Over the past two weeks the legacy of Tom Brady has been up for debate. Is he the best quarterback ever? Is he in the same class as Joe Montana and other elite QB’s? Is he all washed up? blah blah blah. I can’t believe this subject not only is up for debate but has had so much legs, and the many scenarios that have been put out. Why was Super Bowl XLVI the benchmark to determine this argument?
As a Patriots fan watching the Patriots lose to the Giants again in the Super Bowl was deflating. However, it is just a game and we move on. Tom Brady did not play his best game but he did not play bad either. I know I am going to get lambasted for making that comment, so hear me out. He did make two mistakes that were costly, no doubt, I still contend the intentional grounding call was suspect. If it’s letter of the rule, then fine it was intentional grounding, so in essence it was a good call. The interception that he threw is a double edge sword. It was definitely a bad decision, but a long TD to Gronkowski is what Patriot Nation clamored for and he would have been a hero if the completion was made. Those are the two things that people are keeping Brady out of the argument. This is where hindsight needs to be 20/20.
Things that have been missed, or maybe even ignored in this conversation. So we have beaten to death the two mistakes that Brady has made. But here are two things people aren’t talking about. Brady set one Super Bowl record and tied another in the game. In the second quarter Tom Brady engineered a 96 yard TD scoring drive, which tied a SB record. If you want to split hairs, it could be argued it was 98 yards because on the first play the Patriots were penalized half the distance for a false start. It can be argued that it was a team thing and Brady didn’t do all by himself. True. But if that is your argument, then be prepared for a Yards After Catch argument with regards to Montana. The other record that is being left out is that Brady completed 16 consecutive passes during the game. That’s right, 16. In Super Bowl XXXVI, he completed 16 passes, total!
Despite all that I have stated both mistakes and accomplishments Brady had the Patriots in a position to win the game. If he played so horribly that would not have been the case. The most common comment that I have been hearing this post-season is how opposing QB’s have outplayed Brady. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. First off, the QB’s don’t play defense, so you are comparing Apples to Oranges. Joe Flacco vs. Tom Brady, well Flacco has an advantage because he goes up against the 31st rated defense and Brady gets to lineup against the 3rd rated defense. That is a built in advantage when going up against the Patriots.
So is Brady the greatest QB ever? No, Joe Montana has the franchise on that. But Brady is definitely second on the list. People all have different scenarios as to what makes an elite QB. So if a 6th round pick, that has won 3 Super Bowls, two Super Bowls MVP’s, two NFL Regular Season MVP’s, single season TD record and 16 post season wins doesn’t get you a seat at the table, then that is a very lonely table. So is there a debate between Montana and Brady? Not Really. But one point I would like to add is that Montana won all his Super Bowl’s in an era with no free agency and no salary cap, so his team was pretty much intact during his run, and he had the lovely #80 to throw to. However, I still think he is the best ever. But people, appreciate Brady, because Patriot Nation will never see another one like him.