New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says his record-setting performance in Super Bowl LI wasn’t his best game ever despite the historic 25-point rally over the Atlanta Falcons.
Brady threw for a Super Bowl-record 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception en route to New England’s improbable 34-28 victory in overtime after erasing a 28-3 Falcons lead — winning his fifth championship ring and record fourth Super Bowl MVP Award. He broke, tied or extended nine Super Bowl records.
“I don’t really think that is necessarily the case,” Brady told TheMMQB.com’s Peter King in an interview when asked if this Super Bowl was one of the great games in his storybook career. “I think it was one of the greatest games I have ever played in, but when I think of an interception return for a touchdown, some other missed opportunities in the first 37, 38 minutes of the game, I don’t really consider playing a good quarter-and-a-half plus overtime as one of the ‘best games ever.’
“But it was certainly one of the most thrilling for me, just because so much was on the line, and it ended up being an incredible game. There are so many things that played into that game — a high-scoring offense, a top-ranked defense, the long Super Bowl, four-and-a-half-hour game, the way that the game unfolded in the first half versus what happened in the second half … so it was just a great game.”
Brady talked to King for two hours on Sunday while in Montana on a family vacation.
Brady, who absorbed five sacks and other big hits against the Falcons, told King, “I have zero pain. I feel great. I feel 100 percent.”
Meanwhile, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he isn’t concerned with some of his players planning to skip a ceremony at the White House because of the Donald Trump presidency.
At least six Patriots players — tight end Martellus Bennett, safety Devin McCourty, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, defensive end Chris Long, running back LaGarrette Blount and defensive tackle Alan Branch — have said they won’t be attending.
“It’s interesting, this is our fifth Super Bowl in the last 16 years, and every time we’ve had the privilege of going to the White House, a dozen of our players don’t go. This is the first time it’s gotten any media attention,” Kraft said on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday. “Some other players have the privilege of going (to the White House) in college because they’re on national championship teams. Others have family commitments. But this is America; we’re all free to do whatever’s best for us. We’re just privileged to be in a position to be going.”
Kraft joined Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for dinner at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday night.
Brady did not attend the White House ceremony two years ago after the Patriots won the Super Bowl when President Barack Obama was in office, citing a prior “family commitment.”