Tom Brady had a chance to end a 56-year quarterback curse this season, but due to the Buccaneers’ loss in the divisional round, that curse will now be continuing for at least one more season.
The curse: No quarterback in NFL history has ever led the league in passing yards AND won the Super Bowl in the same year.
After finishing the season as the NFL’s passing leader with 5,316 yards, Brady seemed like a solid candidate to end the streak, but the Buccaneers quarterback was knocked out of the playoffs on Sunday in a 30-27 loss to the Rams. Although Brady has won seven Super Bowls in his career, he’s never done it in a season where he led the NFL in passing.
With prolific passers like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brady dominating the NFL over the past 20 years, it seems almost impossible that none of them have led the league in passing yards in the the same year where 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.
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On Brees’ end, although he led the league in passing a total of SEVEN times in his career, 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).
Even though the NFL is in a pass-first era, the league’s passing leader has still had a tough time getting to the Super Bowl. As a matter of fact, the NFL’s passing leader has only made it to the big game a total of five times since Super Bowl I was played in 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.
In 2017, Brady also led the NFL in passing, but once again, he came up short in the Super Bowl when the Patriots lost to the Eagles 41-34. Besides 2007 and 2017, the only other time Brady led the league in passing came in 2005 and the Patriots didn’t even make it to the AFC title game that year.
The NFL’s leading passer isn’t the only one having trouble winning a Super Bowl. Since 2000, zero MVP winners who have gone on to win the Super Bowl and that streak will continue this year with a player who’s already knocked out of the playoffs (Aaron Rodgers) expected to take home the award.