BOSTON (CBS) -- On Monday morning, for the third time in his illustrious NFL career, Tom Brady collected his Super Bowl MVP trophy.
Brady will soon have a fourth Super Bowl ring after New England beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX, a game that could go down as one of the greatest Super Bowls every played.
But even after putting together a pair of touchdown drives to lead New England to victory, Brady was quick to pass the credit along to his teammates.
"This is obviously a great honor. I think there are a lot of people who are very deserving of this award," Brady said Monday morning in Arizona. "It was a great game by our team and a lot of individual players played phenomenal. It was a great test for our team and I'm honored to be up here."
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Brady certainly earned his MVP honors, orchestrating two incredible touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to turn a 10-point deficit into a four-point lead. He completed 13 of his 15 passes when it mattered the most, throwing for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Even when it looked bleak for the Patriots, from the 10-point deficit to Seattle's final possession, Brady never gave up faith in his team.
"It took a lot; coach said all week it took 60 minutes," Brady recalled. "It never broke our will. The guys never gave up and when you fight to the end good things happen. It was great for the fans, the people who support us, and I'm proud of our accomplishments.
"One play here, one play there things change, and we've been on the other end of that too," he said. "I'm proud we got a chance to finish it out. Guys made huge plays at the end."
Brady was on the sidelines as Seattle threatened in the game's final seconds. He didn't see Jermaine Kearse's circus grab to get the Seahawks to the New England five-yard line, but had a familiar feeling when he saw the replay on the big screen -- with some memories of David Tyree's helmet catch in 2007 no doubt circling around his mind. That was the only time a little bit of doubt crept into the quarterback's head.
"I saw the review and couldn't believe it. It felt like we were going to win the whole game, and then they made that catch," he said. "I had a little bit of doubt, but then [Butler] made a great play."
Malcolm Butler, an undrafted rookie, came up with the play of the game, picking off Russell Wilson to all but seal the victory for New England. While Butler didn't record an interception during the regular season, Brady wasn't surprised to see him come away with the football in such an important situation.
"He's been doing it to me in practice all season so it was nice to see him pick someone else off," Brady joked. "Malcolm made a huge play to save our season... It was the perfect play at the perfect time. None of us will ever forget that play."
It had been 10 years since Brady raised the Lombardi Trophy following New England's second straight Super Bowl victory in 2004-05. At that point, Brady was just a young kid having a blast with three titles to his name. But enduring a decade-long championship drought gave him some added perspective on how hard it is to win that final game of the season.
"I was a young kid when we won those first three. I know in 2004 when we beat the Eagles I was ready for it to be over and for the offseason to start. With some perspective of that game, it's a hard thing to get here and it's a hard thing to win the game," he said.
It wasn't easy, but once again Brady and the Patriots' season will end with a parade through the streets of Boston. The game itself was a challenge, as was the entire season. It seems like decades ago the Patriots were embarrassed in Kansas City back in Week 4, with some questioning the future of the franchise and Brady himself.
But all of that just made Sunday night that much more special.
"We focused on the process of building our team, and so much of what makes our team special is the discipline, hard work and situation football. Coach grinds us hard every day and the expectations are high every day. You have to get the work done and do it the right way. We didn't start the year great, but 2-2 isn't bad. We had a lot of belief in one another," said Brady. "We had a great camp and offseason, and we went into those games thinking we could win. That wasn't the case but that's life.
"We believed in one another and that's the most important thing," said Brady, "and here we are."
Brady still isn't thinking about his place in the game, and likely won't entertain that discussion until he hangs his cleats up for good. But with his fourth Super Bowl title and third Super Bowl MVP, it's pretty clear that he's at the top of the list.
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