Tom Brady has called time on his NFL career after 22 seasons, at the age of 44.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback officially announced his decision on Tuesday after days of speculation, with the news initially having been reported on Saturday.

It means Brady's final game in the sport was the dramatic Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams, in which he had led the Bucs in a remarkable late comeback.

That display, at the end of a season in which Brady led the league in passing yards (5,316) and touchdown passes (43), had elements of everything that made him the greatest of all time.

Brady's legacy has long been unmatched but will not now be added to, as he watches the 2022 season from his sofa.

There is little prospect of any other QB coming close in the near future, however, as Stats Perform examines the stunning numbers behind his record-breaking career.

THE BREES BATTLE

Brady's seven Super Bowls counted for more than any other statistic ever could, but there was still intrigue around his battle with Drew Brees for a number of all-time passing marks.

Brees was drafted by the San Diego Chargers the year after Brady was selected by the New England Patriots, forever pitting the pair against one another.

But the long-time New Orleans Saints QB did not quite have Brady's longevity, retiring a year earlier, and allowed the gap between the two men's achievements to widen in 2021.

Brady leads the NFL with 84,520 passing yards, ahead of the second-placed Brees and his 80,358.

In terms of touchdown passes, it is a similar story. Brady's 624 top the charts, with Brees his nearest challenger on 571.

Brees also ranks second for seasons with 20 touchdown passes (17) and team points per game among quarterbacks with at least 100 starts (27.4). Brady (19 and 28.3) is the main man in both categories.

WINS, WINS, WINS

There is an enduring debate over whether wins are a quarterback statistic, but one would have a hard time arguing otherwise in Brady's case. Even after benefiting from Bill Belichick's coaching for 20 years, the veteran headed to Tampa and won right away.

Brady finishes with 243 QB wins, meaning an incredible margin to second-placed pair Peyton Manning and Brett Favre on 186.

In fact, Brady has 69 wins in the month of December alone. In terms of a single month, Favre is next, with 52 wins also in December.

It should come as no surprise then that Brady has the best record among QBs with at least 100 starts, his .769 again comfortably ahead of the next-best performance, Roger Staubach's .746.

Of course, Brady has kept winning as each season has extended into the postseason.

He has 35 playoff wins, too many to compare to one rival QB alone. Among all NFL teams excluding Brady's Pats and Bucs, the Baltimore Ravens have won the most playoff games since 2000. They are on 16.

STILL GOING STRONG

Brady's 2021 performance made his decision to quit at this stage something of a shock. Even in his mid-40s, there have been no signs of slowing.

This was Brady's 19th different season with 3,000 passing yards – clear of Favre's 18 – and his fifth 4,000-yard season just since he turned 40.

Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Staubach and Steve Young combined for three seasons with 4,000 passing yards for their careers.

Tom Brady was saluted for "an absolutely incredible" career by Peyton Manning as the seven-time Super Bowl winner ended doubts by confirming his retirement.

Reports of Brady being ready to quit at the weekend were disputed – he was "still going through the process" on Monday – but they proved to be accurate as the 44-year-old declared on Tuesday he has played his final game.

Manning, himself one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen, doffed his cap to superstar Brady as he remembered a rival with whom he shared a firm comradeship.

"Congratulations to my friend Tom on an unbelievable football career," Manning said.

"To do it as long as he did, at the highest of levels is absolutely incredible. It was an honour and a privilege to compete against him on the field, and I truly appreciate his friendship off the field.

"I have always admired and respected his competitiveness, his dedication, his discipline, and his commitment to being the best. I wish him the best in his next chapter. Congratulations again, pal!"

Manning, one year Brady's senior, retired in 2016 after winning two Super Bowls, one each with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. He has since been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it will be Brady's turn in five years' time, when he becomes eligible.

Brady spent two years with the Bucs to round off his career, having won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.

A seventh ring arrived in season one in Tampa, but Brady could not guide Bruce Arians' team to another Super Bowl this time around.

Head coach Arians expressed his sorrow that Brady felt it was now time to go.

