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The overrated career of Tom Brady

Tom Brady as a member of the New England Patriots Photo taken by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Many people believe that Tom Brady, recently retired NFL quarterback, is the greatest football player of all time. Fans point to his seven Super Bowl wins and statistical records for reasons why he is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). While I admit that Tom Brady is the greatest winner of all time, I do not believe that Brady is the greatest player of all time. 

First, Tom Brady is not a very talented quarterback . Brady, throughout his career, was very immobile, did not have a strong arm and was overall not a great athlete. Brady was just fortunate enough to be put in a situation where the players and coaching made it very easy for him to succeed. Brady is the prime example of a “system QB,”  a quarterback who is plugged into a team and doesn’t have to do a whole lot to win games because of the people around him. For someone to be considered “the greatest player of all time,” they have to be extremely skilled and a great winner. Brady only had the latter. In terms of skill, Brady is not even close to being considered one of the top 20 most talented quarterbacks of all time. 

The main argument that Brady fans use for the stance that Brady is the GOAT is his seven Super Bowl wins. Brady, while having some clutch moments in those playoff runs, benefited greatly from lucky moments and important plays by his teammates to save him. In Brady’s first Super Bowl win, the New England Patriots’ defense held the #1 ranked offense in the league to just 17 points and had an interception return for a touchdown. Meanwhile, Brady led the Patriots’ offense to just 13 points, meaning that without the excellent performance by the Patriots’ defense, Brady would’ve lost his first Super Bowl. 

Brady’s second Super Bowl run was kept alive in the AFC Championship game where the Patriot’s defense intercepted Peyton Manning four times en route to a win. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl thanks to a number of key errors committed by the Panthers late in the game. In Brady’s third Super Bowl victory, the Patriots’ defense forced four turnovers vs the Philadelphia Eagles which set up the offense with great field position throughout the game. 

Tom Brady leads the Patriots offense against the Indianapolis Colts
Photo taken by Jack Newton via Wikimedia Commons

 In Brady’s fourth Super Bowl win, he threw two interceptions and the Seattle Seahawks made one of the stupidest decisions in sports history by deciding not to hand off the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch with 30 seconds left, 1 yard away from the end zone. Instead, Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson’s pass which ended the game. If anyone with a brain coached the Seahawks, Brady would have lost this game because Lynch would have scored the game winning touchdown with no time remaining. Brady led a 25-point comeback to win his fifth Super Bowl ring. This was set up by the Patriot’s defense completely shutting down the Atlanta Falcons’ offense in the second half and the Falcon’s botching their clock management which left plenty of time for Brady. 

In Brady’s 6th Super Bowl victory, the Patriot’s defense held the #1 ranked offense in the league to just 3 points. Brady and the Patriot’s offense scored just 13 points. This win made Brady 2-0 in super bowls when scoring 13 or fewer points. In contrast, every other QB in NFL History is 0-25 when scoring 13 points or less in the Super Bowl. Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, where his great teammate support carried over. In Brady’s 7th Super Bowl win, the Bucs held the Kansas City Chiefs to just nine points, largely because star QB Patrick Mahomes was playing on an injured ankle. 

Overall, it is clear that Tom Brady benefited because of the immense talent his teammates had. Quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Dan Marino never had the support that Brady had in big games. Manning, Rodgers and Marino are all considered way more talented at football than Brady, but Brady gets called the GOAT because of team accomplishments. Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t make much sense. 

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