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Silver lining of Giants SB loss? Brady ponders interesting 'what if'

/ by Darren Hartwell
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Tom Brady may never get over the New England Patriots' loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Was that a good thing?

Episode Four of the Brady-centric ESPN+ documentary "Man in the Arena" dropped Tuesday and focused on the Patriots' remarkable 2007 season, which included 18 consecutive wins and one heartbreaking defeat to the underdog Giants in the Super Bowl.

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Brady shared some pretty candid thoughts about how the loss impacted him, and near the end of the episode, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback wondered aloud if he'd still be playing at age 44 had New England won that game to complete its perfect season.

"I'm not a big hypothetical guy, but maybe the desire is a little bit different," Brady said. "If you’re looking at a silver lining, maybe the desire to, you know, reach that point -- maybe I would have been fulfilled.

"… Not to stop playing at that time, but I don’t know, maybe I'd play another seven or eight years and maybe I'm fulfilled. Maybe not."

We'll never know if Brady actually would be retired by now had the 2007 Patriots gone 19-0. But we do know that loss continues to irk the NFL's oldest player. And after New England lost to the Giants again in Super Bowl XLVI, it's no wonder Brady was motivated to keep playing.

The rest is history, of course: Brady won three more Super bowl titles with the Patriots in 2014, 2016 and 2018, then an NFL-record seventh championship last season with the Buccaneers. He's the current front-runner to win NFL MVP, and Tampa Bay again is a legitimate Super Bowl contender at 9-3.

 

Brady got plenty of extra motivation along the way -- namely from New England drafting Jimmy Garoppolo as his heir apparent in 2014. But if New England fans want to take a positive from that nightmare Super Bowl loss to the Giants, it's that the upset may have paved the way for three more championships by giving the greatest quarterback of all time a chip on his shoulder that he carries to this day.