The Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl and it will be trip No. 6 for coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
For Belichick, that moves him into a tie with Don Shula for the most of all time for a head coach. Brady will be tied for the most appearances by a player, although he gets an edge by being the starting quarterback in all six appearances. Belichick was asked about the quarterback after the game and said it was a team game while also pointing out that he felt Brady had the perfect mix of talent and hard work to succeed.
“Again, you have to have a good team. There are all the components of it. One guy can’t win in this league. All one guy can do is do his job and Tom does his job as well as anybody. I’m so thankful that he’s our quarterback. There’s nobody I’d rather have,” Belichick said. “He does everything well. He manages the running game, gets us out of some bad looks that the defense will occasionally show up in on a play. [He] executes well in critical situations like third down and the red area. The pass to [Rob] Gronkowski was a great catch, but it was a great throw. The pass to [Brandon] LaFell last week, those are the kind of plays that win games. You’ve got to have both ends of it. You have to have a great throw; you have to have a great catch. You have to be able to protect. There are a lot of people involved there. Tom just does his job well and that’s really all he can do. With a lot of other people doing their jobs well then you have a good team.”
Brady kept his own focus on the team in his postgame meeting with the media, praising the 45-7 thrashing of the Colts as a “great team win” and saying that he hopes the best is yet to come while evading thoughts of his own legacy. There will be plenty of people willing to talk about it for him over the next two weeks, but Belichick’s comments do a pretty good job of summing up what Brady’s accomplished over the course of his career.