THE New England Patriots’ Super Bowl dynasty appears to be going nowhere after Tom Brady led his team to their sixth NFL championship in 17 years before insisting he had no plans to retire.
The 41-year-old quarterback combined with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to win Super Bowl LIII, with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Brady was playing in his ninth title game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the sixth time, following successes in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014 and 2016.
Brady has already rewritten the book on what veteran quarterbacks are capable of and has spoken of his ambition to play until he is 45.
The fabled passer has no intention of quitting after the Patriots tied the Pittsburgh Steelers’ record for the most championships.
‘It doesn’t change anything,’ he said. ‘It’s been a great year. I’m so happy for my team-mates. This is a dream come true for all of us.
‘We’ve been this far and lost, which is really tough. We had a lot of resolve.
‘What’s next is Monday and some rest,’ Brady quipped when asked about his future. ‘I’m looking forward to getting some rest.’
Brady was not at his best against a fearsome Rams’ defense but New England coach Belichick — increasingly considered the best of all time — devised a scheme to totally shutdown Los Angeles’ previously explosive offense. The 66-year-old, like Brady in his ninth Super Bowl with the Patriots, admitted their sixth title was one of the most enjoyable.
‘It’s sweet,’ Belichick said. ‘Everybody counted us out from the beginning of the season, the mid-season but we’re still here.’
Belichik described comparisons with the NFL coaching greats as ‘incredibly flattering’, adding: ‘It’s what we were able to accomplish as a team that makes me most proud.’
Another Patriot linked with retirement is Rob Gronkowski. One of Brady’s favourite weapons, the tight end is only 29 but years at the highest level have taken a physical toll.
He too, though, suggested he might be back on the NFL’s greatest stage. ‘I haven’t thought about that decision at all,’ he declared in an on-field interview.
‘Tonight’s the night to celebrate with my team and in the future… that will be decided in a few weeks or so.’
Millions of fans tired of years of Patriots’ dominance tuned in on Sunday night hoping to see the end of an era.
The Patriots had other ideas, and have no intention of quitting yet.