Probably the most unlikely defensive performance in Super Bowl history came against the 18-0 New England Patriots in 2008. The Patriots were undefeated and had set records for most points scored in a season, most games scoring 30+ points, highest point differential, most first downs, and most touchdowns scored. But when Super Bowl XLII came around, the New York Giants and Steve Spagnuolo’s defense came to play.
The Giants sacked Brady five times that Super Bowl and frustrated him throughout. Brady was able to throw just one touchdown pass as he threw for 261 yards for just 5.4 yards per attempt.
Brady has faced Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator five times and has a 3-2 record against him and his team. The two face off again on Sunday when the Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face Spagnuolo and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Let’s take a look at Brady’s performances in those five matchups.
Patriots 38, Giants 35 — 12/29/07
32/42 (76.2%), 356 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack, AY/A 9.43, 116.8 rate
Giants 17, Patriots 14 (SB XLII) — 1/3/08
29.48 (60.4%), 261 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 5 sacks, AY/A 5.54, 82.5 rate
Patriots 27, Giants 26 — 11/15/15
26/42 (61.9%), 334 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks, AY/A 7.83, 92.8 rate
Chiefs 23, Patriots 15 — 12/8/19
19/36 (52.8%), 169 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks, AY/A 4.0, 63.3 rate
Chiefs 27, Buccaneers 24 — 11/29/20
27/41 (52.8%), 345 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 1 sack, AY/A 7.68, 96.1 rate
Overall Brady has 9 touchdown passes to 4 interceptions in five games against Spagnuolo defenses. And the 2-3 record isn’t what you expect for Brady, who has an overall 263-80 record lifetime. Of course, this is a team sport and there are many more factors that go into these statistics. We do know what Spagnuolo would like to do and that’s get to Brady as often as possible. He loves sending blitzes and the Chiefs have been one of the more blitz-happy teams in the league.
Sending extra men has been hit and miss as far as getting to the quarterback for the Chiefs defense, but the threat is always there and pushes quarterbacks to make mistakes even if the blitz gets picked up. At this point in his career, Brady is a master at reading defenses and the biggest chess match of the game could be Spagnuolo vs. Brady, as Spags tries to hide his defensive plans while Brady tries to read them.