For all the success he’s had, Tom Brady was once on the losing end of one of the most iconic moments in NFL history. 13 years after the infamous “helmet catch”, the Bucs QB was still upset over the 2008 Super Bowl loss.
The legendary 1972 Miami Dolphins, led by Don Shula, appeared to untouchable. They were the only NFL team to ever go undefeated for an entire season and win the Super Bowl.
It’s an incredible achievement on its own, but it seemed so unbeatable because the ’72 Dolphins only had to go through a shorter 14 game regular season. With the season expanding to 16 games, and now to 17, no one thought another team would reach the level that Shula and Co. did.
However, in New England in 2007, something was budding. The Patriots, with Tom Brady under center and Bill Belichick at the helm, were building something special. Week in week out, they dismantled opponents on their path to a perfect regular season record, 16-0.
They went on to Super Bowl XLII, as expected, where they faced the Giants who they already beat in week 17. Just one game, 60 minutes, 4 quarters to go until the greatest NFL season of all-time.
And then, well you probably know what happens next. Down 14-10 in the 4th quarter, Eli Manning kept the drive alive with a 32 yard completion to David Tyree, who miraculously caught the ball by pinning it to his helmet. New York would score, sealing the game with a final score of 17-10.
The moment, dubbed as the “Helmet Catch”, was the difference between 19-0 and 18-1. It kept the ,72 Dolphins immortalized as the only ever undefeated season, a record that will probably never be broken.
Tom Brady on Super XLII Loss: “They had a few lucky bounces, a helmet catch”
13 years after that painful night, Tom Brady sat down with Tony Romo for a CBS segment ahead of the 2021 Super Bowl. “That ’07 team, we beat some incredible teams, we beat you guys [Romo’s Cowboys],” Brady explained when speaking about the heartbreak of the 2008 Super Bowl.
“We beat the Giants at home last week of the year, but it’s just in the end, you know, the one game that mattered the most, we just came up short. But really, I give the Giants a lot of credit because they earned it.”
“Eli made some clutch plays. They had a few lucky bounces, they had a helmet catch,” he said with a smirk on his face. “But give them credit. Reluctantly, I’ll give them credit.”
If you watch the video from around 5:50, you’ll see that Brady still wishes he could have that game back. In fact recently, he even said that his favorite team to beat is none other than the New York Giants, for obvious reasons.