Brady and the Patriots win back-to-back Super Bowls
Feb. 1, 2004 and Feb. 6, 2005: Brady solidified his status as a future NFL Hall-of-Famer after leading the Patriots to back-to-back Super Bowl victories, both in thrilling fashion, Just like their first appearance in the big game, the Patriots opened up a lead in Super Bowl XXXVIII, this time over the Panthers. In the fourth quarter, up 21–10, Carolina crept back and took a 22–21 lead. With 1:08 remaining, Brady again drove the Patriots down the field to get up a game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal. Brady was awarded his second MVP award after throwing for 354 yards and three touchdowns.
Brady and the Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years after again getting out to an early lead on the Eagles, and again, letting an opponent keep it close. Philadelphia cut the lead to three with 1:48 remaining—and regained possession after the Pats went three-and-out after an onside kick—but failed to convert. Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch stole the show with 11 catches and 133 yards, but Brady’s legend only continued to grow.
But the outside world began to question Brady’s growing success. According to an ESPN story published years later in light of the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, the Eagles accused the Patriots of cheating after being confounded as to how their opponent was seemingly so well-prepared for its dime defense.