With four Super Bowl victories in his previous six appearances, Tom Brady had already carved himself onto the Mount Rushmore of quarterback icons.
Ask the Titans, who lost the big game in 2000 and haven't had a sniff since.
The Atlanta Falcons led the Patriots 21-0 in the first half following a awful pick-six by Brady.
For fans, it was a moment of vindication after a season marred by the Deflategate scandal and a four-game suspension of their quarterback, Tom Brady. The Bills were down 35-3 in the second half but pulled off a miraculous comeback to win 41-38 in overtime.
Brady nods his head and the owner cracks, "Well, you better look online".
Until Brady's late heroics, Atlanta had surprisingly controlled the game with its defense, which ultimately ran out of gas as it was on the field for most of the game.
Brady had his first interception returned for a touchdown in any postseason game he has played in when Falcons cornerback Robert Alford snatched one of his passes in the second quarter and returned it 82 yards for the score.
Unequivocally the most decorated and accomplished quarterback of the Super Bowl era, his five Super Bowl titles says it all.
"We all brought each other back", said Brady, who threw for 466 yards and two touchdowns to earn the Most Valuable Player award. The Patriots proceeded to reel off 25 straight points to tie the game at 28 with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Tom Brady threw a football.
"There is never going to be a way to get over the loss", Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters.
Instead, Shanahan and Quinn blew it. The Patriots have held several parades over the years, but they had not congregated for speeches since the earlier part of the 21st century.
"They were under tremendous pressure", Patriots tackle Nate Solder said of the Falcons. No one place to put that mentally for us. You've been with us all year. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal graciously accepted Atlanta's loss and congratulated the winning team. "RISE UP", said Jackson, who created a commercial for the Falcons back in 2014. "We have a special group".
"I'm not really thinking about last year, this year, next year, some other year".
We tend to view things in binary terms, which is why the conversation/debate/shouting matches this week and for the rest of history will focus either on Brady or Belichick, the same way the Niners debates focused on the chicken-and-egg Montana-or-Rice question while I was growing up.
For all the wrong reasons.