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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Volume 68 of The Panel! With Volume 67’s edi...read more

Debate of the Issue: Tom Brady, GOAT?

He is the GOAT- Fairman

Tom Brady is the greatest Quarterback of all time.  In the most important career metric, he has surpassed all of his competition. He has the most career passing yards with 81,000, the most regular season wins with 207, and he has the most career passing touchdowns with 590.  The fact that he has been able to consistently perform at the highest level for 17 years is a testament to his determination, skill, and intelligence. Likewise, in the postseason, he has set incredible records. He has 29 playoff wins, far beyond second-place Joe Montana, who only has 16.  He has 73 playoff touchdown passes, again in front of Joe Montana with a measly 45. Next up, we have the staggering amount of playoff passing yards thrown: 10,900. That is 3,000 yards more than Peyton Manning, who comes in second. Next, and I think this is the most impressive statistic on the list, is Tom Brady’s ridiculous 2,500 passing yards in the Super Bowl.  This is proof of Brady’s dominance of the NFL over the past two decades. Most important, of course, Tom Brady is the only quarterback in NFL history to have won 5 Super Bowls. However, these are conventional facts.

One of the things that sets Tom Brady apart from the pack is his performance under pressure.  With 57 drives, Brady has the most game winning drives of any quarterback in NFL history. These are those famous sub-2:00 drives in the 4th quarter when everything is on the line and Tommy goes into the endzone.  These have been the most spectacular moments of football in the past decade. Coming back in Super Bowl 51 from a 25 point deficit to win in overtime and coming back in the AFC championship game this season to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat are just a couple of the many examples of Brady’s superhuman grace under pressure.  All of this paints a picture of a man who is so consistent in his excellence and mental fortitude that it would be slanderous not to pronounce him the greatest quarterback of all time.

He’s Not the GOAT- O’Neill

Since most people at Belmont Hill are Patriots fans, I understand that the majority will disagree with me when I state that Tom Brady is not the greatest quarterback of all time. The main argument for Tom Brady’s status as the GOAT is his number of Super Bowl appearances and Super Bowl wins. While I agree that Brady’s legacy is extremely impressive, his coaching, elite defenses, and (to a lesser extent) luck have all helped him reach such pivotal games. In Brady’s first Superbowl in 2002, Tom Brady amassed just 145 yards and one touchdown while his defense scored a pick-six and Adam Vinatieri hit a clutch 48-yard field goal as time expired to win the championship. Despite Brady’s mediocre performance, he won the MVP. This also came in the same year as the famous tuck rule play against the Oakland Raiders in the divisional round that granted the Patriots the ball on a controversial incomplete pass. In 2003, 2014, and 2016, the Patriots won the Superbowl despite their quarterback having a lower passer rating than the opposing QB. This has happened just four times in NFL history. In 2008, after Tom Brady got injured, and Matt Cassel replaced him; Cassel led the team to an 11-5 record but they missed the playoffs. In 2014, Malcolm Butler’s sensational interception at the goal line saved the game for Tom Brady and the Patriots. Brady was also involved with Deflategate, where he allegedly asked a Patriots ball boy to deflate game-used footballs to gain a competitive advantage. I am not trying to say that Brady is not a great quarterback; he is clutch, is a strong leader, and does what is needed by the team. However, Brady’s team’s success has been the driving force of many arguments about how Brady is the greatest of all time, which I feel is unfair because no other quarterbacks have had the luxury of having a top ten defense 14/17 years of his career. Brady is most definitely not the most skilled quarterback of all-time, and maybe not even of his generation for that matter.

 

 

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