Pretty sure if you had a camera on any given Patriots fan at that moment, they'd have looked exactly the same.

That's sheer, mind-obliterating joy, but it's also relief. "Jubilant relief" is how an ESPN writer described Brady's low-key, private postgame party, while his teammates celebrated down the hall. Which sounds about right. Every year turns into another referendum on the Patriots, as if the most successful coach-QB combination of our generation needs to scuffle to gain and hang on each additional rung of history. Many years come down to a single game. This game came down to a single play, one entirely out of Brady's hands. That's stressful, even if you've got three titles already. "I'm tired," Brady admitted at the podium after the game.


Four's better than three. It's still not satisfying enough, not when you think you have more in the tank. Brady immediately banished any thoughts of retiring on top, going out like John Elway, who called it quits after two straight Super Bowls when he was just one year older than Brady is now.

In his postgame press conference, Brady waved away any attempts to quantify his legacy, because he says that'd be premature. "I've got a lot of football left," he said.