As we all know, Tom Brady finally called it a career earlier this week. The now 44-year old enjoyed a 22-year career for New England (20 years) and Tampa Bay (two years) from 2000 to 2021, breaking every meaningful career passing record along the way. Brady is first all-time in passing yards (84,520), touchdowns (624), and completions (7,263). He was named Most Valuable Player three times, tying him with Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers for second-most all-time (Peyton Manning stands alone at the top with five). The seven-time Super Bowl champion was named to the Pro Bowl 15 times and finished first-team All-Pro in 2007, 2010, and 2017 (each of his MVP seasons).
While his age could have indicated he was beyond ready to call it a career, Brady’s performance on the field suggested otherwise. The former sixth-round pick threw for a career-best 5,316 yards, leading Tampa Bay to a 13-4 record during the 2021 season. He also posted single-season career highs in completions (485) and attempts (719) while notching his second-highest completion percentage (67.5) and throwing 43 touchdown passes – second only to his 50 TD tosses in 2007.
It’s well overstated that Brady has appeared in 10 Super Bowls and won seven of them, but perhaps one stat stands above the rest – Brady didn’t have an overall losing record against any of the 32 NFL teams. So we dig deeper to find out that only four teams managed to evenly split their matchups against Brady over the years. Those teams include the Cardinals (1-1), Broncos (9-9), Saints (5-5), and … the Seahawks (2-2). There are only two teams that posted winning records against Brady in the postseason – Denver (3-1) and the New York Giants (2-0) – and only two teams Brady suffered a losing record against when it came to the regular season. Thanks to failing to defeat New Orleans during the regular season each of the past two years, the Saints brought their regular season record against Brady to 5-4. The other team? Again, it’s the Seahawks who went 2-1 in such games against the future Hall of Famer.
In saying farewell to a guy who has appeared in nearly one-fifth of all the Super Bowls ever (we’ll refrain from discussing Spygate and Deflategate for the time being), let’s take a look at Seattle’s four matchups with TB12 over the years.
Game 1: October 17, 2004 – Patriots 30, Seahawks 20
As a mere two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback at this point, Brady’s stat line was fairly pedestrian in this one. He threw for 231 yards, a touchdown, and an interception while completing 19 of 30 passes. His running back at the time – Corey Dillon – handled 23 carries for 105 yards and found the end zone twice. The lone TD pass went to David Patten, who had five catches for 58 yards.
New England jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter and led 20-6 at halftime. Then Seattle kicker Josh Brown nailed a 28-yard field goal to cut the Patriots’ lead to 20-9 entering the fourth.
Seattle made it a 20-17 game on Shaun Alexander’s 9-yard touchdown run, followed by a successful two-point conversion. The teams exchanged field goals before a 9-yard TD run by Dillon with two minutes to go sealed the deal for New England.
Alexander finished with 77 yards and that score on 16 carries. Then quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 27 of 50 throws for 349 yards and was picked off twice. Koren Robinson hauled in nine catches for 150 yards.
The win brought the Pats to 5-0 on the season. They finished 14-2 and defeated Philadelphia for their second consecutive Super Bowl win and third championship in four years.
The Seahawks fell to 3-2 after the loss but went on to finish 9-7 and win the NFC West. However, Seattle lost to the Rams in the Wild Card round.
Game 2: October 14, 2012 – Seahawks 24, Patriots 23
Brady tore his ACL in the first quarter of the first game of the 2008 season, forcing him to miss a matchup with Seattle – a 24-21 loss for the Seahawks at the hands of then-New England backup Matt Cassel. Skip forward four years to 2012, and Brady is still stuck on three rings after losing a second Super Bowl following the 2011 season to the Giants – the same team that beat Brady’s 17-0 Pats in the title match of the 2007-08 season.
In 2012, Russell Wilson was a rookie, and the “Legion of Boom” defense wasn’t really a household name yet. Oh, and the Seahawks had this guy named Marshawn handling backfield duties.
Seattle trailed 23-10 midway through the fourth quarter, but scored two touchdowns over the final seven minutes claim to the victory.
Wilson went 16 of 27 for 293 yards and three scores, while Brady completed 36 of 58 passes for 395 yards, two scores, and two interceptions. Sidney Rice had the game-clinching touchdown as part of his three-catch, 81-yard day.
New England finished 12-4 and lost to eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore in the AFC Championship game.
Seattle went 11-5 and fell to Atlanta in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
Game 3: February 1, 2015 – Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 (Super Bowl XLIX)
Obviously the biggest game on the list, the Seattle faithful will never forget this one as, “Why didn’t you run the ball?”
Both teams went 12-4 and were the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences during the regular season. Both teams won two playoff games to reach the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks seemed to have back-to-back SB victories wrapped up as they led 24-14 entering the fourth quarter. Or so they thought…
Brady and Co. cut the lead to 24-21 with just under eight minutes to play, then took the lead with 2:02 on the clock. Fortunately for Seattle, there was more than enough time left.
The Seahawks went on an impressive drive that gave them a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. After a four-yard run by Lynch, Seattle famously attempted a pass that resulted in an interception by then New England cornerback Malcolm Butler with 20 seconds to go. Game over.
Brady threw for 328 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception on 37-of-50 passing. Julian Edelman had nine catches for 109 yards and a score.
Wilson completed 12 of his 21 passing attempts for 247 yards, two TDs, and a pick. Lynch rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 24 totes while Chris Matthews matched Edelman with 109 receiving yards on four catches.
Game 4: November 13, 2016 – Seahawks 31, Patriots 24
Nowhere near the magnitude of the prior matchup, but Seattle got a little bit of revenge after suffering a loss to New England in the biggest game of the year two seasons prior.
The game was close throughout, and the Seahawks led 22-21 entering the fourth quarter. New England took a 24-22 lead on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal early in the final frame before Seattle scored nine straight points to close the game.
Stephen Hauschka nailed a 23-yard chip shot, and Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for a 15-yard scoring strike to claim the win.
Wilson finished with 348 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-37 passing. Baldwin had all three receiving TDs en route to 59 yards on six catches.
LeGarrette Blount tallied 69 yards and three scores on 21 rushing attempts to lead New England. In his final game ever against Seattle, Brady completed 23 of 32 passes for 316 yards. He was picked off once and didn’t have a touchdown pass.
The Pats ultimately finished 14-2 and beat Atlanta in the Super Bowl, while Seattle went 10-5-1 and lost to that same Falcons team in the Divisional round.