(Reuters) - New England quarterback Tom Brady broke childhood favorite Joe Montana’s postseason touchdown record as he threw three TD passes in the Patriots’ comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.
Brady grew up a San Francisco 49ers fan watching Montana, who retired in 1994 with 45 career postseason touchdown passes to his name.
But not surprisingly he was reluctant to take individual glory on a night when his team booked their fourth straight place in the AFC Championship game.
“I have been part of a lot of great teams, there have been a lot of guys who have blocked and have been on the receiving end of those (passes) too. To me those are team awards,” said Brady.
“But Joe and Steve Young were my two idols growing up and so it is pretty special.”
Brady passed for 367 yards and also produced a four-yard rushing touchdown as the Patriots overcame deficits of 14-0 and 28-14 behind his majestic passing ability.
New England ran the ball so little that they had just 14 net rushing yards - - the lowest ever total by a winning team in a playoff game.
The Patriots will host the winner of Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos with Brady knowing victory would give him a chance of winning a fourth Super Bowl ring.
But coach Bill Belichick said the team could not afford to let their opponents next week get ahead the way the Ravens did twice.
“I don’t think this was one of our all-time best games,” Belichick said. “We gave up a lot of yardage, a lot of points, three fourth-down conversions. We have got to coach better, play better.
“We were down by 14 points twice, I don’t think that is a formula to win a lot of playoff games.
“I am sure there have been a lot more games lost by teams down by 14 points in the middle of the first quarter and middle of the third quarter than won. But I have to give the players credit - - they are resilient, mentally tough, they hang in there.”
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Gene Cherry