Brady lets go of the ball so fast that he's hard to sack, by comparison with Delhomme, who was sacked repeatedly Sunday.
Delhomme nearly won this game with what was closer to a sandlot pass offense than the sounder, more organized pass offense the Panthers need. The sandlot stuff worked for Delhomme only because of his longball accuracy.
When rushed on midrange passes, unable to step into the throw, he often flung the ball sidearm, flinging it erratically. All too often, his passes went wild. If he'd won, Delhomme might not have seen the need to change styles. This loss could help him.
Patriots Win with a Passing Machine: Brady
FOR THE SECOND time in three winters, New England won, Belichick won, Brady won, by sticking with the passing game the Patriots have so obviously planned and rehearsed for more than 24 months — since the day they beat the St Louis Rams in the 26th Super Bowl but immediately embraced the Rams' pass-first philosophy.
Though labeled a defensive team, what the Patriots clearly are is something else. They're a passing team. They're the latest in a long line of winning Super Bowl passing teams going back more than 20 years to the five-time champion San Francisco 49ers with Joe Montana and Steve Young and also including, among others, the Rams with Kurt Warner, the Denver Broncos with John Elway, and the Green Bay Packers with Brett Favre.
For example, the Patriots easily made their two-point conversion attempt — which they were forced into as a penalty for Vinatieri's two first-half field-goal failures — with a direct snap to a running back on a fake-pass run that had been long practiced along with, of course, some special two-point pass plays.
When the Panthers' turn came, they flubbed Delhomme's pair of two-point tries. He missed the target on both throws by much too much. Neither had the look of a practiced play.
By contrast, Brady, after two years of constant passing, is by now almost a machine. Although he threw an interception that hurt for a while, interceptions are part of what happens to passing teams. This time he was throwing to an open receiver but misread an unusual Panther zone defense he hadn't expected.
The important point about Brady's passing is that he throws hardly any interceptions.
The difference between him and Delhomme is that Brady can complete pass after pass at all ranges going down the field — the way you have to do it to win championships — while Delhomme, to complete a meaningful pass, must launch it out there long range. At any range, Brady finds the open target. And he wins.
Bob Oates, a longtime staff writer for The Times, has covered every Super Bowl.