Tom Brady won his fourth Super Bowl MVP award Sunday evening after completing 43 of 62 passes for 466 yards, two touchdowns and a pick while leading the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit to win Super Bowl LI. Brady was electric, magnificent, terrific, remarkable, and a hundred other superlatives you may want to use; and he was particularly so in the fourth quarter and overtime, during which he completed 21 of 27 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown.
But he should not have won Super Bowl MVP. Don't believe me? Just ask Tom Brady. While accepting his Super Bowl MVP trophy and truck, Brady clued us in on who he feels deserved the hardware.
"I think James White deserves it," Brady said, per FOX Sports. "It'd be nice for him. It took a real team effort."
And folks, it's OK to say this: Brady is right. Let's take a look at White's impact on Super Bowl Sunday:
- White finished the game with a Super Bowl record 14 catches (breaking the record formerly held by Demaryius Thomas), accumulating 110 yards and a touchdown with those grabs.
- White rushed six times for 29 yards and two touchdowns -- the game-tying and game-winning scores. He also scored a two-point conversion on a direct snap to cut Atlanta's lead to 28-20, setting the Patriots up to tie the game on their next drive.
- White's three total touchdowns made him just the fifth player ever to score three times in a Super Bowl, per Pro-Football-Reference. (Amazingly, only one of those players -- Terrell Davis in 1998 -- won Super Bowl MVP.)
- White's diversity of production was so rare that he became the first player in NFL history with at least 10 catches, 100 receiving yards, and two rushing touchdowns in the Super Bowl.
- White's 6.95 yards per touch were the fourth-most out of 50 players that have registered at least 20 touches in a Super Bowl.
It would be extremely difficult for a player to more directly impact a football game than White did with his play. Brady's the greatest QB many of us has ever seen, and, yes, he's got his five rings, and we should make room for him on the football equivalent of Mt. Rushmore, etc. -- but White should've gotten this particular trophy.