Arians said: "Tom joined us as the greatest football player of all time, and he quickly showed everyone in our organisation what that meant.

"He set a standard and helped create a culture that took our team to the mountaintop.

"It has been an honour to be his head coach for the past two seasons. I wish it didn't have to end, but few players have the opportunity to leave the game on their own terms. Even fewer can do it while playing at an elite level. Tom is the exception.

"I have a deep appreciation and respect for what he has done for our franchise, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best in this chapter of life after football."

The Patriots, who were not directly thanked in a long retirement note from Brady, remarked on his retirement with a fond farewell

In a statement on Instagram, the Patriots said: "It was quite the ride. Thank you and congratulations, @tombrady."

Brady's warm words for the Bucs spoke of his enjoyment of his two-year ride into the sunset.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who previously worked for the Patriots, said: "I have had the distinct pleasure of being with Tom at both the beginning and end of his incredible NFL career. These past two seasons, I had the privilege to see up close the way he operates and the impact he has on a franchise – from coaches to players to staff.

"He set a standard for accountability, work ethic and performance that resonated through our building and in our locker room. His list of career accomplishments speaks for itself, but to finish a 22-year career while still performing at his peak was nothing short of extraordinary."

Tom Brady "set a standard that players will chase for years" during his storied NFL career that commissioner Roger Goodell paid tribute to following the legendary quarterback's retirement.

An ESPN report on Saturday revealed Brady was set to bring his career to a close after 22 seasons in the NFL.

Those claims were soon disputed, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar "still going through the process" on Monday as he discussed his future.

But Tuesday brought an official statement from the 44-year-old on his Instagram page.

Brady commented that the sport required "100 per cent competitive commitment" but he could no longer live up to that expectation, choosing instead to focus "time and energy on other things that require my attention".

His retirement sees the NFL lose an icon and star who has thrilled audiences for nearly quarter of a century, with his seven Super Bowl wins unmatched by anyone in the sport's history, and Goodell paid tribute to Brady's longevity and legacy.

"Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," Goodell said in a statement.

"An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year.

"Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments.

"His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years.

"He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history. 

"It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL. We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future."

Tom Brady said he "loved" his NFL career but insists that "now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention".

The legendary quarterback, whose career spanned 22 years and saw him win an unprecedented seven Super Bowl titles, officially announced his retirement from the game in a statement on his Instagram page on Tuesday.

However, the 44-year-old notably did not mention his former team the New England Patriots, with whom he spent 20 seasons and won six Super Bowls.

Below is Brady's statement in full:

"I have always believed the sport of football is an 'all-in' proposition – if a 100 per cent competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game.

"There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximise my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.

"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment any more. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.

"I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors and fans deserve 100 per cent of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.

"To my Bucs teammates the past two years, I love you guys and I have loved going to battle with you. You have dug so deep to challenge yourself, and it inspired me to wake up every day and give you my best. I am always here for you guys and want to see you continue to push yourselves to be your best. I couldn't be happier with what we accomplished together.

"To all the Bucs fans, thank you. I didn't know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to play for such a passionate and fun fan base. What a Krewe!!!

"To the city of Tampa and the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region, thank you. It has been wonderful to be a resident of such a fun place to live. I want to be invited to our next boat parade!

"To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me. I know I was demanding at times, but you provided everything we needed to win, and your ownership was everything a player could ask for.

"To Jason Licht, thank you for your daily support and friendship - I will never forget it. I had never been through free agency, and I had some trepidation about how we could achieve success. Your leadership gave me confidence, and I will always be grateful.

"To my head coach Bruce Arians, thanks for putting up with me! Your firm leadership and guidance were ideal. There is no way we could have had success without your experience, intuition and wisdom. I am very grateful.

"To all the Bucs coaches, my sincere thanks for all the hard work, dedication and discipline that goes into creating a winning team. I have learned so much from all of you and will value the relationships we have.

"To every single Bucs staffer and employee, thank you. Each of you is critically important, and I was greeted with a smile every day. That means so much to me. Your work is made up of long hours and hard tasks, but please know I see each and every one of you. Thank you so much.

