Tom Brady has announced his retirement from the NFL. Again. This time it appears to be sincere, though, which makes the time ripe to countdown the greatest plays in his 22-year career. Plenty of pro football fans, experts, and historians consider him to be the greatest quarterback in the history of the game, citing his ten Super Bowl appearances, seven Super Bowl victories, and numerous records that are unlikely to ever be broken.
One thing about Brady that is beyond question is his longevity. No quarterback has ever been able to remain at the top of the NFL for as long. That makes for a ton of great plays to choose from in compiling a list of his all-time greatest. The ten best prove why he’s one of the best to ever play at the quarterback position.
10. Game-winning Touchdown Against the Saints in 2013
Brady’s New England Patriots took on Drew Brees’s New Orleans Saints in the 2013 seasons. The game was a face-off between two of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL at the time, and, indeed, of all time. With just seconds to go in the game, the Patriots trailed but were in scoring position.
On what would prove to be the game-winning play, Brady hit wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins with just five seconds to go in the game. It was one of many last-moment comebacks in his career, but one of the most memorable.
9. Touchdown Pass to Scotty Miller in the 2021 NFC Championship
Brady’s tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers resulted in a Super Bowl win against the Kansas City Chiefs. In order to get to that Super Bowl, the Buccaneers needed to get by the Green Bay Packers, who had homefield advantage in the game.
Just before the end of the first half, Brady hit wide receiver Scotty Miller on a long pass for a touchdown to put the Buccaneers up by ten points with one second before the half. The throw also put the momentum squarely in the Bucs’ corner for the start of the second half, and they never looked back on their way to victory.
8. Game-winning Touchdown Against the Bills in 2021
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills played one of the best games of the 2021 season. Josh Allen and the Bills have been one of the best teams in the AFC for the last few seasons, and they gave the Brady and the Buccaneers everything they could handle.
Just about everything, that is. In typical Brady fashion, with the game going to overtime, a 58-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman ended the Bills’ challenge to the Bucs. It was yet another example of Brady’s late regulation/overtime theatrics.
7. Brady Catches a Pass from Danny Amendola
Sometimes the best plays are ones that are uncharacteristic. The same goes for the smartest plays. That’s certainly the case for the long catch Brady hauled in on a pass from his Patriots teammate Danny Amendola against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.
With the Patriots down 14 points, such a bizarre call was the right thing for the moment, and with Brady moving out wide, Amendola hit him before he was able to move up the field for a massive gain that put the team’s offense back in the right gear.
6. Touchdown to Randy Moss Keeps the Patriots’ Hopes for Perfection Alive
The Patriots’ perfect regular season of 2007 came under threat by the New York Giants, who would famously dethrone them later that season in the Super Bowl. In their regular season matchup, however, things went a bit differently.
Brady hit Randy Moss on a long touchdown that would put the Patriots on top in a game that tested them about as much as any regular season game did that season. Moss’s ability to break away from a covering safety was the perfect situation for Brady to exploit through his abilities with the deep ball.
5. Touchdown to Rob Gronkowski in Super Bowl XLIX
The Patriots faced the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX in an attempt to thwart them from back-to-back Super Bowl wins, which they successfully did after one of the most controversial and questionable play calls in the history of the NFL.
Nevertheless, Brady did his thing in the game as well, hitting Rob Gronkowski on a long touchdown with about 30 seconds left before halftime. The touchdown put the Patriots up by a touchdown, and was just one of the many Brady-Gronk connections that helped to define an era of the NFL.
4. Touchdown to David Givens in Super Bowl XXXIX
The Patriots faced the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXIX in the earlier days of Brady’s long career. With the Eagles taking a touchdown lead late into the first half, the Patriots found themselves with the ball and driving just before halftime.
As the Patriots got closer to the end zone, Brady tossed a pass out to wide receiver David Givens which was caught for a touchdown allowing the team to tie the game with an extra point heading into the locker room. This particular touchdown is extremely important in the history of the Patriots’ dynasty, revitalizing them in a big moment.
3. Flea-flicker Against Steelers, #2
Brady hurt the Pittsburgh Steelers on two different flea-flickers in his career. The second of these flea-flickers went for 34 yards in the 2017 AFC Championship game, as the Patriots were yet again on their way to a Super Bowl appearance.
Once again, sometimes the best plays are the ones that are uncharacteristic and that we simply don’t see coming. Brady reminded us of this several times throughout his career. That was the case once again with his flea-flicker pass to Chris Hogan.
2. Flea-flicker Against Steelers, #1
The original Brady flea-flicker against the Steelers was even better than the second one, as it went for 56 yards to Jabbar Gaffney for a touchdown. It put the Patriots up by double digits in the third quarter and stands out as one of the greatest plays of the Patriots’ 2007 perfect regular season.
Brady’s penchant for bizarre plays at opportune moments is one of the reasons he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to every play in the NFL. Not only that, his penchant for these kinds of plays almost always went for huge gains. This was a picture-perfect example.
1. The Touchdown That Created a Dynasty
The first touchdown Brady threw in a Super Bowl put the Patriots up ten points against the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. The pass was to David Patten just before halftime. It wasn’t particularly special as far as touchdown passes go, but there’s no question it’s the most significant pass of Brady’s career.
This touchdown created the Patriots dynasty and ended what many thought was going to be a Rams dynasty. It completely uprooted the expectations of the league at the time. The heavily favored Rams found themselves down by double digits at halftime against a young quarterback named Brady, and we’ve all lived through the rest of the story.