A little over a year after New England Patriots fans watched Tom Brady get ring No. 7 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams won their first championship since 1999 by coming through in the clutch to take down Zac Taylor the Bengals.
Like Brady before him, Stafford was able to earn a ticket out of Detroit after sensing that the franchise was ready to turn the page. Stafford landed with a ready-made contender in Los Angeles and gave Sean McVay the elite quarterback with blistering arm talent needed to unlock his offense.
While Brady set yet another record on the strength of his arm, throwing more touchdown passes (50) than any other quarterback in a Super Bowl-winning season, Stafford equaled that feat, albeit with one extra game.
Part of what made Brady’s run with Tampa so special for Patriots fans was the fact that he sliced his way through a very difficult NFC in his first year on the job with a completely new team. Stafford then turned right around and did the exact same thing. Does that take just a bit of shine off of Brady’s accomplishments here?
Matthew Stafford outdid Tom Brady’s Super Bowl run with the Bucs.
As impressive as Brady’s run was, he did so with All-Pros all over his offensive line, multiple Pro Bowl wide receivers, a future Hall of Fame tight end in Rob Gronkowski, and a Leonard Fournette-led running game that was playing way above what many expected.
Stafford won this game without Tyler Higbee, Robert Woods, and Odell Beckham Jr. (who left with a torn ACL) all out due to injuries. Cam Akers was a liability in the running game. Despite all of that adversity thrown on his plate, Stafford won four playoff games and took home the Super Bowl in the Rams’ home stadium to replicate the same feat that Brady pulled off.
When he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the seventh time in his career, Brady’s debut season with Tampa stood put as one of the best runs in his career. In a season impacted by COVID-19 and with a bunch of new players, Brady won two straight road playoff games before taking down Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl.
While Stafford played more home games and took on an inferior quarterback in Joe Burrow in the big game, the fact that he matched Brady’s production immediately upon arriving in Los Angeles shows that TB12’s feat was not as un-replicable as many believed it was in the immediate aftermath.
Brady was a deserving champion in 2020, and Stafford deserves just as much praise for his 2021 effort.