On January 7th, 2010, Tom Brady won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award.
On January 10th, 2010, Tom Brady had the earliest playoff exit of his career.
Life comes at you fast. As the boo birds filled Gillette Stadium in just the first quarter, those who witnessed the loss were asking if this was the beginning of the end for Brady. Now, we know that turned out to be a load of shit and he will likely still be playing by the time this post is just a 404 Page Not Found error message, but it was an understandable reaction.
Touchdown Tom turned the ball over four times, threw for just 154 yards on 42 attempts, and allowed the Baltimore Ravens to walk all over him to deliver Brady’s first home playoff loss. The real shame about his performance is that it distracted from Joe Flacco’s hilariously inept numbers: 4-10 for 34 yards, no touchdowns, one interception.
Because this entire dumpster fire is worth celebrating, here are some of the notes we took while researching this episode that either had to be left out or are worth reiterating:
- “You get in a situation like this [down 21-0], you don’t get back in the game by trying to out-coach or do something ... uh ... smart.” - Phil Simms
- This game was one of three consecutive playoff losses for Brady and the Patriots. At no other point in Brady’s career has he even lost back-to-back postseason games.
- “The Blind Side” was released a month and a half before this game. It told the story of Michael Oher, who started in this game for the Ravens.
- The film had a budget of $29-million, which is the same as Brady’s cap hit across the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
- Earlier in the 2009 season, the Patriots demolished the Titans 59-0 on a snowy day in October. We also made an episode of “The Worst” about that game.
- This was also the season where the Patriots played the Colts, New England had the lead late in the game but went for it on 4th down despite being at their own 28. They didn’t pick it up, the Colts then easily drove to score the winning touchdown.
- This is one of three playoff games that Brady threw three interceptions in. The other two times, the Patriots still won.
- At the time of this game, Joe Flacco still had a poster of Tom Brady in his bedroom at his parents’ house in New Jersey, where he spent the majority of the offseason. This was a detail he felt Nantz and Simms should know about, and they shared it with the world.
- Three of Brady’s five lowest rated playoff games came against the Ravens, but one of them was a 23-20 win.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of “The Worst,” and I hope it gave you some happy thoughts about a player who has likely caused pain for you and your team.