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The Times
  • Paul Jannace: Brady, Belichick have a ‘but’ on their resumes now

  • Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can already get sized for their yellow jackets.

    Their Hall of Fame legacies are safe, but .... And that’s what happened to both of them Sunday night in Indianapolis.

     

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  • Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can already get sized for their yellow jackets.
    Their Hall of Fame legacies are safe, but ....
    And that’s what happened to both of them Sunday night in Indianapolis.
    Eli Manning and the New York Giants are directly responsible for adding the “but” to both careers.
    Brady and Belichick have won three Super Bowls together and are no-doubt Hall of Famers, but there is a flaw on their resumes. The Patriots were the standard of excellence for a decade, and every active quarterback was compared with Brady. He had the rings and they didn’t, simple as that.
    Manning still only has two, compared with Brady’s three, but he has both of his rings at Brady’s expense. While Brady has gotten the better of Peyton Manning for most of his career, the same cannot be said about Eli.
    Also, the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since “Spygate.” While that’s not as black and white as steroids in baseball — which has plenty of shades of gray itself — there are some who want to add an asterisk to those three titles.
    The following is simply information, and take it for what it is:?The Patriots are 4-4 in the playoffs since the New York Jets blew the whistle on Spygate in 2007, while they are 12-2 in the playoffs with Brady and Belichick before Spygate.
    Spygate or not, the Patriots won those championships, and we can’t pretend that never happened. Much like steroids in baseball or NCAA cheating scandals, we can’t erase all of history as if the players and moments never existed.
    However, if the Patriots never win another Super Bowl with Brady and Belichick, that will be a black mark on their record and being socked by Eli and the Giants twice in four years is another.
    Of course, if Rob Gronkowski was able to catch that Hail Mary, or if Wes Welker and Deion Branch held onto passes they should have caught, then maybe this is all moot.
    That’s why football is a glorious, yet cruel, sport. The line between greatness and dejection is so thin, you can go from hero to goat in an instant.
    Take Hakeem Nicks, for example. With 10 catches for 104 yards, Nicks was one of the stars of the game and an MVP candidate, who also had a fumble that Henry Hynoski recovered. What if a Patriot recovered that fumble instead of the Giants’ fullback? Nicks is suddenly infamous, rather than famous.
    It’s a mean business, but Brady and Belichick basked in the glory for a long time. Suddenly, they’re in a little title drought, which is only that considering how high they set the bar in the first place.
    Page 2 of 2 - Las Vegas says the Patriots are the pre-season favorites to win Super Bowl XLVII next year in New Orleans, so they’re not going anywhere any time soon. They still have a chance to write more history and bolster that legacy, but for now, the “but” remains, thanks to the Giants.
    Follow Paul Jannace on Twitter @pjscribe.
     
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