Super Bowl 55 has officially come to a close, and after an exciting game where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, who won the 2021 NFL Super Bowl MVP award? Did Tom Brady’s impressive performance convince voters to give him the fifth Super Bowl MVP of his illustrious career? Or, did Rob Gronkowski do enough for the veteran tight end to take home the hardware?
Who won the Super Bowl 55 MVP Award for the 2020-2021 season?
Even though a number of Buccaneers played well in Super Bowl LV, this award was destined to go to the 43-year-old Tom Brady. Yes, his numbers might not have been that impressive, throwing for only 201 yards and three touchdowns. However, he orchestrated long, methodic drives that kept Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense off the field. He made some crucial throws and was nearly perfect in the red zone.
Related | How many Super Bowls has Tom Brady won?
Brady definitely deserved the honors, but his defense was also crucial to their victory. They were able to hold Patrick Mahomes to only 270 yards and zero touchdowns. However, the Super Bowl MVP tends to go to the quarterback. In the 54 previous Super Bowls, quarterbacks have earned the MVP honors 30 times, while running backs and receivers have the next most, with seven apiece. Rarely does a defensive player bring home the Super Bowl MVP Award.
Tom Brady and his previous MVP awards
Tom Brady is no stranger to the NFL Super Bowl MVP trophy. He won his first during his 2001 campaign with the New England Patriots. Fast forward 16 years later, and Brady was breaking a tie with Joe Montana for the most Super Bowl MVP awards in NFL history, earning his fourth following Super Bowl 51 in 2017. Let’s take a look at each one of his prior Super Bowl MVP awards.
Super Bowl XXXVI: St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots
This Super Bowl is when the New England dynasty began. A then 24-year-old Tom Brady, who started the year as a backup, was facing off against the St. Louis Rams, better known at the time as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” Their offense was loaded with future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Marshall Faulk, and wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt.
However, the Patriots defense did just enough to contain the Rams’ impressive weapons, in a similar fashion as the Buccaneers did this year against the Chiefs. Brady was 16 of 27 for 145 yards and one touchdown as the Patriots went on to win the game 20-17.
Even with those somewhat paltry numbers, it was Brady leading his team down the field with only a minute and 30 seconds left in the game for the lead that cemented the Patriots’ first Super Bowl win in franchise history and Brady’s first of five MVPs.
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots
In Brady’s first Super Bowl, he was the underdog. In his next, the Patriots came into the game as a seven-point favorite over the Carolina Panthers. This game is famous for being one of the slowest starting, setting an NFL record for the longest start without a score, nearly 27 minutes. But then, the game was flipped on its head, with 61 total points being scored the rest of the way.
Once again, this game came down to the wire and Brady led his team down the field for the game-winning field goal. His heroics earned him his second Super Bowl MVP trophy.
Super Bowl XLIX: Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots
Coming into this game, the two teams were evenly matched, with the Seattle Seahawks closing as one-point favorites. Brady finished the game with 328 passing yards and four touchdown passes. However, it was Seattle’s decision to throw the ball on fourth down that made this game infamous. Nonetheless, Brady’s impressive stats ensured him his third Super Bowl MVP award.
Super Bowl LI: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots
In what was arguably the most exciting of Brady’s Super Bowl appearances, the New England Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28. Brady orchestrated the comeback with 466 passing yards and two touchdowns. However, it was the Atlanta Falcons and their absolute collapse that make this Super Bowl famous.
Want more NFL news and analysis?
Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things around the NFL. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis concerning the 2020 season and beyond.