"To Alex Guerrero, thank you. I could never have made every Sunday without you; it's that simple. Your dedication to your craft and our friendship and brotherhood are immeasurable. We have an unbreakable bond and I love you.

"To Don Yee and Steve Dubin, thank you. You've been with me every step of the way since I left the University of Michigan and before I entered the league. What a journey it's been, and I couldn't do it without you.

"To my parents and entire family (and extended family of countless friends), I love you and thank you for your never-ending support and love. I could never have imagined the time and energy you have given me the past 30 years in football. I can never repay you. And just know I love you so much.

"And lastly to my wife Gisele, and my children Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family. Te amo amor da minha vida.

"My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you're in it every day, you really don't think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against - the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT.

"But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

"The future is exciting. I'm fortune to have co-founded incredible companies like Autograph.io, Brady Brand and TB12 Sports that I'm excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress. As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day.

"I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people's lives, just as so many have done for me.

"With much love, appreciation and gratitude. Tom"

In the NFL, it is very difficult to go out on top.

Parity reigns supreme in North America's dominant league, with no team since the 2004 New England Patriots achieving the feat of winning back-to-back Super Bowls.

As such, the task of winning the Super Bowl in your final season as a player is an extremely challenging one, especially in an era where there is an apparent production line of young quarterbacks rapidly ascending to the top of the sport.

John Elway and Peyton Manning both did it, in the 1998 and 2015 seasons respectively, both signing off with Super Bowl victories for the Denver Broncos. 

But neither nor Elway nor Manning could be considered at the top of their game, with both arguably carried to the title by an extremely talented roster.

Tom Brady could not replicate their achievement but, though he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came up short against the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in what proved his final game, the case can be made his farewell was superior even without it coming on the Super Bowl podium.

Brady will, of course, look back on his Super Bowl-winning seasons with the greatest fondness. However, his 2021 numbers compare favourably with those from a 2007 campaign most consider his finest, another year in which he did not lift the Lombardi Trophy.

In 2007, Brady threw for 4,806 yards, 50 touchdowns and averaged 300.4 yards per game. That touchdown tally trails only Manning in 2013 (55) for the most in a single season, Brady forming a devastating combination with wide receiver Randy Moss in a Patriots offense that is regarded as one of the greatest in NFL history

The yardage total was topped in 2011 (5,235) and 2012 (4,827), yet the zenith in that sense came in 2021, Brady racking up a league-leading 5,316 passing yards at an average of 312.7 yards per game while also leading the NFL with 43 touchdowns.

Those numbers served as a further testament to his ability to adapt to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians' aggressive downhill passing game following his switch from the New England Patriots after the 2019 season.

His 42 passing plays of 25 yards or more were the most in the 2021 regular season, Brady continuing to produce explosive plays in a year that saw him shorn of the services of Chris Godwin through injury and, later in the year, Antonio Brown following the All-Pro wide receiver's very public split from the Bucs.

Delivering an accurate, well-thrown ball on 79.2 per cent of his attempts in 2021 – the average among quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts was 78.3 – and throwing a pickable pass on only 2.56 per cent of passes, third-best for signal-callers to meet that threshold, there was no sign of a drop-off in terms of accuracy or decision-making from Brady in his final year.

The combination of accuracy and an arm clearly still strong enough to make throws to every level of the field came to the fore as Brady pounced on a collection of Rams errors to help the Bucs fight back from 27-3 down to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, his 55-yard bomb to Mike Evans to cut the gap to seven points encapsulating his ability to still produce the remarkable even with a depleted receiving group and his offensive line being bullied by Los Angeles.

That the Rams recovered to kick the game-winning field goal is almost immaterial. Brady's send-off was still a thrilling one and a scarcely needed reminder that, in his unprecedented two-plus decades of dominance, no lead was ever safe.

For Elway and Manning, their career-ending Super Bowl triumphs were legacy-defining. Brady did not need to pad his legacy any further but still threw for over 4,000 yards for the fifth time since turning 40 and delivered one final bewitching rollercoaster.

