At the time no one could have predicted this game would be the first of a decade long rivalry between the Colts and the Patriots, but it was. The date was September 30, 2001, and Tom Brady was making his first start in the NFL. The week before against the New York Jets, future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Bledsoe was knocked out of the game with a sheared blood vessel in his chest that was life threatening.
Tom Brady entered that game and never looked back. So we take a look at his very first start in the NFL which so happened to be against the Peyton Mannings Colts. Talk about old fashion football, Tom went 13 of 23 for 168 yards passing which isn’t great, but you can see what Tom was for the Patriots in that game…. A game manager. His job early in the season was to manage the game and not turn the ball over.
The Patriots defense in that game was spectacular against the Colts. They forced 3 interceptions against Peyton Manning and returned two for touchdowns. When I first revisited the final score for this moment in history I was shocked to see Tom didn’t throw a touchdown. If anybody remember anything about that 2001 Patriots team is that they ran the ball pretty well. Kevin Faulk rushed for 1 touchdowns in that game and Antowain Smith rushed for the other 2 touchdowns.
As dominant as Tom would become, based off the first start of his career you couldn’t tell what he was going to be. One thing I did notice about that game was that Tom wasn’t required to win the game, but to not turn it over. In todays era of football most young QB’s coming into the league are expected to pull a team to a win before they are ready. It is good to know that even Tom needed sometime before he would become who his is today.
By the end of 2001, the New England Patriots would hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl Champions; the first of six for Tom Brady and the Patriots.
(Featured Photo Credit: Twitter/ NFL)