— Jerry Thornton (@jerrythornton1) February 9, 2017
No one, rational or otherwise, disputes that Super Bowl LI cemented Tom Brady as the GOAT. No one. Somewhere there’s a guy with his walls plastered Ray Finkle-style with defaced pictures of Brady, and he’d acknowledge he’s the best ever. Peyton and Eli Manning’s mom would admit to her son’s faces. To even put the question up for debate on your talk show is equivalent to arguing the shape of the Earth. It’s settled science.
The better question at this point is, has Brady already outdone all other NFL dynasties? There are franchises that have won as many Super Bowls as Brady, over a span of years with different quarterbacks. And he’s actually been better that combos of Hall of Famers. I’ll get into that in a minute. But first, some facts to put his career so far in perspective.
Brady is the one player all the great Patriots teams have had in common.
If you look at how the Pats dynasty has replenished itself over the past 15 years, you can use the 2007 16-0 team as the center point. There are two offensive players who were with Brady in 2001 and on the ’07 record-setters: Matt Light and Kevin Faulk (I’m not counting Troy Brown because only he played in one game). He only has one teammate on the Super Bowl LI championship team that was with him in ’07, Stephen Gostkowski.
Brady has carried his team in the postseason like no other quarterback has ever had to.
Only three quarterbacks in NFL history have won a postseason game where they had to attempt 50 or more throws: Dan Fouts, Bernie Kosar and Eli Manning. It makes sense. You face tough defenses in the playoffs and usually only throw that much out of desperation, when you’re way behind. As a matter of fact, all other QBs combined are 3-28 with 50+ attempts. After Sunday’s 62-pass masterpiece, Brady is now 5-2.
Brady does things that are statistically impossible. All the time.
Credit to Tom E. Curran for the data on this one. Brady is making a joke of the Win Probability metric. For instance, in Week 6 of 2013, in the comeback he led against the Saints, at one point the Pats Win Probability stood at 8.27%. In the legendary Week 11 “We’ll Take the Wind” victory over Denver, it was at 0.2%. And in the postseason, he’s been using the stat to wipe his ass with on a regular basis. While overcoming two 14-point deficits to beat the Ravens in the 2014 Divisional Playoff, the Pats chances got as low as 9.8%. In Super Bowl XLIX, it hit 3.5%. Sunday, down by 25 points, the Win Probability was at 0.4%
And in case you haven’t heard this little nugget from Elias, teams trailing by 25 points at any time in an NFL game have won six times out of 2,655 games. That’s 0.2 %. In the postseason, they’ve won twice in 104 games, or 1.92%.
Brady is the greatest winner of all time. And it’s not even close.
There are exactly five quarterbacks in history with 140 or more career wins, regular- and postseason combined: Brady, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and John Elway. Brady’s record is 208-61. Meaning he has 147 goddamned more wins than losses. Even Joe Montana, the previous gold standard for quarterback winning is “only” 133-54. That puts him at 75 fewer wins than Brady with just 7 fewer losses. To put that in perspective, to match Brady’s won/loss, the previous Greatest QB Ever would have to come out of retirement and put together five straight 15-1 seasons.
Brady is better than all other combinations of Hall of Fame quarterbacks in all other dynasties.
Three other franchises have five or more Super Bowl titles: Pittsburgh, Dallas and San Francisco. They all accomplished the feat with current or future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. And Brady’s postseason numbers by himself are better than all those other combos. For the purposes of this exercise, I’m only going with the numbers these QBs had for the dynasties. So for instance, Montana’s time with Kansas City isn’t factored in.
Pittsburgh, 6 Super Bowl titles – Terry Bradshaw (4) and Ben Roethlisberger (2): Combined W-L of 27-12, 69.2% with 55 TDs
Dallas, 5 Super Bowl titles – Roger Staubach (2) and Troy Aikman (3): Combined W-L of 24-12, 66.7%, with 47 TDs
San Francisco, 5 Super Bowl titles – Joe Montana (4) and Steve Young (1): Combined W-L of 28-13, 68.3%, with 59 TDs
Tom Brady, 5 Super Bowl titles – All by himself: W-L of 25-9, 73.5%, with 63 TDs
So even when you combine legit, multiple-championship dynastic QBs, Brady alone is better than all of them. Better than Bradlisberger, Aikbach or Yountana. Like I said, the GOAT debate isn’t even a thing any more. We’re now reduced to comparing Brady by himself against the great dynasties of the 51-year Super Bowl era, and even there he comes out ahead. If he wins more championships – and you’d be stupid to bet against him – we won’t have anything left to compare him to.