NFL

Super Bowl LV: Brady caps Lombardi Trophy triumph with MVP honours

By Sports Desk February 07, 2021

Tom Brady has been crowned Super Bowl MVP for a fifth time after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Lombardi Trophy since the 2002 season.

Brady threw three touchdowns as the Buccaneers upstaged Patrick Mahomes and defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Sunday's Super Bowl LV.

Buccaneers superstar Brady claimed a record-extending seventh Super Bowl crown, and first in Tampa after ending his illustrious 20-year association with the New England Patriots at the start of the season.

Brady finished 21-of-29 passing for 201 yards, three TDs, no interceptions and just one sack at Raymond James Stadium.

The 43-year-old's latest Super Bowl MVP honour adds to his previous successes in 2002, 2004, 2015 and 2017.

"I'm so proud of all these guys down here," Brady said. "Everything we dealt with all year, we had a rough month in November but BA [head coach Bruce Arians] had all the confidence in us.

"The team had a lot of confidence, we came together at the right time. I think we knew this was going to happen, didn't we?"

With the memorable victory, Brady joined MLB first baseman Johnny Mize (1950s New York Yankees) and NHL goaltender Johnny Bower (1960s Toronto Maple Leafs) as the only players to win four championships aged 37 or older, per Stats Perform.

Brady also followed in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to win Super Bowls with two different teams, while he became the first player to win Super Bowls in three different decades.

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    Sean Payton called it a day as head coach of the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, bidding the NFL franchise an emotional farewell after 15 seasons in charge of the team.

    Payton said he had met with team president Dennis Lauscha, owner Gayle Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis to tell them he had decided to go.

    "I don't know what's next and it kind of feels good," said Payton in a news conference.

    The 58-year-old Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and, in tandem with newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees, began to turn the team into a formidable force, peaking with a Super Bowl XLIV triumph in the 2009 season. Payton's team beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the NFL showpiece game.

    Payton was close to tears as he explained why it was now time to move on. But he had prepared for that eventuality.

    "The last thing I did before I went to bed was I Google-searched how not to cry during a speech," Payton said, "and one of the items was drink water and yawn. Well I didn't want to yawn, but it worked a little bit."

    He said stepping down had been in his thoughts for some time, and Payton was not minded to go back on his decision.

    "Last week I had a great visit, a tough visit with Mickey Loomis and Mrs Benson, and Denis Lauscha, relative to just looking ahead with what I want to do," Payton said.

    "Mickey and I are of course now 16 years [with New Orleans] so that was challenging, because of our friendship more than our professional relationship, and then Mrs B was awesome. I love this about her, she said, 'Well go away for two or three months and come back for training camp, and we'll be ready to go'. And I thought that sounded pretty good, actually.

    "But I'm glad she told me to spend some time away and give this some thought, because this is a big decision, and it certainly affects a lot of people.

    "It's not often you as a coach have the opportunity to possibly leave. We coach, we coach, we coach, and at some point they tell you to leave.

    "And as difficult as being fired is, it sure seems easier to thank everyone and move on your merry way."

    Payton thanked the "amazing" New Orleans support and recalled having taken charge while the city was still recovering from the damage caused in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

    Payton will be moving on after a 2021 campaign in which the Saints failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 9-8 record.

    It still marked another fine coaching performance from Payton, who had his team evacuated early in the year due to a hurricane and later had to deal with a number of coronavirus and injury absences.

    Brees retired last year, and Payton decided it was time to follow suit.

    "He and I never discussed when his last game would be, or when I'd be finished. I just felt like this season it was challenging for everyone, but man I felt like it was time," Payton said, explaining the timing of his departure.

    "I knew maybe heading into training camp, but you don't share that with anyone. It's something I've been thinking about. You have close friends in the industry, and I've lost close friends in the industry in the last few years.

    "Not many get to choose their terms, and I looked on it as an opportunity to see my kids more, to travel more, to get in better shape.

    "I think the attention to details are so important, it can be so exhausting. I felt as this season was winding down it was the right thing."

    Payton's career with New Orleans included an NFL suspension for the entire 2012 season after the Saints' 'Bountygate' scandal blew up, with players said to have been rewarded by fellow team members for injuring and knocking opponents out of games.

    He returned to lead the team with distinction again, albeit unable to secure a return to the Super Bowl.

    From 2017 to 2020, New Orleans achieved regular-season performances of 11-5, 13-3, 13-3 and 12-4, finishing top of the NFC South on each occasion. This season they wound up as runners-up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Payton, who was under contract through 2024, has a 152-89 regular-season record – the 13th-best of all time (minimum 100 games) – while he is 9-8 in the playoffs.

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    Sean Payton is stepping down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints after 15 seasons in charge, reports said on Tuesday.

    The franchise called a news conference for 15:00 local time (21:00 BST) at which Payton's departure was expected to be confirmed.

    Payton will be moving on after a 2021 campaign in which the Saints failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 9-8 record.

    The 58-year-old Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and, in tandem with newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees, began to turn the team into a formidable force, peaking with a Super Bowl XLIV triumph in the 2009 season. Payton's team beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the NFL showpiece game.

    Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season after the Saints' 'Bountygate' scandal blew up, with players said to have been rewarded by fellow team members for injuring and knocking opponents out of games.

    He returned to lead the team with distinction again, albeit unable to secure a return to the Super Bowl.

    From 2017 to 2020, New Orleans achieved regular-season performances of 11-5, 13-3, 13-3 and 12-4, finishing top of the NFC South on each occasion.

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