FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady was just a “kid” in his second pro season when he won his first playoff game.
Now a 13-year veteran, the New England Patriots star needs just one more victory to break a tie with Joe Montana for most in the postseason as a starting quarterback.
He’d love to get his 17th on Sunday against the Houston Texans, not to reach the milestone but to advance to the AFC championship game.
So when he was asked yesterday if he was aware of the historic significance, he answered: “With that question, I guess I’m aware of it.”
Football, Brady said, “is a team game. I’ve been fortunate to play here and have the opportunity. There’s no place I’d rather be.”
He was there for the famous “Tuck Rule” game, a snowy 16-13 overtime win over the Oakland Raiders in his playoff debut in 2002 when a ruling that he had lost a fumble was changed, upon replay, to an incomplete pass. The Patriots went on to kick the tying and winning field goals.
He was there for his third postseason win — and first Super Bowl title — two weeks later. Minutes after that 20-17 upset of the St. Louis Rams, he flashed a broad smile while standing with both hands on top of the cap he wore with the bill facing backwards.
“That was some kid back then,” Brady said. “You really don’t quite understand what has happened or what has been accomplished until you try so many times and you don’t get to accomplish those things. It’s very hard to win that final game of the year. We’ve had a chance and lost a few.”
Both were to the New York Giants — 17-14 in the 2007 season and 21-17 last season.
Brady had been a postseason sensation, winning his first 10 games and three Super Bowls in his first five seasons. Since then, he’s 6-6 with no championships.