How many times have we had to point this out? NFL quarterback Tom Brady is not the best ever. Not even close. Not even remotely so. Only if you value quantity over quality—and only if you ignore the cheating. So, no … Tom Brady is not the greatest of all time at anything in the NFL, unless you are talking about cheating. Brady is now 45 years old and coming off a losing season where his 8-10 team really should have been a 5-12 team without a playoff berth.
Look at the facts, again: Brady’s team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished as the “13th-best” team, sabermetrically, in the NFC, but thanks to probable NFL rigging of games, the Bucs won the NFC South despite an 8-9 record—which included six wins by a combined 24 points. Most of the games were highly suspicious in terms of “comebacks” by Tampa Bay in the final minutes of the game, heroics the mediots granted to Brady … but in reality were ridiculous choke jobs by the other teams’ coaches and players.
Anyway, the Bucs got bounced from the postseason right away despite playing at home, so justice was served immediately. Nonetheless, at age 45 now, Brady still piled up a lot of garbage stats this season in terms of volume: He threw 733 passes this year, after tossing 719 passes last year. Why hasn’t his arm fallen off? Well, we know why, of course … we’ve covered it before. It’s the same reason Brady hasn’t seemingly aged at all, sort of like Tom Cruise.
But we digress, again: Brady’s 52.5 QBR (a stat ESPN sort of made up) was the lowest of his career, even though his official NFL QB rating was solid enough (90.7). But his postseason QB rating dropped even more with the abysmal 72.2 mark he put up in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, where his team fell behind 24-0 before losing 31-14. If this is the end of his career, which is possible since he retired for two months last offseason before coming back, let’s look at the “final” numbers:
- Brady is now tenth on the all-time QB rating list for the regular season (97.2). Of the nine players ahead of him, eight are still active, and the one retired guy (Drew Brees) is sitting at 98.7 overall.
- He is 20th on the all-time QB rating list for the postseason (89.8), which is interesting that the alleged GOAT actually declines from the regular season to the postseason. Shouldn’t somehow so amazing get better in the playoffs? We think so, as noted when we discuss Joe Montana, for example, and his improvement (92.3 to 95.6).
- Brady is just sixth when it comes to the best single-season QB rating in history (his 117.2 QB rating from 2007). Otherwise, his next-best season is 17th on the list (112.2 in 2016). Players on the list with two better seasons than his two best seasons including Aaron Rodgers (first, second), Peyton Manning (third, tenth), and Brees (eighth and ninth). In fact, Rodgers has four of the Top 20 best seasons ever.
- He is nowhere to be found on the Top 25 best playoff seasons ever, in terms of QB rating. Montana has two postseasons on the list, for example. Yes, this list is always in flux, but Brady’s best postseason—2004 when he posted a 109.4 QB rating—still trails the current 25th-place performance by a whopping 7.6 points. Plus, we know he was cheating that postseason via Spygate, anyway.
- Brady’s single-best postseason game ranks just 35th on the all-time list as well (141.8 QB rating in 2007 postseason against the Jacksonville Jaguars). Nothing about “35th all-time” screams “GOAT” to anyone but the brainwashed or the delusional.
Brady, having played so many years beyond the norm for a QB in the NFL due to his probable PED use, owns tons of “volume”-based records. We’re not going to discuss those here, as we can argue universally that none of that would have been possible without his three known and confirmed cheating scandals. So, it’s all irrelevant, just like Barry Bonds isn’t really considered the “Home Run King” in MLB, either, due to his confirmed skullduggery. Those arguments fall on deaf ears here and always will.
We’re not going to deny Brady has talent; just like Bonds, though, he would have been a fine player without cheating. But that immoral reality overrides everything, and even with it in tow, he’s not even close to being the best in any “quality” measurement whatsoever. Keep this in mind, again, when everyone wants to talk about his 7 Super Bowl rings (at least six due to organizational cheating) and his all-time counting stats records. He was never even in our discussion here for the greatest QB ever, either.
Brady hit rock bottom perhaps in 2009, coming back from the devastating knee injury he suffered in the 2008 season opener. His 2009 postseason was a disaster (49.1 QB rating), and with trainer Alex Guerrero in tow, Brady then launched into a whole new phase of his career in his early 30s. It’s the classic tale of the aging star looking for the Fountain of Youth to extend his glory days—and the NFL certainly enabling it all, since the Boston/New England money, mythos, and TV market reach were beneficial.
He’s not the best ever, and he never should be in a civil conversation about the NFL’s best ever; it’s an insult to the other players we’ve already discussed in this space.