams nearing the end of the game, and Brady got the ball inside his own 20-yard line with a little over a minute left. John Madden was saying on the broadcast how it would be smart to just run out the clock instead of forcing a young QB to throw the ball — Belichick disagreed.

Brady ended up marching the Patriots down the field to set up Vinatieri for a game-winning field goal. The Pats won their first Super Bowl in franchise history, and Belichick now knew he had his franchise quarterback.

1. Super Bowl 51: The comeback

If one game can be a metaphor for an entire career, the Super Bowl win over the Falcons was that for Tom Brady. He was down, the team was out, and it looked like Matt Ryan was going to win his first Super Bowl after having a historic offense all season long.

Down 28-3 in the second half, something amazing happened. Brady woke up. The Falcons stopped moving the ball, and a couple turnovers helped TB12 mount the greatest comeback of all-time.The Patriots scored 24 unanswered points behind Brady’s 466 yards passing. And when they got the ball to start OT, everyone pretty much knew the game was all but over.

Tom Brady marched the Patriots down the field before James White scored the touchdown to cap the iconic win, 34-28.

There are so many different ways I could have gone when creating this list, and we probably could sit here and think back to another 30 moments throughout Tom Brady’s career that embodied his greatness.

At the end of the day, I think it’s important to admit that we’ll never see anything like Brady ever again. For a sixth round pick to become the undisputed greatest of all-time means a lot of things have to happen and a lot of work needs to be put in.

Sure, Brady could probably still play at an elite level next season. But it’s also clear that he simply just has nothing to prove anymore.

Love him, hate him, or feel indifferent, I think we can all tip our caps to the unbelievable NFL career Tom Brady had. Enjoy retirement, GOAT.

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