Brady did not go out on top but, rather than being carried to victory, he exited the stage still arguably at the peak of his powers having narrowly missed out on lifting his team to an astonishing comeback win. It wasn't a winning farewell but, in every other sense, it was the perfect Brady goodbye.

Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

An ESPN report on Saturday revealed the legendary quarterback was set to bring his career to a close after 22 seasons in the NFL.

Those claims were soon disputed, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar "still going through the process" on Monday as he discussed his future.

But Tuesday brought an official statement from Brady on the 44-year-old's Instagram page.

"I have always believed the sport of football is an 'all-in' proposition – if a 100 per cent competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game," he wrote.

"There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximise my highest potential.

"And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.

"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore.

"I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention."

Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

Tom Brady said on Monday he has yet to decide whether or not he will retire from the NFL before next season.

It was reported by ESPN on Saturday that the record seven-time Super Bowl champion would bow out of the game after 22 seasons, although his agent, Don Yee, later insisted that nothing was certain until Brady himself made an announcement.

Rumours emerged prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Divisional Round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams that the 44-year-old was non-committal about playing beyond the 2021 season.

The New England Patriots great previously expressed a desire to play to age 45 and was open to the idea of continuing until he turned 50, although he admitted after the defeat to the Rams that his family had become a priority when it came to his future plans.

Brady has now made it clear that he will not rush into any decision as he considers his next move.

"I'm still going through the process that I said I was going through," Brady said on the Let's Go! podcast. "Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do and I think when the time is right I'll be ready to make a decision one way or the other.

"It's always a good line that I'm responsible for what I say and do, and not responsible for what others say or do. I think one thing I've learned about sports is that you control what you can control, and what you can't, you leave to others.

"We're in such an era of information and people want to be in front of the news often and I totally understand that. I understand that's the environment we're in. But I think for me, it's literally day-to-day with me. I'm just trying to do the best I can every day, evaluate things as they come, and I'm trying to make a great decision for me and my family.

"Like I've always said, I'm very blessed to play as long as I have. As things have gone on in the later parts of my career, whether that was five years ago or even this year, there's a lot of interest in when I'm going to stop playing. I understand that. It's not that I don't recognise that. When I know, I'll know. When I don't know, I don't know. I'm not going to race to some conclusion about that."

It was put to Brady that the reports around his supposed retirement could rekindle a desire to keep playing in 2022, but he said: "I think my motivation for playing football is to win and be successful and maybe there's little parts of motivation that comes from different places or what people may say or think, but I'm mostly motivated from inside and wanting to be the best for my team-mates and my coaches and my organisations.

"That's kind of where my motivation has been for a long time."

Patrick Mahomes says he has an even greater appreciation for the NFL career of Tom Brady after the Kansas City Chiefs lost in the playoffs.

The Chiefs were shocked 27-24 by the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

Despite having star quarterback Mahomes and a dominant offense, the Chiefs only have one Super Bowl title to show from their four straight championship game appearances.

Mahomes believes it shows how difficult it is to go all the way and puts the spectacular feat of Brady – soon expected to confirm his retirement – winning a record seven Super Bowl crowns into perspective.

"His career is one of a kind,'' Mahomes said, per ESPN, after the Bengals rallied from 18 points behind to record a shock win at Arrowhead Stadium. 

"That's why he's the GOAT. To win that many Super Bowls and win that many games, it's hard. 

"I understand that. The years that I've had, I've been close a lot. 

"I've only been there twice, and I've only won once. I understand it takes a special player, a special group of guys, special circumstances for that to happen.

"I'm just going to try to do whatever I can to get myself a chance every year to get in that game and to win it.''

Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also fell short in 2021, losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round.

That was a result that extended a long streak of teams being unable to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

It has not been done since Brady and the New England Patriots won the title in back-to-back seasons in 2003 and 2004.

The Rams will meet the Bengals at SoFi Stadium on February 13.

Tom Brady is reportedly retiring from the NFL, and one of his favourite targets led the tributes on social media.

