Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pats seek elusive title

Quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots last won a Super Bowl eight years ago.

Getty Images (2012)

Quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots last won a Super Bowl eight years ago.

There are only three.

It's natural to believe there would be more. This is the 10th time the Patriots have made the playoffs in 13 seasons under coach Bill Belichick.

They have won a lot of those playoff games, too. Tom Brady could surpass Joe Montana as the winningest playoff quarterback in history today against the Texans. But when it comes to the big prize, the Super Bowl …

"Winning one early in my career (as a rookie), you kind of get the sense that it happens like this all the time. But it doesn't," said defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who along with Brady and receiver Deion Branch are the only remaining players from all three Super Bowl title teams.

"It's very, very hard to win at this level — at any level."

The Patriots have come close since their last title. They went 18-0 in 2007 before losing 17-14 to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Last season they had the ball in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLVI, but Brady threw incomplete into the end zone to lose 21-17 to the Giants.

It has been so long since the Patriots won a Super Bowl that the quarterback they faced in that game — the Eagles' Donovan McNabb in Super Bowl XXXIX for the 2004 season — no longer is in the league. It was their third title in four seasons.

"That was some kid back then," Brady, 35, said of looking back on his first Super Bowl title, a 20-17 win over the Rams that wrapped up the 2001 season.

"You really don't quite understand what has happened or what has been accomplished until you try so many times and you don't get to accomplish those things. It's very hard to win that final game of the year."

Getting to this point is routine for New England. Since its last Super Bowl title, it has been to the playoffs in six of seven seasons and won at least one playoff game four times. But in many ways, it is as inexperienced at winning it all as the Texans, who had never been to the playoffs until last season.

The Patriots, though, believe they have the advantage of experience, even if it has not been all good.

"You have to understand what's at stake," Wilfork said. "I think that's the biggest thing for this team to understand, where we're at and what it's going to take to win. That's when you talk about how many times you've been in the postseason.

"But if you can't put it out and you can't execute, I don't care how many times you've been at this level or how many games you've played in the postseason, it won't matter. It will not matter."

Pats seek elusive title 01/12/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  2. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves

    Blogs

    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  3. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure

    Bucs

    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?

    Blogs

    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  5. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.