Is Tom Brady The Best Quarterback Ever? Here's How He Stacks Up

By Doug Tozier
January 20, 2013 8:22 am
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Tom Brady: there is no doubt that his career has been spectacular. A sixth round draft pick who was denounced for his lack of athleticism and arm strength, Tom may not have been the first choice for teams looking to make a splash in the draft.

But in New England, three factors helped to put him in position for ultimate success.

With two great mentors in Drew Bledsoe and Bill Belichick, an intense work ethic fueled by the desire to prove his critics wrong, and a once in a lifetime shot in the form of an injury to starter Bledsoe; a legend was set in motion.

So how does the meteoric career of Tom Brady stack up against the greats of the past and present? I give you 10 superstars compared to Mr. Future Hall of Fame.

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By Doug Tozier
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18 months ago
Doug-you make a great argument for Brady and Brady is making that argument easier and easier to make with every year that he plays. You might want to google The Definitive List: the Top 10 quarterbacks. It was a list put together for CHFF by Kerry Byrne about 5 years ago to the day. You have a few wrong facts that it would clear up for you.
18 months ago

I don't know which stats you are referring to: but NFL.com shows Favre as having over 71,000 yards, not 61,000. My facts came from NFL.com, pro-football-reference.com, espn.com, and a little from wikipedia. I try to be as thorough as possible, but welcome corrections and comments. Wikipedia is the first one I double check if the facts don't "look" right. Maybe I mistyped as well.
18 months ago

It doesn't change the argument for Brady, so that's why I didn't bother listing them. But, since you asked-you are correct about Unitas and 1 S.B., but he also won 2 other League Champ., Starr ended up 5-1 in Champ. games, Elway only won 5 AFC Champ., but he did play in 6 if that is what you meant, and Graham had 7 Titles instead of 10. Again, no big deal.
18 months ago
One other thing-Brady's newest Record-he has now played good enough to lead his Team to the most Championship Games ever (!12) would help Tom's Resume. And if the Pats win tonight, that Record definitely would help-it would be his 9th Championship Game Win. I think Kerry gives Graham credit for 7 wins, and we know that Montana and Bradshaw have 8 and Elway 7.
18 months ago

I read Graham's stats wrong, it was 10 division OR league titles. Still pretty impressive considering it was so long ago and consecutive! He definitely was one of the toughest guys ever!
18 months ago

No argument there. You could ditto that for Sammy Baugh also.
18 months ago

Right, the list was getting too long to be manageable and I had to cut it off somewhere, LOL. Thanks on the corrections, I try to be careful!
18 months ago
Brady is a gimmick passer who becomes pedestrian when opponents are ready for him.
18 months ago

Wow, you really have a grudge or something. I guess some of the best numbers in the history of the game mean nothing. Some years his best receiver was an unknown. Gimmicks my @$$. How about turning Wes Welker into a legit receiver? Oh, great quarterbacks never have bad games!
18 months ago
Doug great article. I guess great minds think alike because I was about to do the same article LOL. I guess I won't now but great article man!!
18 months ago
I did learn one thing...and that is "Tom Brady will never be the cause of a playoff loss." Because he simply doesn't choke in the big games.

Doesn't matter how poorly he played or how they only scored 13 points total and 0 in the 2nd half...Tom Brady is still the golden calf, no matter what.

Take Peyton Manning, in contrast, this playoff. He was the "choke artist" in Denver's loss to the Ravens even though he put them in a place to win the game; that place was a "97.4% chance" to win by EPSN's computer standards. The Broncos shouldn't have even been in OT in the first place, yet Manning choked again.

I don't get how Manning choked this year but Brady didn't. It can't be both ways...
18 months ago

Carmine, you and I always seem to be on the same page! When the Ravens waltzed out of Denver with an unexpected win, everyone was screaming, "Peyton choked again!" When the Ravens waltzed out of Foxboro with an unexpected playoff win, everyone is saying that the Patriots just didn't play well. Nothing about Brady choking.

Again, let's take a quick peek at the stats:

Brady: 29-54 (53.7 %), 320 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT, O sacks, 62.3 RAT
Peyton: 28-43 (65.1 %) 290 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT, 3 sacks, 88.3 RAT

Also, the Broncos should have won, but Prater missed a 47 yd FG and that horrible play by the DB at the end cost them the W.
And for everyone suggesting that Brady is Mr. Clutch, the Pats scored 0 points in the 2H, and they went Punt, Punt, Fumble, T.O.D, INT, INT in the 2H. Not very clutch at all.

I'm not suggesting Brady choked, but all of these people who are suggesting that Peyton did should look at the stats.
18 months ago
Brady is a great QB, no doubt, so don't misunderstand my comments as suggesting he is not. However good Brady has been over his career, all of the main arguments suggesting he is the best of all-time are team-oriented stats, not individual stats.

Everyone talks about Super Bowl and Playoff wins as if the QB wins or loses the game on his own without input from the team around him.

Brady is 17-7 all-time in the playoffs, but if you remove his first three ventures into them, he is a combined 8-7. To me, this suggests that his teams were much better at the beginning of his career as opposed to now.

Everyone compares him to Peyton, so here are just a couple stats:
Brady: 44806 yds, 334 TD, 123 INT, 37 game winning drives.
Peyton: 59487 yds, 436 TD, 209 INT, 49 GWDs, 9-11 playoff record.

Again, there is really no argument outside of performance in the playoffs, and I think QBs get too much credit/blame for their team's respective performances.
18 months ago

True. Brady clearly was not Mr. Clutch and had a bad performance. As did the whole team. Whether the Ravens were just "that good" last night, or the Patriots were just "that bad", Brady did not come through and the Patriots and BB have their work cut out for them to fix this thing.
18 months ago

Great post, Alan. I completely agree that there is too much credit/blame placed on the QB for wins/losses. I'll add to your post with another Manning vs. Brady comparison :)

When Brady had his ACL injury in 2008 and missed the season, Matt Cassel filled in with an 11-5 record, 3,693 pass yards, 23 TDs (21 pass 2 rush) and an RAT of 89.4 (pretty good).

Cassel had another decent season in 2010 with KC but his last two seasons with KC do not compare. Cassel obviously isn't comparable to Brady but he took that Patriots to 11-5 because his team played a large roll in his 2008 success.

In 2011, Peyton Manning doesn't play with the Colts and they became the worst team in the NFL at 2-14. That was largely because the Colts TEAM wasn't great outside of the great QB. One could argue that Manning would have taken that same 2011 Colts team to another 10 win season had he played, and I believe he would have.

However, in Manning's absence the team was terrible because the Colts, outside of Manning, wer terrible. On the other hand, when Brady did not play for the Patriots they still finished 11-5 because the TEAM was still very good outside of their great QB.

That to say, in his earlier career, Brady had great teams. The Patriots aren't as great as they were a few years ago so, now, Brady is trying to make his team great...just like Peyton was trying to make his team great all of his years in Indy. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that Brady hasn't won a SB since he was 27.

They both make their teams great, no matter what type of talent is around them, but the missed seasons for each QB shows that the Patriots team and the Colts team were MUCH different in talent. Therefore, it's harder to judge simply "Manning" vs "Brady" IMO.

"QB's" aren't the only part of the equation that makes a great QB.
18 months ago
The Pats just plain played lousy football and the Ravens played ok football. Brady is perhaps the best
Quarter back that has played the game, he isn't done yet. They still have a fairly young team. Say what you
Will, their still a team to be reckoned with.

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