5 Reasons Why Tom Brady is the GOAT, And 3 Why He’s Not
On Sunday, February 3 the New England Patriots will take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII (53). Currently, the Pats are one point underdogs for the “Big Game”. The last time HC Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were underdogs was Super Bowl XXXVI. In 2002, the St. Louis Rams were considered the “Greatest Show on Turf,” led by quarterback Kurt Warner. The Rams were trying to win consecutive championships but lost thanks to a last-minute FG by Adam Vinatieri.
Brady’s reign over the AFC has produced five Super Bowl titles, three league MVPs, and four Super Bowl MVP awards. The Pats’ dynasty will go down in the annals of NFL and TB12 is staking his claim as the greatest quarterback in league history. Being transparent, I am a huge New York Giants fan and would be ecstatic if Brady never won another game and rode off into the sunset. But hating aside, the question remains, is Brady really the “greatest of all time.” Let’s try to answer the question with facts.
Reason I. Lord of the Rings
It’s hard for most men to pull off gaudy jewelry and while Mr. T and 2Chainz have made wearing gold and diamond chains hot, man-rings are weird. Tom Brady’s rings are the exception. If it weren’t for the NFC East, Brady could own eight championship rings.
Brady has led his team to more Super Bowl victories than any other quarterback in league history. His five wins put him ahead of all-time greats including Joe Montana (4), Terry Bradshaw (4), Troy Aikman (3), and Bart Starr (2). The only other quarterbacks with multiple SB victories are; Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, John Elway, Jim Plunkett, Roger Staubach, and Bob Griese. Brady is in a class all his own.
Reason II. Stats Matter
We’ve heard the story before. Tom Brady, the unheralded backup quarterback from the University of Michigan was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round, 199th overall in 2000. It wasn’t a great QB class, but if you can believe it–six other QBs were drafted ahead of him.
The New York Jets drafted Chad Pennington, The 49ers’ pick was Giovanni Carmazzi from Hofstra, Chris Redman was selected by the Ravens, Tennessee’s Tee Martin was a fifth-round selection by the Steelers, the Saints picked West Virginia’s Marc Bulger. The Browns, being the Browns, selected Spergon Wynn 16 picks ahead of Brady. Not exactly a group of the most elite passers.
Nineteen years later and now 41 Brady owes more league records than his bad hairstyles.
- Regular season wins by a starting quarterback (207)
- 81,431 passing yards, regular season and playoffs
- Most passing touchdowns, postseason included: 590
- 71 touchdowns thrown to different receivers
- Division titles (16)
- Playoff games started (39)
- 29 career playoff wins
- Playoff touchdown passes (73)
- Playoff passing yards (10,917)
- Super Bowl appearances (9)
- 5 Super Bowl wins
- Super Bowl MVPs (4)
- Most Super Bowl touchdown passes (18)
- Super Bowl passing yards (2,576)
If Brady plays to 42 or 43, these records are also within his reach.
- Most passing touchdowns
- Game-winning drive
- Fourth quarter comebacks
- Games started
Reason III. He’s Immortal
As you settle in to watch the big game on Sunday, keep these tidbits in mind, Brady has played almost as many years in the NFL (19) as Rams’ QB Jared Goff has been alive (24). Further, Rams’ HC Sean McVay is eight years younger than Tom Terrific.
The Boston Globe wrote at the beginning of the 2018 season, “in the history of the NFL, only 11 times has a quarterback 40 or older reached double figures in touchdown passes in a season, and only three times has a 40-plus QB thrown more than 17: 41-year-old Warren Moon (25 for the 1997 Seahawks), 40-year-old Favre (33 for the 2009 Vikings), and 40-year-old Brady (32). Brady is still performing at a high level and winning the battle against Father Time.
Brady would like to play until his mid-40s. It would be an astronomical feat considering only five quarterbacks besides Brady have thrown at least 200 passes in the NFL after age 40. But, there are factors working in favor.
If you ask Brady how he’s remained at his peak for so long, he will point to his TB12 method. A 2017 ESPN cover story showcased Brady’s workout regime and diet. They wrote TB12 is centered on “pliability” — muscles trained to become “long, soft and primed” instead of “short, dense and stiff.” “Pliability is not just for elite athletes.”. “It’s for anyone who wants to live a vital life for as long as possible.” How new age.
Reason IV. Can Make Anyone Great
Brady has a great head coach, understands his offensive system and is one of the smartest people on the field at any time. But, his ability to adjust to a rotating roster of Patriots playmakers is remarkable.
He began his Super Bowl run with skill players like Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, and Deion Branch. They were not considered elite, but with Brady getting them the football, they excelled. Patriots have added and developed several players who were overlooked during their careers and turned them into household names. That list includes–Antowain Smith, Corey Dillion, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski, Sony Michel, Julian Edelman, James White, and Chris Hogan.
He’s must be doing something right.
Reason V. Gisele Bundchen
Bundchen is one of the most beautiful Brazilian women on the planet and is a successful model and business person. Money.com reported that Bündchen was the world’s highest-paid model from 2002 to 2017. She reportedly made $128,000 a day on her various campaigns in 2014. According to Forbes, Bündchen earned $30.5 million in 2016 alone. In 2017, she netted $17.5 million, and then $10 million in 2018.
Un-GOAT Like; Reason I. Brady Cheats
We’ve written about the proven scandals, so we won’t bore you with the details. But the Patriots have an uneasy relationship with the truth. First, there was Spygate. The Patriots were found guilty of videotaping opposing teams’ practices to get a strategic advantage. The first time Spygate got national attention was in the aftermath of SB XXXVI against the Rams. How ironic.
Then there was Deflategate. During the 2014-15 AFC Championship game in New England, Brady was alleged to get equipment managers to deflate his game balls. He needed a better grip on the football on a cold night to move the ball down the field. The Pats defeated the Indianapolis Colts and in the subsequent investigation, Brady was suspended for four games. The team was fined $1 million and lost two draft picks.
Reason II. The AFC Least
Don’t get us wrong, the Patriots are nearly a perfect team in the playoffs. Between Brady’s experience and Belichick’s ability to develop game plans, New England rarely losses. But it’s easy to be at your best in the postseason when you’ve fattened up during the regular season on the pathetic AFC East. Since 2001, the Patriots have dominated the AFC East with nine titles in a row and 15 of the past 17. They’re 83-23 against their own division since 2001 and have an over .750 winning percentage overall in the regular season with Brady as a starter.
Put this in perspective, Brady is 28-3 lifetime against the Buffalo Bills and while Brady has been the standard in New England, the rest of the division has failed to consistently field elite quarterbacks. The Bills have started 17 different quarterbacks during Brady’s tenure. The Miami Dolphins have started 18, and the New York Jets had 14 signal callers. It’s hard to win with all that changeover.
Reason III. The NFC East
To quote Deion Sanders, “I believe in Eli.” Until last season, the only kryptonite to the New England Patriots total dominance of the NFL was Eli Manning and the New York Giants. They prevented the Pats from going 19-0 in 2007-08 and the beat them again four seasons later.
Then last season, Trey Burton and Nick Foles guaranteed that Patriots would not beat an NFC East opponent in the big game.