Tom Brady robbed the Jaguars of a chance to play in Super Bowl 52

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Saturday was mostly a slow day but it all changed when Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Tom Brady will retire. While there are conflicting accounts about whether he will indeed call it quits after playing in the NFL for 22 seasons — 20 years with the New England Patriots and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s a good time to remember that the Jacksonville Jaguars and not the Pats should have appeared in Super Bowl 52.

Brady finished his NFL career with a 243-73 record as a starter, seven Super Bowl rings, a 64.2 completion rate with 84,520 passing yards, and 624 touchdowns. The 15-time Pro Bowl nod holds almost every meaningful passing record and a 5-1 record against the Jags. While every loss stings, there are two that stand out, one in the divisional round of the playoff in 2007 and the other one in the distant year of 2017.

Back in 2007, the Jags were coming off a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in the wild-card round of the postseason. However, Brady and the Patriots had no trouble dismantling Jacksonville’s secondary the following week, completing 26 of 28 passes on his way to a 31-20 win. While that loss hurts, it doesn’t compare to the one in the 2017 AFC Championship.

In case you blocked the memory in order not to feel pain, the Jaguars had a comfortable lead entering the fourth quarter. The game then looked over when linebacker Myles Jack forced a fumble but the referees ruled he was down. The Pats took advantage of the blunder, mounted a comeback, and went on to beat Jacksonville 24-20. Had the whistle not been blown, there’s a good chance Jack would have taken the ball to the house and the Jags would have faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52.

It’ll be hard to recreate Tom Brady’s level of success again.

Look, you probably despise Tom Brady unless you are a Patriots or Buccaneers fan and that’s alright. After all, no NFL team had a winning record against him. Nevertheless, everyone player would love to achieve the kind of success he did throughout his career. You could make the case that he was just lucky and benefitted from the circumstances and talent around him but if that’s the case, that makes his run even more amazing. Who wouldn’t like to have that kind of luck?

Also, the NFL will be different without Brady. For those born after 2000, the 2022 season will be the first one without the former sixth-round pick. For context, Maria Maria of Carlos Santana was the top song on the Billboard chart and Destiny’s Child’s Say My Name was No. 2 the month Brady was drafted.

Sure, the NFL will go on without Brady. After all, there’s a new batch of young quarterbacks, including but not limited to Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence. However, it’s unlikely that any of them, or any player for that matter, will go on to experience the kind of success Brady did throughout the last 22 years any time soon.

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