Wednesday, February 21

Ranking all 10 of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl performances from worst to best

Tom Brady played his final NFL game on Jan. 23, 2022. The Buccaneers lost 30-27 to the Rams in the divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs despite a massive second-half comeback effort from Brady.

Brady thought about his future for a bit but ultimately elected to retire on Feb. 1, 2022. He will leave behind a lasting legacy. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (84,520) and passing touchdowns (624) and also won three MVP awards during his time in the NFL.

Even more impressive was what he was able to do in the postseason. He set numerous playoff and Super Bowl passing records and appeared in the big game a whopping 10 times during his 22-year NFL career. Brady won seven of them and took home five Super Bowl MVPs to boot.

Brady was a staple of the Super Bowl for most of his career, and he appeared in the big game five times during his final eight seasons. Now that we’ve seen him play his final down from him, we can take a look back at his 10 Super Bowl appearances from him and fully assess his highlights and lowlights from him on the NFL’s biggest stage.

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Ranking Tom Brady’s best Super Bowl performances

10. Super Bowl 42: Giants 17, Patriots 14

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
60.4 266 one 0 86.5

Brady’s numbers in the first Patriots vs. Giants Super Bowl weren’t his worst in the big game, but they were certainly a disappointment considering how his team had performed all season.

The Patriots averaged 36.8 points per game during the 2007 NFL regular season. That figure dropped to 26 points per game during their first two playoff games, but they were supposed to be able to move the ball on the Giants’ defense.

Instead, Brady managed to throw for just 266 yards and a touchdown after gashing the Giants for 352 yards and two scores a few weeks earlier. The offense couldn’t move the ball enough, and the Patriots lost after a late Giants score on the notorious “Helmet Catch” drive.

Brady was under pressure for most of the evening, but the Patriots needed him to step up a bit more during a season in which he averaged 300 passing yards and three passing touchdowns per game. He couldn’t do it, and that is part of what cost him a perfect season.


9. Super Bowl 53: Patriots 13, Rams 3

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
60 262 0 one 71.3

Yes, the Patriots won Super Bowl 53. No, it was not Tom Brady’s best performance.

Brady had a key role in the Patriots’ victory by throwing a 29-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski to set up a Sony Michel score, which proved to be the lone touchdown of the game. Aside from that, Brady wasn’t able to do much. He connected with Julian Edelman 10 times and that earned the receiver Super Bowl MVP honors in one of the most boring Super Bowls in NFL history.

Brady’s 71.3 passer rating was his lowest ever in a Super Bowl and he simply didn’t look good against the Rams’ defense. The Patriots’ defense and special teams were key to stopping Jared Goff and the Rams and holding them to just three points, so they get more credit for this win than Brady. He’ll certainly take the title, but this was clearly his worst performance in a Super Bowl win by a pretty wide margin.

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8. Super Bowl 46: Giants 21, Patriots 17

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
65.9 276 two one 91.5

The Patriots offense got off to the worst start possible against the Giants in Super Bowl 46. Justin Tuck got pressure on Brady and he intentionally grounded the ball in his own end zone for a safety that gifted the Giants an early two-point lead.

Brady would play better after that, but he still had some critical mistakes, including an interception on a deep pass to Gronkowski when the Patriots were trying to mount a potentially decisive touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

Brady wasn’t outright bad in this game, but his mistakes proved costly to the Patriots. So, despite the decent numbers, this is one of his worst Super Bowl outings of him.

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7. Super Bowl 36: Patriots 20, Rams 17

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
59.3 145 one 0 86.2

I know, I know. The numbers on this one don’t look pretty. Brady wasn’t asked to do much, and a Ty Law interception proved to be the difference in this game.

However, relative to expectations, Brady played well and had the drive that kickstarted his rise to stardom. John Madden famously claimed that in a 17-17 game he would play for overtime rather than let Brady run the two-minute drill. Bill Belichick let Brady throw the ball. The result? Brady led a 53-yard drive in nine plays that gave Madden goosebumps and resulted in a game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal.

That drive is enough to lift this game above his bottom rung of performances. It was his first Super Bowl win from him, after all. That said, his later performances by him were better than this one, though the victory over the Rams that birthed a dynasty holds a special place in the hearts of Patriots fans.

6. Super Bowl 39: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
69.7 236 two 0 110.2

Brady was extremely efficient in his third Super Bowl win. It was the first Super Bowl in which he didn’t throw an interception. That helped the Patriots win the turnover battle by a margin of plus-three.

The Patriots mounted three scoring drives in their first four possessions after halftime thanks in part to Brady’s efficient play. That gave the team enough to outlast Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles, who simply ran out of time at the end while trying to drive for the comeback.

