Tom Brady and the Patriots have won another Super Bowl.
That’s not exactly a surprise to anyone familiar with the NFL. Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick have been a staple in the big game during the past two decades, appearing in nine of the past 18 Super Bowls.
No quarterback other than Brady has ever even played in six Super Bowls, yet Brady has taken home six victories in the NFL’s final dance. The NFL may never see another player complete such a feat, but Brady’s doing it right before our eyes.
The Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII victory marks six rings for the 41-year-old, the single most in NFL history.
In the Patriots matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles a season ago, Brady threw for a Super Bowl record 505 passing yards. He won his fifth Super Bowl MVP in the process, cementing his legacy as the greatest thrower of the football known to man, in many people’s eyes. Moreover, he owns the record for most career passing touchdowns in Super Bowl history, along with the most passing yards and completions.
Those numbers and accomplishments are tough to argue against. There’s no doubt that Brady is an all-time player. Winning one ring is hard enough, and for the most part, only top-tier quarterbacks hoist the Lombardi at season’s end – although subpar quarterbacks such as Trent Dilfer, Joe Flacco and Jim McMahon come to mind.
Regardless, Tom Brady is overrated.
It’s extremely hard to argue with Brady’s legacy. Many will compare it to Michael Jordan’s six rings, which is widely viewed as the greatest career in NBA history.
That, I may agree with.
However, as is the case with Jordan, Brady is not the greatest player of all time. Just because one has the most impressive accolades does not automatically make them the best. I think it’s fair to say LeBron James has a top argument for being the GOAT, although that view would likely be shunned by a wide majority of NBA fans due to James’ blemished NBA Finals record.
Brady has been lucky enough to play under undisputedly the greatest coach in NFL history, for his entire career. During his career with the Patriots, New England’s defense has never ranked lower than No. 18.
This is important to keep in mind. Football is not basketball, players can only control one side of the ball and must rely on teammates to do their jobs to be successful as a greater whole. It can be messy when discussing the best players in NFL history with the offense-defense debate being thrust into the forefront of the argument.
Legacy does not directly equate to greatness, particularly when it comes to winning championships. Yes, Brady now has six rings, but does that necessarily make him the best? I’d argue that it does not.
As I said, there’s something to be said regarding Brady’s ability to get to the big game. But, contrary to popular belief, Tom Brady is not the GOAT.