The long-awaited final episode of “Tom vs. Time” dropped Monday after the production team had to “recalibrate” following New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 15-minute series finale revealed new details surrounding a few of the key questions from the Patriots’ postseason run, including the severity of Tom Brady’s hand injury and the status of Rob Gronkowski’s concussion. Brady also shared his thoughts on the final minutes of Super Bowl LII and how he feels about the result moving forward.
“When you think about the game, you think about the loss,” he told director Gotham Chopra. “When you think about the season, you think about the successes. When you think about the year, you think about everything.”
Here’s what we learned from the episode:
He initially thought his thumb injury was going to be the end of his season: The possibility of Brady missing the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was, in fact, very real. Despite deflecting questions from the media in the week leading up to the game, Brady told Chopra he genuinely wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to play after injuring his throwing hand in practice.
“I’m looking down at my thumb as it’s split open, and I’m thinking I really don’t know what happened to my thumb, but I know it doesn’t feel good,” he said. “I have a real hard time believing I’m going to be able to go out and play against the No. 1 defense in the league in four days.”
As the week progressed, however, Brady’s confidence grew. The Thursday before the game, he said his hand still didn’t “feel right,” but felt better enough that he thought he potentially had a shot to play. The Friday before the game, he said he thought, “Wow, maybe I can do this.”
He thought the AFC Championship was “one of the great wins” the Patriots have ever had: Although there was great uncertainty surrounding Brady’s status for the AFC Championship, the quarterback took the field and helped lead his team to another come-from-behind victory.
The Patriots — who lost Gronkowski to a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first half — beat the Jaguars, 24-20, to advance to the Super Bowl.
In a phone call with Gronk after the game, Brady told his teammate it was “a miracle” they won without him on the field.
He was confident about Gronkowski’s status immediately following the AFC Championship: Unlike his thoughts about his own hand injury, Brady was much more optimistic about Gronkowski’s status for the Super Bowl.
When his wife, Gisele Bündchen, asked if Gronk was going to be OK for “the next game,” Brady assuredly responded: “He should be.”
Gronkowski suffered a concussion in the closing minutes of the first half against Jacksonville, but the tight end told Brady and Bündchen he was feeling “way better” just hours after the game.
He thought the Patriots were going to have a game-winning drive in the Super Bowl: With just under 2-and-a-half minutes left in the game, the Patriots had possession and a chance to pull ahead of Philadelphia.
“I thought we were going to go down and score,” Brady said. “I thought we were going to win the game.”
Things quickly changed just two plays later when Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady on New England’s 33-yard line. “It was a second-down play, and it just happened so quick,” Brady recalled in the episode.
The play proved to be one of the defining moments of the game, as the Patriots weren’t able to connect on a Hail Mary in the closing seconds of the game. Brady said he thought about his fumble “500 times in five days.”
“Football is a blink of the eye,” he said.
He still believes he gave his “best effort” in the Super Bowl: Although the Patriots did not achieve the outcome they wanted, Brady said he gave the game everything he had. The 40-year-old quarterback is prepared to move on from the loss and focus on his family during the offseason.
“With time, the emotion will go away,” he said. “The rawness of what happened will go away.”