Pick any Super Bowl over the 16 years where Tom Brady has made it through the season healthy, and there's a 50 percent chance the Patriots were playing in the final game. That's right -- Brady will be taking the field for the eighth time in a Super Bowl on Sunday, the most ever for an NFL quarterback.
Brady has accomplished just about everything worth accomplishing in his career. But on Sunday, he'll have the chance to do something no quarterback has ever done in the history of the league: win the Lombardi Trophy and lead the NFL in passing yards in the same season.
If he ever retires, Brady, 40, is going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and might need his own wing in Canton, yet he's never done what he might do on Sunday.
That's what's on the line in Minneapolis if the Patriots beat the Eagles. I mean, just think about that for a second: Not once have we ever seen a quarterback lead the NFL in passing yards and win the Super Bowl.
So which side of the Super Bowl line do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Patriots-Eagles you need to jump on, plus what X-factor determines the outcome, all from a Vegas legend who's 9-3 on Eagles' games.
With prolific passers like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brady dominating the NFL over the past 15 years, it seems almost impossible that none of them have led the league in passing the same year they won the Super Bowl, but it's the truth.
Although Peyton Manning led the league in passing yards a total of three times, he didn't lead the league in 2006 (Brees led the league with 4,418 yards) or 2015 (Brees led the league with 4,870), the two seasons where he went on to win the Super Bowl.
Speaking of Brees, although he's led the league in passing a total of seven times, he didn't lead the league in passing in 2009 when the Saints won the Super Bowl. By they way, if you need some bar trivia for this weekend, ask your friends if they know who led the NFL in passing in 2009 and it will likely stump them for hours (Answer: Matt Schaub).
It has almost always been a bad thing for teams trying to get to the Super Bowl to have a pass-heavy offense. The moral of the story here is that defense wins championships or it might be that you have a much better chance to win the Super Bowl if you have a balanced offense.
The NFL's passing leader has only made it to the big game a total of five times since 1966, and they're 0-5. That list of losing quarterbacks includes Brady, who led the NFL in passing yards in 2007, when the Patriots went 16-0, but ended up losing to the Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.
Tom Brady led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards this season— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 24, 2018
No player to lead the NFL in pass yards has ever won the Super Bowl in that season (0-5 record)
Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner & Dan Marino all lost in the Super Bowl after leading NFL in pass yards pic.twitter.com/l2Nx2fmRWK
For the 2017 season, Brady led the NFL in passing with 4,577 yards. This year actually marked the third time that Brady has led the NFL in passing. Besides 2007 and 2017, the only other time came in 2005 and the Patriots didn't even make it to the AFC title game that year.
If the Patriots do win the Super Bowl, the other jinx that Brady could end this year is the MVP jinx. Since 2000, zeroon to win the Super Bowl. Although we don't yet know if Brady will be named NFL MVP, we will know by Super Bowl Sunday because the award is handed out the night before the game.
For more Super Bowl LII coverage, be sure to click here and check out Super Bowl page here at CBSSports.com. Super Bowl LII kicks off on Feb. 4 and will be televised by NBC.