Sep. 26, 2016
Is Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all-time?
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is arguably the most polarizing quarterback in the NFL. Before 2015 it was just because Brady was a great, confident quarterback.
Then Deflategate happened. Brady was accused of using deflated footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts and ended up serving a four-game suspension for it this season. No one thought that when Brady came into the league 17 years ago that he would be such a polarizing player or competing for his record fifth Super Bowl title. No matter if you like him or now, should Brady be considered the greatest quarterback of all time?
Brady has had a storied career. He is an 11-time pro bowler, fourth all-time in passing yards and touchdowns, and led the Patriots to a 16-0 season in 2007. He has been the model of consistency for any NFL quarterback. Since 2009, his quarterback rating has never dipped below 87 and only dipped below 90 once.
However, his real mark has come in the playoffs. On Sunday, Brady will have the opportunity to win his fifth Super Bowl which would be the most all time for a quarterback. He also has 24 playoff wins. To put that in perspective, that is more than all but four NFL teams, and Brady has quadrupled the amount of playoff wins the Patriots organization has. He also has the most all-time playoff attempts and completions and is second in passing yards behind Peyton Manning.
Especially if he wins on Sunday, Brady should be considered the best postseason quarterback in NFL history. However, Brady was outplayed in the regular season by his rival, Peyton Manning. Manning holds the all-time record for fourth quarter comebacks, passing touchdowns, and passing yards. Then in the 2013 season, he had the best season in NFL history when he threw for 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns, which are both NFL records. It is safe to say Manning is the best regular season quarterback of all time.
Joe Montana is another contender for the best quarterback of all time. Montana, like Brady, also has four Super Bowl rings. However, Montana has 15 less postseason passing touchdowns and about 2,800 more postseason passing yards, but Montana has over 500 less postseason pass attempts. This leads to Montana having 7.2 yards per attempt to 6.8 yards per attempt for Brady.
Since Brady has not been the best regular season quarterback, he needs to be by far the best quarterback in playoff history. With four Super Bowl victories, Montana and Brady are neck and neck for the title. With a fifth Super Bowl, Brady will be in a class all by himself. With gives him an extremely compelling argument for the greatest quarterback of all time.
Without a fifth Super Bowl title, Brady is in a murky conversation with Manning and Montana for the great quarterback of all time title. However, with a fifth Super Bowl Brady will be the greatest postseason quarterback of all time and a top five regular season quarterback. That resume will put him as the greatest quarterback of all time. The only people that will argue against it will say he can’t be the greatest because he cheated. However, it is hard to say cheating twice times (Spygate) outweighs five Super Bowl victories and numerous NFL records.