Tom Brady brought the Patriots back from the dead Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons, executing the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to erase a 25-point deficit and win a thriller in overtime.
On Monday's episode of "Undisputed," Skip Bayless said that Brady's performance didn't just cement his legacy as the greatest quarterback to ever live - it placed him ahead of Michael Jordan as the best clutch athlete ever.
Skip Bayless: I've never seen anything like Super Bowl LI
"Just for perspective - the first Super Bowl I ever covered was January 18th of 1976. It was Super Bowl 10, the first Dallas-Pittsburgh Super Bowl. All these games since then, I’ve never seen anything like that game. All the great games in other sports I covered, the U.S. upset of the Soviets in 1980 Olympic hockey game in Lake Placid, I was there. [Joe] Montana to Dwight Clark, the catch game, Candlestick at the end of the 1981 season, I was there. The Kirk Gibson walk-off to beat the vaunted Oakland A’s and Dennis Eckersley, I was there. And yet I’ve never seen anything like this.
"This was the most amazing game I’ve ever witnessed. Maybe I’m being a little prisoner of the moment, but I don’t think so. It’s starting to sink in. That was the most improbable comeback in all of sports history.
"Where there was no way, because the New England Patriots of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were all-time bad followed by all-time great. All-time, all-time great."
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: Tom Brady passed Michael Jordan on Sunday
"I did say that back in September back when we launched the show on September 6th. I said, ‘This is going to be the year of Brady, he’s going to be the Super Bowl MVP’ -- but not in my wildest dreams or nightmares did I see it happening like that happened.
"And I’m ready to plunge and go this far … for me, I’m the biggest Michael Jordan fan on the planet, but now I have to be objective. I believe that last night, Tom Brady didn’t just eclipse the great Joe Montana within the confines of Super Bowl and NFL. I believe that last night, Tom Brady eclipsed the man, MJ, Michael Jordan, as the greatest clutch player in all of sports history.
"What he pulled off last night was flat-out impossible. Seriously impossible."
Kevin JairajKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: The Patriots went from all-time bad to all-time great in one game
"When Tom Brady threw a pick-six late in the second quarter that made it 21-0, I said, ‘Game over, there’s no way.’ The Falcons are too explosive on offense, they’re going to have the ball too many times in the second half, there’s no way Brady can pull that off.
"And then, for sure, it was game over when the Falcons scored to make it 28-3 with 8:31 left in the third quarter. At that point, I gave up on the game a little bit … I started to process, ‘How are we going to explain that Tom Brady just played his first ugly Super Bowl with an ugly loss to fall to 4-3 in Super Bowls?’ And I thought, ‘This is going to be tough.’
"At that point, New England could not run the ball or stop the run. And at that point, the new, improved New England offensive line -- it looked even worse than it did at Denver a year ago. They couldn’t block anybody, and Tom Brady was getting the you-know-what knocked out of him, and he was losing a little bit of poise and a little bit of accuracy. He was getting hit so hard that he was getting a little gun-shy, and he missed three of four throws. A couple to Edelman where I thought, ‘What are you doing?!’ "
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: Matt Ryan turned back into Matt Ryan late in the game
"Not to mention, they had dropped three balls, Gostkowski had missed, clanked an extra point off the right upright. It was Denver all over again.I thought we were looking at 42-10 at that point, seriously.
"And then this happened: Tom Brady turned back into Tom Brady. And Matt Ryan turned back into Matt Ryan. I kept saying, ‘I just don’t believe in this guy to this level,’ and when it was time, when the money was on the table, Brady was Brady, and Matt Ryan was Matt Ryan.
"He got strip-sacked, that was at 28-12. And there was a little shot of Brady on the sideline. Guess who that guy is? That’s Psycho Tom. That’s the guy, when I see him emerge, it’s like the little kid comes out of him … and you say, ‘Uh-oh, here he comes.’ "
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Skip: Brady's performance after going down 25 points is something only he could do
"And from that moment on, the stats. Think of these. From 28-3 down, [Brady] goes 26-of-33 for 284, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. New England, from that point, had 338 total yards to 69 for Matt Ryan and Co. and just took over the football game. Tom Brady rose above that game and took it over the way nobody in the history of the NFL could do.
"And in the end, he did get to watch Roger Goodell present that trophy to Bob Kraft, who was just delighted, just reveled in it. And Tom Brady did accept the handshake from Roger Goodell because he’s a classy individual and wasn’t going to leave him hanging on that one, though I wish he would have. Tom Brady managed to beat Roger Goodell by not only saving his legacy that Roger attempted to tarnish if not wreck, but he enhanced it last night by starting off so poorly and finishing so all-time great."