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5. Super Bowl 38: Patriots 32, Panthers 29

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
66.7 354 3 one 100.5

Few expected a true quarterback duel between Brady and Jake Delhomme in Super Bowl 38, but that’s exactly what they got. Brady outlasted Delhomme, who threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns in the game, and had another game-winning drive that set up a Vinatieri field goal.

The Patriots’ defense was prone to giving up the big play that night against Carolina. Brady stepped up and was able to deliver a lot of points, and the Patriots needed every one of them to earn the victory.

This performance could have been higher than No. 5 overall, but as you’ll see, it’s hard to deny just how great Brady’s Super Bowl performances were in the latter half of his career.

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4. Super Bowl 52: Eagles 41, Patriots 33

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
58.3 505 3 0 115.4

Nobody would have batted an eye if Brady had won Super Bowl MVP in the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in 2018. That’s how good he was during an all-time classic shootout with Nick Foles.

Brady threw for a whopping 505 yards, which stands today as the most passing yards in Super Bowl history. His 115.4 passer rating is the second-highest that he has ever posted in a Super Bowl, and frankly, the only “mistake” he made was being unable to reel in a pass off a trick play from Danny Amendola.

Brady did plenty to win this game for the Patriots. Their defense just couldn’t get a stop after halftime and only forced one punt and a turnover on the day. Brady did everything he could, but this loss is more on Belichick and his decision to bench Malcolm Butler than anything else.

This game has an argument for being Brady’s best Super Bowl effort. That said, there are a few winning efforts that we prefer to the last Super Bowl loss of Brady’s career.


3. Super Bowl 49: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
74 328 4 two 101.1

The interceptions may stand out here at first glance, but it’s important to remember that Brady was going up against the feared “Legion of Boom” in this contest. The Seahawks’ defense had made Peyton Manning look foolish just a year prior in Super Bowl 48, so Brady’s performance against Seattle’s strong secondary was impressive.

The Seahawks had allowed an average of just 15.9 points per game during the regular season. In the playoffs, they allowed an average of 19.5 points in their first two games. Brady led the Patriots to four touchdowns and while he turned the ball over, the interceptions were more good plays from the Seahawks defense than outright bad throws by Brady.

This game gave Brady his fourth Super Bowl win, matching Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most in history. It also snapped a decade-long Super Bowl drought for Brady and kickstarted the latter half of his career.

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Pete Carroll’s goal-line play-calling definitely helped the cause, but Brady was the MVP of this game, though Butler could have staked his claim to it with his goal-line heroics.

2. Super Bowl 55: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 9

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
72.4 201 3 0 125.8

Brady’s first year with the Buccaneers couldn’t have gone any better. He led the team to a Super Bowl victory and put forth what was, arguably, his best all-around Super Bowl performance from a statistical perspective.

Brady generated a 125.8 passer rating, his highest mark ever in a Super Bowl, and led three first-half touchdown drives to give the Bucs a big lead on the Chiefs. They maintained that halftime lead, and Brady didn’t have to throw much as a result. He could’ve posted bigger numbers in a closer game, but he needed to throw just 29 times to earn the 22-point win.

What’s so impressive about this Brady win is that it was his first year with the Bucs. The team came together quickly and got hot at the right time. Brady wasn’t perfect during their postseason run, but he saved his best for last and put on a show on his home turf. He made sure that Tampa Bay fans will remember his two-year tenure of him there forever and proved that he could win a Super Bowl without Belichick.

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1. Super Bowl 51: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (OT)

Completion % passing yards Touchdowns interceptions passer rating
69.4 466 two one 95.2

Any time Brady’s best Super Bowl performances are ranked, this one has to come out on top. It’s plain and simple. The Patriots were trailing 28-3 and had little room for error late in the third quarter against the Falcons.

Brady didn’t flinch. He led the Patriots on four consecutive scoring drives to erase the Falcons’ lead and converted each of the two-point conversions the Patriots needed to ensure they could get the game to overtime. He overcame an ugly pick-six in the first half and was able to steady himself and throw for 466 yards, which was, at the time, the most passing yards in a single Super Bowl. He would break his own record the very next year.

This win also gave Brady his fifth Super Bowl title — the most of any player in NFL history — and cemented his status as the greatest quarterback of all time.

Brady’s performance may not have been as perfect as it was in his Super Bowl win with the Buccaneers was, but he helped the Patriots make the largest comeback in NFL postseason history, and he broke a Super Bowl passing record as well. That’s insanely impressive and it will be the lasting Super Bowl memory from Brady’s career. As such, it belongs to No. 1 on this list.

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