Brady is just a system QB, not the GOAT

first_imgDespite appearing in 13 of the past 19 AFC Championship games, the New England Patriots will not make an appearance in this year’s Super Bowl. Their quarterback, 42-year-old Tom Brady, is one of the most accomplished NFL players of all time, and his resume speaks for itself: six Super Bowl rings, four MVPs, 14 Pro Bowl selections … the list goes on and on. Let’s also not forget the fact that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning outplayed Brady in both of their Super Bowl matchups. In those games, Manning orchestrated two clutch game-winning drives while Brady played pretty average during both contests.  Brady got his sixth ring, but he clearly didn’t have to create much offense to get it. He was a  nonfactor during Super Bowl LIII and during the Patriots’ entire playoff run that season. Over two playoff games and the Super Bowl in 2018, Brady threw just two touchdowns and tacked on three interceptions, hardly the performance you’d expect from the greatest quarterback of all time. In 2018, Brady had the 14th best QBR, the 16th most yards per attempt and the 20th best completion percentage. Without the arsenal of offensive weapons Brady once had, he is no more than an average quarterback. Brady’s first Super Bowl team in 2001 had a similar storyline. His defense carried the team the entire season and the Pats were brought back from the dead by the infamous and now defunct “Tuck Rule.” The best thing to ever happen to Brady is Bill Belichick: The Patriots’ systems, schemes and coaching talents have nearly been flawless throughout their dynastic run. If you take Brady out of New England, they can probably still succeed. If you take Belichick out, they would most likely regress on the field. These are just a few of the many reasons that discredit Brady’s greatness, and I didn’t even have to get into cheating to prove my point. No quarterback in the history of the game has been surrounded by the kind of coaching, offensive talent and top-ranked defenses like Brady has, and for that reason, Brady does not deserve to be called the GOAT. Harrison Cho is a sophomore writing about sports. His column, “The Chosen One,” runs every other Friday. Brady has been carried by Belichick’s elite defenses, taking pressure off Brady on a regular basis and placing him and his offense in optimal positions to score. For example, in 2018 against a young and exciting Los Angeles Rams team, the Patriots defense held quarterback Jared Goff and his explosive offense to just 3 points. If you can’t win a Super Bowl after your defense allows just 3 points, then you don’t deserve to be in the Super Bowl.  Further proof of Belichick’s great coaching is the fact that every quarterback that has played in his system has succeeded. Former USC and Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel led the Pats to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth with Brady sidelined with a torn ACL in 2008. He also finished top 10 in touchdowns, passer rating and completion percentage. During Brady’s recent suspension for Deflategate, inexperienced quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett both showed a ton of promise as they lead the Patriots to a 3-1 record. center_img In 2015, Brady was bailed out again in the Super Bowl, this time against the Seattle Seahawks. Cornerback Malcolm Butler saved the day with a goal line interception when the Seahawks inexplicably did not hand the ball off to running back Marshawn Lynch to win the game. Another knock against Brady is that he has been constantly surrounded by immense offensive talent. Wes Welker revolutionized the slot position. Randy Moss is one of the greatest receivers of all time. Rob Gronkowski was a generational talent and physical specimen who is also arguably the greatest to ever play his position. Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski are two of the greatest kickers in NFL history.  Other NFL quarterbacks in the GOAT conversation, like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers have had their share of offensive help. But most, if not all of their players were never on the same level as Welker, Gronkowski or Moss.  In 2004’s Super Bowl XXXIX against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Patriots defense had three huge interceptions that gave them the upper hand throughout the course of the game.  This season, Brady had the 23rd best QBR out of all quarterbacks, the 35th most passing yards per attempt and the 36th highest completion percentage. It’s easy to give Brady the title of “Greatest of All Time” (the GOAT) when you look at his accolades and the Patriots’ dominance over the years. However, I believe that Tom Brady is overrated and nothing more than an average system quarterback playing under the greatest coach of all time. What happened to those quarterbacks? Well, Cassel went to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he had a single winning season and never won more than four games the rest of his career. Brissett ended up on the Indianapolis Colts, where he didn’t throw for a touchdown in six of the last eight games this season. Garoppolo, on the other hand, is a different story as he now has the opportunity to win a Super Bowl this year as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. But like Brady, Garoppolo relies on the genius of his coach and arguably the best defense in the league to win — not to mention he threw eight passes in the NFC Championship Game. These past couple seasons were some of the first in which Brady had a lack of offensive firepower in terms of receivers. How did Brady, the “GOAT,” respond?last_img

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