The 2007 season will not be soon forgotten by the fans of the New England Patriots, nor is it likely to be surpassed in its statistical magnitude by any NFL team in the foreseeable future.
The New England Patriots entered the season as a team with the talent, leadership and drive to set a new standard for greatness in the league. Key offseason acquisitions such as WRs Randy Moss and Wes Welker and RB Sammy Morris provided New England fans with a boost of excitement entering the new season.
Leading the Patriots' charge was their stoic quarterback, who had risen from a sixth round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft to bring three Super Bowl titles to Foxborough in a span of four years. Tom Brady's prowess and success in the pocket had been highly praised in recent years, yet 2007 would prove to be a season like no other for the Patriots quarterback.
Prior to the 2007 season, Brady's career best in each passing category were scattered over separate years: 4,110 passing yards in 2005, 28 passing touchdowns in 2004 and 2002 and 12 interceptions in 2006, 2003 and 2001. While his three championships spoke for themselves, the addition of Moss and Welker to his aerial attack hinted that even greater feats would surely follow.
Brady opened the year with astonishing numbers: 1,118 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and a mere two interceptions in the first four games of the regular season. He followed those performances with another 1,043 yards passing, 17 touchdowns and no interceptions over the next four games.
The team was only halfway through the schedule and Brady had delivered numbers that some quarterbacks will never achieve in an entire season: 2,161 yards passing to go along with 30 touchdowns; a new career high that was only eight games in the making. Most important, the team was 8-0 and had become the most feared in the entire league.
With the best receiving corps in the NFL at his disposal and an offensive line providing superior protection, Brady transitioned effortlessly into the second part of the schedule. Thanks to a then career high of five touchdown passes on November 18, Brady led the Patriots to an impressive 56-10 victory over divisional foe Buffalo.
Additional wins over Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburgh gave the Patriots a league leading 12-0 record, as previously unmatched statistics began to fall by the wayside each week.
With the Patriots locked into a first-round bye for the playoffs, Brady and company travelled to play the New York Giants in the final game of the regular season for a place in NFL lore. No team had recorded a perfect 16-0 regular season, nor had anyone ever thrown for more than 49 touchdowns in a single season.
By the time the whistle blew to signal the end of the game, both marks were obsolete, as 50 touchdowns and 16-0 were the new numbers to beat.
In addition to his touchdown record and perfect regular season, Brady also set new standards for highest touchdown-interception differential ( 42), most games with three or more touchdown passes (12) and most touchdown passes in a single month (20 in October).
For his superb play, Brady was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player for the 2007 season, becoming the first Patriot since the AFL-NFL merger to earn the award. His trophy commemorating the achievement can be viewed in The Hall at Patriot Place.
"We're grateful that Tom has allowed us to display the trophy here for Patriots fans to see," said Bryan Morry, Executive Director of The Hall at Patriot Place. "It's one of several MVP trophies on display here, but it is certainly the one to which most of our visitors feel the strongest connection."