Super Bowl 2012: What Would Another Ring Mean to Tom Brady, Patriots?
Tom Brady will lead his New England Patriots against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in an attempt to earn the franchise's fourth Lombardi Trophy. If the Patriots can walk into Indianapolis and beat the Giants, it will be the fourth Super Bowl ring for the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick duo.
With a Giants' victory, Eli Manning would have one more ring than his big brother Peyton Manning, Tom Coughlin would have his second ring and inch closer to the Hall of Fame, and the Giants would have their fourth Super Bowl win in franchise history.
But what would yet another Super Bowl ring mean to Tom Brady and the Patriots?
Most Successful of All-Time?
With a victory in Super Bowl XLVI, Tom Brady has an opportunity to match former Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Terry Bradshaw with four Super Bowl rings. Bradshaw led the Steelers to victories in Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV, winning the Super Bowl MVP award in the final two.
Brady would have won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX and XLVI. If Brady is able to capture the MVP award in XLVI, it would be his third time winning the award as he did so in his first two Super Bowl appearances.
Regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl XLVI, Brady will be debated as one of the best to ever play the position. A fourth Super Bowl ring would make it extremely difficult to argue against Brady as the best quarterback of all time.
The narrative of the rematch of Super Bowl XLII will be told countless times over the next two weeks. Most likely way too many times, but there is something to be said about the opportunity the Patriots have to get redemption following the unlikely Giants' victory in Super Bowl XLII.
It is no secret that Brady and the Patriots still feel the salt in their wounds from Super Bowl XLII. On the Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI Radio, Brady described how he feels about it: "I still can't watch highlights from that game. I think that's just the way it is. You get to the end and we had a great opportunity there and really squandered it, because we didn't play our very best."
With the New York Giants looming once again, Tom Brady and the Patriots have a great opportunity to exorcise the demons of Super Bowl XLII. The missed opportunity at a perfect 19-0 season will still sting, but another shiny Lombardi Trophy will go a long way in healing up those wounds.
10 Years of Success
After the Brady and Belichick Patriots dominated much of the early 2000s, they have struggled to maintain that dominance since winning their last Super Bowl in the 2004 season. They have been competitive every year, but reached the Super Bowl just once (2007) and failed to capture any more Lombardi trophies.
Just over 10 years since hoisting their first and seven years since winning their last, the Patriots have a chance to get back on top once again.
With just seven holdovers from their 2007 AFC Championship squad, the Patriots are looking to win a Super Bowl with a very different team. This would go a long way in the legacies of coach Belichick and Brady as they would have proved over a 10 year period.
Bill Belichick, Best of All Time?
Similar to the debate of Tom Brady as the NFL's all-time best quarterback, head coach Bill Belichick has the chance to tie former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll with four Super Bowl victories.
Belichick's success is even more impressive as it has come in a time where dynasties are hard to find and parity rules the league. With such high-turnover each season, the Patriots have been a constant in the NFL playoffs, specifically nine of the last 11 seasons.
Belichick, with an impressive 17-6 playoff record, is quickly rising up the rankings of all-time great coaches and with another Super Bowl victory could be known as the best of all time.