FOXBOROUGH, Mass. The G.O.A.T. quarterback began stalking another Lombardi Trophy, began relentlessly chasing the Joy of Six Super Bowl championships Saturday night against the Titans, and you can hold those Death of a Dynasty obituaries.
The 40-year-old Tom Brady is not forever young, but he doesnt exactly look like hes ready for the retirement home either.
Tom vs Time.
Time waits for no man.
Tom has somehow made Time wait time after time.
And did one more time on a night when he wanted desperately to show everyone that playoff life begins at 40.
Nothing not the tension that gripped the power triumvirate that rules the Patriots, not Bill Belichick or Josh McDaniels or the specter of Jimmy Garoppolo grating on him, not the crackdown on TB12 trainer Alex Guerrero, not all the ghastly whispers that the Evil Empire might be finally beginning to splinter and crumble, not the Titans was going to faze Brady, a 35-14 winner, on his 100-yard field of dreams. His sanctuary.
Being on the fields a great place to thats where you go prove it, Brady said.
It was an overturned false start that was reversed to an offside call against Brynden Trawick with a punt looming that led the Titans down the road to ruin in the first half.
It gave Brady (35-for-53, 337 yards, three touchdowns) first down at his 19. Yes, indeed, the Patriots seem to get all the calls. Brady immediately proceeded to shred the Titans defense and capped a 16-play, 91-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan that made it Patriots 21, Titans 7. He already had thrown for 206 yards and two touchdowns. They should have stopped it on a TKO.
Same Old Brady.
Hes a legend, Duron Harmon said. Hes the G.O.A.T.
Early in the fourth quarter, after Brady had lofted one off his back foot, across the field for 12 yards to Danny Amendola on the left side, they chanted MVP, MVP, MVP!
Brady answered them with a 4-yard touchdown toss to Rob Gronkowski. It was his 10th three-touchdown postseason game, breaking a tie with Joe Montana.
We dont really take it for granted around here, Brady said.
Belichick has lost his offensive and defensive coordinators in the same offseason before.
But never when Brady was 40 going on 41.
His trusted offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, will be leaving for a head-coaching job.
His trusted defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, will be leaving for a head-coaching job.
I thought those guys did a great job, Belichick said.
McDaniels had his up-tempo way with Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau (zero sacks allowed), and Patricia suffocated Marcus Mariota (eight sacks).
Josh did a good job managing the game, calling the game, like he always does, Belichick said.
The last time Belichick lost his offensive and defensive coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, respectively, following the 2004 season it took him nine years to win his fourth Super Bowl championship (thanks in part to Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin).
It doesnt mean Belichick will have to wait nine years again because he wont be coaching another nine years for Bob Kraft. But in the likelihood the honchos kiss and make up after the season and iron out their burgeoning turmoil and Belichick means what he says when he says he absolutely intends to coach the Patriots next season, it means he will need Brady more than he has ever needed Brady.
One of these years, Father Time finally will sack TB12, finally will laugh at his designs on playing until he is 45.
And maybe it will be next Sunday in the AFC Championship here against the Steelers-Jaguars winner.
Just dont count on it.
Tom torched Time one more time on Saturday night.
Same Old Brady.