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Tebow Time – (Tee.bo – Tahym) n. The time late in a professional football game (usually within final two minutes and/or overtime) when NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow, raises his level of play to a significantly higher level than how he had been performing before such time. (often resulting in a win)
Tom Terrific Time – (Tom – Tuh.rif.ik – Tahym) n. The Playoffs.
I’m sure there are very few that did not at one point or another hear about “Tebow Time.” Every minute of every day became Tebow Time. Turn on ESPN, what were they talking about? Tim Tebow. Turn on your local sports station and once again the polarizing Tim Tebow was the primary topic of discussion. Talk radio, local news, world news, on the internet, in the papers, name the medium and Tebow Time was smeared all over it.
It seemed as if nothing was ever going to put an end to Tebow Time. After he once again silenced his critics with a thrilling overtime victory in the wild card round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tebow Time was as powerful as ever.
There was one thing though that the Tebow bandwagon had forgotten. There was a little something that they didn’t account for. They had entered a different time zone, a zone where another quarterback reigned supreme. They had entered the playoffs, also known as Tom Terrific Time.
Tom Brady and his band of Patriots dominated, destroyed, obliterated and annihilated the Denver Broncos in every conceivable way. Despite the blowout being a very complete team effort, Tom Brady clearly stood in the forefront thanks to a six touchdown (NFL playoff record), 363 yard performance. Oh and by the way five of those six touchdowns came before the half (another NFL playoff record).
The way Mr. Terrific picked apart the Denver defense was easily one of his most impressive playoff performances, at least statistically. The little skinny quarterback from Michigan has developed one hell of a playoff resume over the years. He’s proven that when it comes to the biggest moment in the biggest games, there’s no one better.
Now, it’s no secret that over the past couple of years the playoffs and Tom Brady weren’t engaged in a very healthy relationship. He had lost three straight playoff games and the Patriots mystique was fading, but those loses are in no way a reflection of what the world is used to seeing from Patriots’ franchise quarterback.
Take the Snow Bowl game for example, the uncoordinated, scrawny, unknown backup quarterback’s first playoff start. Brady was the focus of the Cinderella Patriots who somehow made the playoffs after losing their then franchise QB Drew Bledsoe. Unfazed by the pressure of the moment the young and vivacious Brady threw for 312 yards and ran, yes I said ran, for a touchdown. He also completed 32 of 52 pass attempts to help lead the Patriots to a stunning 16-13 victory in the snow. Not bad.
What about Super Bowl XXXVI? Brady did the unimaginable. He led the Pats to a victory over the “greatest show on turf,” the St. Louis Rams who were favored by 14 points. Number 12 threw for only 145 yards and a touchdown, but it was the final drive that will forever be etched in history. Locked up at 17 with no timeouts and only 1:30 left to play, Brady led New England down the field. The drive was highlighted by a 23-yard completion to Troy Brown. After another short completion to Jermaine Wiggins, Brady spiked the ball leaving 0:07 on the clock for Adam Vinatieri to attempt a 48-yard field goal. You know the rest.
In the Snow Bowl he had the yards and completions. In Super Bowl XXXVI he had the clutch drive. Two years after his first ring in Super Bowl XXXVIII he had both. This time tied at 29 with 1:08 left to play, Mr. Clutch once again charged the Pats down the field for another game winning kick off the foot of Adam V. In the game Brady threw for 354 yards, 3 touchdowns and he completed 32 of 48 passes. This one was good.
Those are just three of Brady’s 15 playoff victories. Those 15 wins are good enough for the second most playoff wins for a quarterback. He trails only his idol Joe Montana who is the proud owner of a 15-7 career playoff record.
What about Super Bowl XXXIX? What about the divisional round game against the Jaguars in 2007 when he completed 93% of his passes and had a 141.4 QB Rating? Let’s just face it, there’s a ton of examples of Brady being Brady in the playoffs. Countless times Brady has manufactured a tremendous playoff performance.
So where does Saturday night’s game rank? Well, that’s like asking what your favorite flavor of ice cream is. Do you enjoy Chocolate or Vanilla? If you like stats, numbers and reading a nice big fat line at the end of a game then this was the best. This was easily the most commanding performance of his illustrious playoff career. If you like tight games and close matchups that are decided late, you were probably crying by halftime because you MUST be a Tebow fan. If that’s your style, than no this game definitely didn’t do it for you.
One way or another, Saturday night Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. proved to us all once again that when all the chips are on the table it’s HIS time.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller