You'd be hard-pressed to find a more unflappable competitor than Tom Brady. But even the G.O.A.T. had his doubts about the Patriots chances in Super Bowl LI when they found themselves down 28-3 to the Falcons.
In the latest episode of the "Man in the Arena" docuseries, Brady explained his thought process in that game. Admitting his focus was more on making the score respectable rather than capturing the win.
“28-3, man,” Brady sighed. “I was like, ‘We need a lot of [expletive] to go right now.’ 28-3, man. Coach [Bill Belichick] said 21 points ain’t going to be enough to beat us. Twenty-eight points might be enough to beat us today."
"You’re not thinking about winning the game at that point," the quarterback said. "You’re thinking about, ‘How do we not embarrass ourself at this point?’ It’s a different mentality. We’ve got to score, man. We’ve got to be proud of the fight.”
“We had been in situations where we’d been down,” Brady continued. “Now, we had never been down that much. Usually, if you’re down 10 in the Super Bowl, it’s tough to overcome. We were down 25 with three minutes left in the third quarter."
"I just kept saying — and it’s easier said than done — that we’ve just got to get one score. Like, let’s maintain our poise, maintain our execution, do our [expletive] jobs, and we’ll score.”
As history would tell us, Tom Brady and the Patriots pulled off one of the unlikeliest of comebacks that day. Winning the first ever Super Bowl to go to overtime, 34-28.