TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - There’s death and taxes - and then there’s Tom Brady.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was named the Most Valuable Player of the Super Bowl for a record-extending fifth time on Sunday after leading his team to a 31-9 victory over the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs.
Often referred to as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, Brady dazzled the home crowd as he completed 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns to collect a mind-boggling seventh Super Bowl title.
In doing so, Brady joined Peyton Manning as the only starting quarterbacks to win Super Bowls with multiple teams.
“I am so proud of all the guys out here,” said Brady, whose team went undefeated after dropping all three of their home games last November.
“Everything we dealt with all year, we had a rough month of November but BA (head coach Bruce Arians) had all the confidence in us, the team had a lot of confidence and we came together at the right time.
“I think we knew this was going to happen.”
Brady got the Bucs off to fast start on Sunday, connecting with Rob Gronkowski for two touchdowns before finding Antonio Brown on a one-yard strike to build a 21-6 halftime lead.
The 43-year-old Brady ended the night by taking a knee to end the lopsided affair in front of Tampa’s loyal fans, who had not seen their team claim an NFL championship since January 2003, and pledged that “we’re coming back.”
“Being down here and experiencing this with this group of guys, every year is amazing,” said Brady. “This team is world champions forever, you can’t take it away from us.”
The MVP award is chosen by a panel comprised of 16 media members and by fans interactively through the NFL’s website.
The sight of Brady hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy was undeniably surreal for fans of the New England Patriots, who were left devastated when he parted ways with the team in March after two decades.
His announcement days later that he would sign with the Buccaneers perplexed some at the time as the team were coming off a 7-9 season with their lone Super Bowl victory from 2003 a distant memory.
But Brady, who was drafted in the sixth round as the 199th overall pick, made quick work proving the doubters wrong after recruiting his former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and finished the season third in passing yards.
“It’s hands down one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history,” said Gronkowski, who caught two of the night’s touchdowns. “The story is just unbelievable.”
Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Frank Pingue
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