Super Bowl MVP 2015: Highlights, Breakdown of Tom Brady's Historic Performance

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2015

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The "greatest of all time" conversation that follows quarterback Tom Brady received a shot in the arm after the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX and he took home his third MVP award on Sunday night.

Brady's stuff is legendary, as a casual demeanor helped to erase a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter against the league's most feared secondary.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Tom Brady: MVP #SB49 http://t.co/npneWahPWI

Overall, Brady was far from perfect on his way to the 37-of-50 mark for 328 yards, four scores and two interceptions.

Twice Brady simply missed defenders. They appeared to just vanish from existence in the middle of his read, the end result being an easy interception for the Seahawks.

Once, he missed what would have probably been the most simplistic touchdown pass of his career at the pro level, as even athletic pass-catcher Julian Edelman could not adjust midair and reel in the high pass.

It is all white noise now, though.

Brady scored the first touchdown of the soon-to-be-legendary contest by finding Brandon LaFell in the second quarter:


You just scored the first TD of #SB49, Brandon Lafell. You get to dance. #WindIt #WindIt #SB49 http://t.co/2FS1JukP18

That dart began Brady's four-touchdown extension of his own record for most career postseason touchdown passes.

The second later in the same quarter epitomized the Patriots' approach all night long. Brady hit on short passes for most of the night both in an effort to avoid challenging cornerback Richard Sherman and Co. deep as well as minimize the effectiveness of the Seattle pass rush.

At times, though, this opened up things for the offense over the top, such as on this dime to tight end Rob Gronkowski:


Gronk destroy defense. Gronk make sick catch. Gronk score. GRONK SPIKE! #SB49 http://t.co/wiVAvJCQJq

Remember that horrific miss to a wide-open Edelman?

Brady overcame that hiccup in the only way he can, finding receiver Danny Amendola in the back of the end zone for a score to put his team back in it late:


Brady. Amendola. Back of the endzone. 3-point game. You didn't think it was over. Did you? #TB12 #SB49 http://t.co/79RYfwYc7r

He then made things right with Edelman, tossing him the go-ahead touchdown shortly thereafter to conclude a drive in which the MVP did not fire an incompletion.

The scope of the late-game heroics simply cannot afford to be lost in the grand scheme of things. This was the Legion of Boom. This was the defense that made Denver Broncos signal-caller Peyton Manning look like he should be in a walkernot cleatsduring last year's big game.

NFL Network's Albert Breer and The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre paint the picture well:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Well, that's about as good as it gets by Tom Brady. Down 10 in the 4th quarter against the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Leaves field with lead.

Jason McIntyre @jasonrmcintyre

Tom Brady drove the length of the field 2x in the final 8 mins against a great defense. 4th Super Bowl win. He's the best QB in NFL history

The total tally? A 13-of-15 mark for 124 yards and two scores in the final frame. Those 37 overall completions? Short, easy passes or not, they set an NFL record that once belonged to Manning, per NFL Network's Jeff Darlington:

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

Tom Brady set a Super Bowl record for most completions in a game, surpassing Peyton Manning’s 34 completions set in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Legacy chatter and the like probably matter little to Brady. The man's a competitor who wants to win. His focus at the podium after the game, per ESPN's Mike Reiss, says it all:

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

Tom Brady in trophy presentation: "We never doubted each other. That's what it took. That was a great football team we beat."

According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), he later added:

It wasn't the way we drew it up. Certainly, throwing a couple of picks didn't help. It was a lot of mental toughness. Our team has had it all year. We never doubted each other, so that's what it took. That was a great football team we beat. I'm just so happy for our team.

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talks to the media after winning Super Bowl XLIX 28-24 against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Tom Pennington
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Make no mistake—Brady is far from done.

In a way, that is what can be so scary about his performance on Sunday. Brady wasn't perfect, but his ability to remain level-headed and take care of business overrides the negatives.

The ending is the stuff of legends, even if it is not the end.

In fact, Sunday is likely the pinnacle for arguably the greatest of all time.

Not bad for a former sixth-round pick who grew up idolizing Joe Montana.

Stats courtesy of ESPN.com. Advanced metrics via Pro Football Focus.

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