Reports of the end of Brady's 22-season career, one which delivered an unprecedented seven Super Bowl titles, emerged on Saturday.

Brady's agent, Don Yee, has since moved to clarify that a final decision has yet to be made on his client's future.

By that point, though, stars from around the sporting world had taken to Twitter to express their admiration for the man regarded as the NFL's greatest of all time.

Edelman, with whom Brady won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, was among the first to do so.

He was joined by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whom Brady beat in the AFC Championship Game en route to winning his final Super Bowl with the Patriots in the 2018 season and again in last year's Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bucs team-mates Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Richard Sherman spoke of their pride at having shared the field with Brady, while 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson also congratulated the quarterback on the most remarkable of careers.

James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Love and Bradley Beal were among those from the NBA to pay tribute to the GOAT.

Tom Brady will soon clarify whether he plans to retire from the NFL or not, according to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star's agent.

It was reported by ESPN on Saturday that the record seven-time Super Bowl champion would bow out of the game after 22 seasons.

Rumours emerged prior to the Bucs' Divisional Round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams that the 44-year-old was non-committal about playing beyond the 2021 season.

The New England Patriots great previously expressed a desire to play to age 45 and was open to the idea of continuing until he turned 50.

But speaking on the 'Let's Go' podcast this week, Brady said of his wife and family: "It pains her to see me get hit out there. And she deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.

"Playing football, I get so much joy from [it]. I love it. But not playing football, there's a lot of joy in that for me also now, too, with my kids getting older and seeing them develop and grow. So, all these things need to be considered and they will be."

After news of his apparent decision to call time on his career as the greatest quarterback in history, Brady's agent, Don Yee, asked for patience.

In a statement carried by ESPN, he said: "I understand the advance speculation about Tom's future. Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what's being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy.

"He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon."

Tom Brady looks to have played his last Super Bowl.

The quarterback extraordinaire has decided to retire after completing a second year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ESPN reported on Saturday.

It means there will be no farewell season for Brady, no lap of honour, and he has declared on seven Super Bowls and out.

Brady could have walked away after capturing a sixth Lombardi Trophy with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII three years ago with his legacy as the greatest of all time secured.

But whether it was down to a desire to outstrip Michael Jordan's six NBA titles, win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick or simply because of his love of competing and winning, Brady felt the need to keep going further into his 40s in search of a seventh.

That came in emphatic fashion in his first season since leaving Belichick and the Patriots, as the Buccaneers routed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium 12 months ago.

The man who entered the NFL as a skinny sixth-round pick in 2000 proved yet again that it is foolish to doubt him, and now he has gone about surprising everyone again by deciding time is up. At the age of 44, Brady is done with throwing touchdown passes.

Here, we rank Brady's seven wins on the grandest stage.

7. Super Bowl LIII

Brady's last triumph with the Patriots was probably his least impressive, at least in the vacuum of the game itself.

An uninspiring defensive struggle with the Los Angeles Rams unsurprisingly fell in Belichick's favour as he outcoached Sean McVay in a 13-3 win. Brady did, however, connect with Rob Gronkowski for the telling blow, a 29-yard pass that set up Sony Michel for the game's only touchdown. 

Boosting Brady here is the fact he led the Patriots to victory over Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, but that's not enough to move it off the bottom of the list.

6. Super Bowl XXXIX

Last year's Super Bowl was the second in which Brady dealt a defeat to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, but the 39th edition of the Greatest Show on Earth was a much tighter affair as Brady guided the Patriots to back-to-back Lombardi trophies.

But Reid, who in this February 2005 game was coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, perhaps bore as much responsibility for the Patriots' victory as Brady. Reid was significantly criticised in the aftermath of the Eagles' 24-21 loss for a lack of time management, their final scoring drive taking up nearly four minutes and making New England's task in closing out the game much easier.

Reid's shortcomings in that regard do not take away from Brady's performance or the achievement in winning successive Super Bowls, one that has not since been repeated. But, in terms of memorable performances, this is not one that ranks highly.

5. Super Bowl XXXVIII

Brady's second Super Bowl win is one that deserves more recognition than it gets as the Patriots held off an underdog Carolina Panthers team that refused to lie down. 

