Paying Tribute To Tom Brady: At 40, Patriots QB Is Undiminished

The GOAT? Your friendly neighborhood blog hates the “who is the greatest quarterback of all time” question? The NFL’s rules have changed so radically that Peyton Manning achieved in...

The GOAT?

Your friendly neighborhood blog hates the “who is the greatest quarterback of all time” question?

The NFL’s rules have changed so radically that Peyton Manning achieved in a different fashion than John Unitas. Dan Marino had advantages that did not accrue to Terry Bradshaw, who has four Super Bowl rings. Joe Montana was the ultimate winner in an organization built to stack success upon success.

Your FNB (friendly neighborhood blog) likes to argue for Unitas, who threw touchdown passes in 47 consecutive games when no one could even come near that. This was a player who showed legendary toughness and leadership, who called his own plays and led his teammates with steely resolve. But FNB is now sliding into the Tom Brady camp.

Our Mr. Brady has won five Super Bowls, which is fairly spectacular, and he has lost two others. That’s seven he has played in when you do the math, and he’s been the Super Bowl MVP four times, the NFL MVP twice. Marino went to one Super Bowl and didn’t win. The Mannings each won two. Kelly was on the wrong end of the score four consecutive years. Moon saw the Super Bowl on TV.

On Sunday, as the New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 35-17, Brady threw four touchdown passes. We basically snore when we hear that and wake up when he didn’t eviscerate the opponent. That’s the burden of excellence. How can he impress us if nearly every game is a masterpiece?

Brady has 26 touchdown passes this season, the most ever by a quarterback over 40. Over the last two seasons he has 54 touchdown passes and five interceptions. Over the last three? 90 and 10.

These numbers are ridiculous. Absolutely sick. There’s a guy in the Hall of Fame who threw more interceptions than touchdown passes in 11 of his 13 NFL seasons. And his name is Joe Namath. He led the league in interceptions four times. Brady can barely throw one. Brady has never led the league in interceptions and hasn’t been in double digits (11) since 2013. Namath threw 28 twice and 27 once.

Brady eviscerated the Dolphins without even playing well (that would be him and the entire team). They’re that good, that well-coached, that prepared, that self-motivated.

Your FNB has seen a lot of the great ones play – John Elway, Jim Kelly, Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Warren Moon, Dan Fouts, Brett Favre, Montana, Manning (Peyton more than Eli, but Eli won two Super Bowls), Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers – but Brady wins. And wins. And wins.

Your FNB will still argue for Unitas, with his grit and his crewcut. That’s the heart talking. The head says Tom Brady.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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