Passing & Catching The Greatness of Marino, Elway, and Montana: Tom Brady's 2011 Season
Tom Brady managed to either pass or catch multiple Hall of Fame players in 2011. He either passed or caught their career marks, or all time NFL marks, during his record breaking season. His connections from 2011 included greatness with the likes of John Elway, Dan Marino, Daryle Lamonica, Steve Young, and especially the great Joe Montana. When one takes a look at all of the accomplishments from one season, it is truly amazing to say the least. So, now it's time to do just that, let's take a closer look.
Passing and Catching the Great Joe Montana
Tom Brady's connections to the immortal Joe Montana helped him to further his future immortal status. Brady passed Joe Montana's all time touchdown mark against the Oakland Raiders in the Bay Area where Joe played most of his career across the bridge. Brady accomplished this in his week 4 match up, but he wasn't finished yet.
When the playoffs rolled around Brady who had previously had a 14-5 playoff record, racked up two more victories and another AFC championship. In doing so, he both caught and passed Joe in three respects. He passed Joe's career mark with 4 Super Bowl appearances and conference championships. Brady also caught Joe and is now a co-leader for the all time mark of 16 playoff victories. Lastly, he passed Joe yet again, although this time it was for an all time record in the Super Bowl. #12 Shattered Montana's previous mark of 13 straight completions in a Super Bowl and interestingly set the new mark at 16 in a twist of numerical fate.
But Brady wasn't done linking himself to just one Hall of Fame player and all time great. He would go on to link himself to 4 others with more amazing feats.
Brady passed the great Dan Marino in two categories in 2011. No one thought for a long time that Marino's all time mark of 5,084 yards would be eclipsed. Drew Brees was the first to even threaten it a few years ago, but fell just short in his amazing 2009 season. Then came 2011.
Brady eclipsed Marino's passing yardage record and ended his season as the league leader with 5,235 yards. The only problem was Brees was not far behind and still had one game to play. Brees eventually passed Brady who held the mark for only a few hours and ended the season with 250 more yards than #12.
However, many criticized Brees for intentionally trying to become the record holder by passing excessively. This was not the case with Brady, who actually ended the season with a serious sprain to his left shoulder. However, he would not make it look serious as he continued to play through the pain and even ended the season with over 300 yards in his final regular season game, which was Brady's eighth straight victory.
With his eighth straight victory he and coach Bill Belichick extended another streak, which had earlier in the season seen him pass another one of Marino's all time marks. During the Jets game, which had taken place 7 games prior, he and Belichick had broken Dan Marino and Don Shula's all time record for wins by a coach and quarterback combination. Although, they shattered that mark previously held by Marino and his long time coach, Brady and his coach show no signs of slowing and will have many more opportunities to extend that record to unthinkable and unreachable heights.
The Mad Bomber & Other Greats
Brady went on to the Playoff where he would reach the leader board in other all time records. In his first playoff game in the divisional round, he set a new record for NFL playoff games with 5 touchdowns in only the first half.
He would only throw one more touchdown in that game. However that touchdown, would net him six total touchdowns in a single playoff game. This would boost him into first place tied with both Steve Young and Hall of Fame quarterback Daryle Lamonica, also known as "The Mad Bomber". Interestingly his record performance in the divisional round came against the Denver Broncos. The next week Brady would play Baltimore in the AFC championship game and with his victory he would catch another NFL and Bronco legend.
No one thought another quarterback would ever make as many appearances as John Elway. He accumulated a whopping 5 AFC titles and thus Super Bowl berths in his career. Many players went entire careers without ever even reaching the big game. Yet, Elway had 5. This season, another player tied him a top that leader board, and that player was none other than Tom Brady.
In those five appearances, Brady had a better record too. Brady had a mark of 3-2, while Elway walked away with a losing record of 2-3. Quite an accomplishment on it's own, but Brady still wasn't finished. He still had the Super Bowl and Joe's all time record to break as previously mentioned.
All in all it was an all time year for Brady who caught or passed the likes of Montana, Elway, Young, Lamonica, and Marino. What an amazing feat!