After the Panthers overturned a 21-10 deficit to lead in the fourth quarter, Brady led an 11-play drive to restore the Patriots' advantage and, after Carolina responded in kind, orchestrated a game-winning field goal in the final 58 seconds of regulation to secure a 32-29 triumph.

It was a perfect encapsulation of Brady's ability to deliver when the moment is the biggest, one which he has demonstrated time and again with all the marbles on the line.

4. Super Bowl LV

Brady's first Super Bowl win outside of New England may have been one of the most unexpected, but it doesn't quite crack the top three.

There is so much Brady deserves credit for. From taking the chance to leave his familiar surroundings and successfully adapting to a new offense to the manner in which he dissected the Chiefs defense in the first half.

But the Buccaneers' victory was a team performance built as much on a swarming defense that continually had Patrick Mahomes running for his life as it was on Brady's prowess leading the offense.

Brady was a deserved winner of the Super Bowl MVP but, without the Bucs' pass rush, this would have been a very different game, one in which the Chiefs' offense may have been able to change the outcome.

3. Super Bowl XXXVI

Brady was not close to being the quarterback he would become, and that is what makes his first Super Bowl still so incredible.

In his second season in the NFL, Brady came in and successfully filled the void after starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a chest injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season and led them to an 11-5 record, but he was not expected to go blow for blow with the vaunted St. Louis Rams offense.

As it happened, he received significant help from an excellent defensive display by New England, but the defining moment came in the final 90 seconds, with legendary commentator John Madden calling for the Patriots to play for overtime. Belichick had the faith in Brady to go the opposite route.

He promptly delivered a nine-play, 53-yard drive that began the legend, setting up Adam Vinatieri for a 48-yard field goal that clinched a 20-17 win for the Patriots and their first title. For a player of his relative inexperience to deliver in a situation of that magnitude, it remains one of Brady's most remarkable achievements.

2. Super Bowl XLIX

It gets lost with the fact that Brady and the Patriots would have lost this game to the Seattle Seahawks if not for Malcolm Butler's goal-line interception, but his fourth quarter in a 28-24 classic was one of the finest periods produced by any quarterback in the Super Bowl.

The Patriots trailed by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter, but Brady fearlessly and precisely led them on two touchdown drives against one of the best defenses in NFL history to turn the tide in their favour.

Of course, this game will always be remembered for the Seahawks' inexplicable decision to attempt a pass on the one-yard line with victory in their grasp, but the game never gets to that point without what was at the time Brady's greatest comeback effort in the Super Bowl.

1. Super Bowl LI

It was always unlikely Brady would ever top this performance, his Super Bowl piece de resistance.

All seemed lost for Brady when the Patriots trailed 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter, but what followed was an accumulation of all the clutch moments he has produced in his unparalleled career.

The Falcons were reduced to near helpless spectators as Brady masterfully instigated the biggest fightback in Super Bowl history.

When the Patriots won the coin toss to start overtime, their 34-28 triumph was inevitable. Everyone knew what was about to happen, with the Falcons as powerless to stop it as the Chiefs were last year.

It was a revival that added immeasurably to Brady's aura, his desire to collect Super Bowl rings unsurpassed in the sport's history.

Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons, according to a report from ESPN.

Reports emerged prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Divisional Round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams that the 44-year-old was non-committal about playing beyond the 2021 season.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion had previously expressed a desire to play to age 45 and was open to the idea of playing until 50.

But speaking on the 'Let's Go' podcast this week, Brady said of his wife and family: "It pains her to see me get hit out there. And she deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.

"Playing football, I get so much joy from [it]. I love it. But not playing football, there's a lot of joy in that for me also now, too, with my kids getting older and seeing them develop and grow. So, all these things need to be considered and they will be."

Those words proved to be foreshadowing on Brady's part, with the three-time MVP calling time on a career that has seen him established as unquestionably the greatest quarterback of all time.

Brady infamously fell to the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft before being selected by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall pick.

He was a spectator for the majority of his rookie year but was catapulted to stardom in the 2001 campaign when, after an injury to starter Drew Bledsoe, he improbably guided the Patriots to their first Super Bowl crown with an upset win over the then-St. Louis Rams.

That victory in Super Bowl XXXVI was followed by further triumphs in the 2003 and 2004 campaigns, with the Patriots still the last team to win the Lombardi Trophy in back-to-back years.

Brady led the Patriots to an unbeaten regular season in 2007, only to suffer an incredible defeat to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in arguably the greatest upset in NFL history. It was the first of two defeats on the grandest stage to the Giants, the second coming in the 2011 season.

New England's barren run was ended in the 2014 season with a dramatic victory over the Seattle Seahawks, with Brady's finest hour the coming two years later when the Patriots fought back from 28-3 down to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in the most incredible comeback the league has seen.

The Philadelphia Eagles ensured the Patriots fell at the final hurdle a year later before Brady's last Super Bowl win with New England came in the 2018 campaign, fittingly against the Rams.

He and the Patriots stunningly parted ways after a Wild Card round the following season, Brady joining the Buccaneers and proving he could win the title without Bill Belichick as they crushed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.

Tampa Bay could not repeat the feat this year, with Brady electing to bow out after a trademark comeback from 27-3 down to the Rams fell just short as the Bucs lost 30-27 on a last-second field goal.

 A five-time Super Bowl MVP, Brady led the NFL in passing touchdowns five times and in passing yards on four occasions.

He holds the NFL record for most career quarterback wins (243), passing touchdowns (624) and passing yards (84,520).

His legacy, however, is defined by his postseason dominance. He is the only player to have won seven Super Bowl titles and his 35 playoff wins are 19 more than his nearest challenger among quarterbacks, Brady's boyhood idol Joe Montana.

Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons, according to a report from ESPN.

Josh Allen called on the Buffalo Bills to maintain the same urgency in their bid to reach the Super Bowl after records tumbled as they demolished the New England Patriots.

The Bills thumped AFC East rivals the Patriots 47-17 on Saturday to reach the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

Buffalo led 27-3 at halftime after an explosive start and Allen set a team playoff record with five touchdown passes in a fine performance.

Sean McDermott's team inflicted the biggest margin of defeat in the playoffs for the Patriots since Bill Belichick took charge in 2000.

The rampant Allen had more touchdowns (five) than incomplete passes (four) as the Bills scored a TD on all seven drives and went the whole game without a punt, field goal or turnover – a first in the NFL playoffs.

Per Stats Perform data, Allen became the first QB in NFL history to complete at least 80 per cent of his passes, throw for 5+ TDs and also rush for 50+ yards (66) in a single game.

Up next will be either a trip to the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of the AFC Championship from last season or a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

That will be decided by the outcome of the Chiefs' matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but regardless of the next opponent Allen knows the Bills need more of the same.

"We feel good," Allen said, per ESPN. 

"When you are going into every game with a win-or-go-home mentality, and that's really what we've had in the last few weeks, just the attention to detail in practice – guys are more attentive.

"The urgency is there, and you're seeing us play better because of it. We're going to need that same mentality this week.

"There are some things that we can clean up and work on, but we moved on, we're on to the next one and it doesn't matter what we did – it's what we do next week."

The dominant nature of the Bills' performance gave them a rare opportunity to savour the atmosphere on a cold night at Highmark Stadium.

"It's not often in coaching you can enjoy the last six minutes of a game and kind of look up in the stands and see the fans enjoying it and at home," said head coach McDermott.

"I'm happy for them more than anything. For us as a team this year, it's one game. 

"[The Patriots] – that is a good football team and they've been at the top for so long. So, we have a lot of respect for them. We've just got to keep moving on."

Asked about the fantastic display from Allen, he added: "It's fun to watch young players develop. There's a lot that goes into that. 

"Number one is the player, in this case Josh, taking greater ownership of his development and his preparation this week. That is what led him to the results you saw on the field. It's pretty black and white that way."

Page 2 of 8
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.