The quarterback has the GQ-ready smile, the supermodel spouse. The coach has the tattered sweatshirt and looks perpetually angry. On the surface, they’re an oddball pairing. But no brain trust has won more Super Bowls than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Their New England Patriots secured a fourth title Feb. 1, as Brady rallied his team from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. The pair now ties Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl wins for a QB-coach combo.
New England had some help for this one: namely, the Seahawks’ play callers. Seattle had a chance to clinch it in the waning seconds, before the coaches called for a pass from the one-yard line. An undrafted rookie, Malcolm Butler, made the greatest pick in Super Bowl history. But Seattle’s blunder shouldn’t overshadow Belichick’s brilliant game plan or Brady’s flawless fourth-quarter execution.
Sure, the “Deflategate” probe over the Patriots’ use of underinflated balls on their way to the Super Bowl is still pending, and if Brady or Belichick tampered with any footballs, their legacy could be tainted forever.
But no solid evidence, right now, points to their guilt. They’re just the best team ever.
This appears in the February 16, 2015 issue of TIME.
- The Fight to Save the Salmon
- Inside the World of Black Bitcoin, Where Crypto Is About Making More Than Just Money
- The 'Great Resignation' Is Finally Getting Companies to Take Burnout Seriously. Is It Enough?
- Suddenly, Everyone on TV Is Very Rich or Very Poor. What Happened?
- Colin Powell Reflects on His Mistakes in Unpublished TIME Interview
- Business Travel's Demise Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences
- If the U.S. Spends Big on Climate, the Rest of the World Might Follow